Ground rules for online presidential debates

If the presidential candidates are going to debate on the Internet, it’s only fitting that certain protocols apply: 1) Viewers must be allowed to instantly rate their approval or disapproval of positions, allowing the candidates to flip-flop mid-sentence if necessary. 2) Apple’s hyper dancing silhouettes (redesigned to resemble the candidates) must be projected onscreen each time one of them gets in an especially cutting one-liner. No need to create one for Kucinich. 3) Lonelygirl15 should moderate. 4) At regular intervals, the debate must be interrupted by a pop-up ad for Netflix. 5) The first candidate who can prove he or she is not a CGI-generated avatar (or demonstrate a way to erase the national debt using “Linden Dollars”) is declared the winner. UPDATE: Mark Burnett and MySpace have gone the “real” politicians one better, developing Independent, an online reality show aimed at finding “America’s next great politician.” Since News Corp. owns MySpace, we hope Rupert Murdoch has the grace to stay out of contention. Actually, Rupe was born on foreign soil and can’t run for president—at least not until Burnett creates Amendment, a show about changing the Constitution.

—Posted by David Gianatasio