Sunday, March 30, 2008

The YouTube Campaign

Here's a Frank Rich column claiming, among other things, the primacy of the internet -- specifically video clips -- in this election. Rich describes:

the accelerating power of viral politics, as exemplified by YouTube, to
override the retail politics still venerated by the Beltway
establishment ...
That Mrs. Clinton’s campaign kept insisting her Bosnia tale was the truth two days
after The Post exposed it as utter fiction also shows the political perils of
20th-century analog arrogance in a digital age. Incredible as it seems, the
professionals around Mrs. Clinton — though surely knowing her story was false —
thought she could tough it out. They ignored the likelihood that a television
network would broadcast the inevitable press pool video of a first lady’s
foreign trip — as the
CBS Evening News did
on Monday night — and that this smoking gun would then
become an unstoppable assault weapon once harnessed to the Web.
The Drudge
Report’s link to the YouTube iteration of the
CBS News piece transformed it into a cultural phenomenon reaching far beyond a
third-place network news program’s nightly audience. It had more YouTube views
than the inflammatory Wright sermons, more than even the promotional video of
Britney Spears making her latest “comeback
on a TV sitcom. It was as this digital avalanche crashed down that Mrs. Clinton,
backed into a corner, started offering the alibi of “sleep
” and then tried to reignite the racial fires around Mr. Wright.

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