The Democratic Debate held on December 19, 2015, was full of mystery and scandal almost from the moment it was scheduled. For one thing, it was scheduled on a Saturday, which isn’t generally thought to be the best day of the week if you want to drive viewers. Even more puzzling is that this was the last Saturday before Christmas. So it’s perfectly reasonable to assume – as many a pundit have suggested – that the DNC simply wanted to minimize opportunities for Bernie Sanders or Martin O’Malley to challenge the Party’s presumptive nominee. In addition to that there was some mess about voter databases and breaches in security… staffers were fired, apologies were made and accepted, and all seemed right with the world. But who cares about that, I was there for the spectacle.
I attended the debateas as a “credentialed journalist” – if you can consider me a journalist – along with fellow media makers Zac Little and Ian Servin. The objective, at least for me, was to capture and post short form video in near real-time using a Sony a6000 for capture and an iPhone for editing and posting. I didn’t even bring a laptop. This was primarily a streamlined experiment to test the mobile workflow I’ve spent the past few years developing. On reflection, what I found most interesting wasn’t the debate or the campaign strategists rhetoric following the debate, but Zac’s commentary, which was full of unexpected insights and color.
Zac’s 3 Takeaways from the Saint Anselm Democratic Debate
The Saint Anselm debates are a staple of the early Primary process. They draw hundreds of journalists, passionate demonstrators, and seemingly out-of-place yokels like me. But while the MEDIA is focusing their coverage on soundbites, the three of us opted for more behind-the-scenes coverage. After all, with the camera’s directed squarely on the debate hall stage, the average voter never even sees the press filing room where the hundreds of international journalists setup to draft and submit their reports. It’s actually quite impressive to behold, and being a part of that environment as it unfolds can be a real eye-opener when it comes to observing the manner in which the MEDIA spins its narrative.
This will be one of two debates I’ll attend this political cycle. So if you’re at all curious, be sure to follow me on Instagram and Periscope. The next Saint Anselm debate will be the Republican debate on February 6th, 2015.