Ohio State Students Use YouTube To Draw Viewers For Political Show

This story was written by Josh Moorhead, The Lantern

Justin Green and his panel of four fellow Ohio State students meet and play hardball, discussing the most talked about political and pop culture issues of the day. Welcome to "The Forum," an adolescent version of "Hardball's" with host Chris Matthews.Green, creator of the YouTube show - which is filmed every Friday at Taylor Tower - got his inspiration from "The View." As such, he gets to sit at the center of the table and play moderator, engaging in popular issues. The other four panel members were recruited by Justin to represent diverse views."I thought it would be better if we had chemistry, so I picked people from my floor who I knew were political," Green said.Justin said he wanted to create an environment amongst friends where debates ensue - but here they are filmed."We all know each other, and that's really important because we talk about such complicated and diverse issues," he said.Green describes himself as a liberal, while the rest of the panel consists of Kelly Grannan, a liberal; Emily McKinney, a libertarian; Seth Rokosky, a conservative and Mark Politz, a communist."I don't think that's a perspective they have on 'The View,' " Green said.Rokosky was a hard find on campus and is the only member of "The Forum" not from Taylor Tower."I had a class with Justin in the fall, an anthropology class, and there was a lot of class debates," said Rokosky about his recruitment to the show. "We pretty much didn't agree about anything, but we could argue civilly, so I think he remembered that."To him, being the only conservative voice on the panel feels normal, as he takes part the show in hopes to better understand other's opinions."I feel like there's a greater responsibility on my shoulders because there's nobody to back me up," Rokosky said.Grannan - who lives only a few doors away from Green and shares his liberal views - says she agreed to do "The Forum" for fun. She says it has been rewarding."I mean, I don't get enough opportunities to argue with people normally," Grannan said, adding that she's a party line Democrat.As long as the friendly chemistry exists among diverse views and hot topics, Green has plans."I'm content with how it is now because it's something I've always wanted to do and now I'm doing it," Green said. "But I have more grandiose plans for it."Those include making "The Forum" an official student organization, adding guests and an audience and airing it on Buckeye TV.And people are watching. Currently the first segment of the pilot is hovering around 85 hits on YouTube, and "The Forum" members are receiving some feedback, with some from a conservative think tank that Rokosky worked at in Washington, D.C."I believe wholeheartedly that if people watch this, that it's a way for them to get multiple political perspectives," Green said. "What I like about it is that if you get your news from the media, it can be very bias, whereas here you're getting bias perspectives, but you're getting five bias perspectives ... and you can choose what you agree with and what you don't."Look for "The Forum" to continue helping its viewers to choose - as long as the panel has a table, a camera, and most of all, opinions.