Sunday, April 12, 2009

The YouTube Presidency

From the New York Times:

"... and while Obama’s campaign speeches weren’t delivered expressly for YouTube the way Oval Office addresses are delivered for TV, the versions of those speeches millions of us saw were tailored to the site, with titles, omissions, crowd cutaways, highlight footage and a dozen other manipulations of sound and image that affected the impression they made. When Obama delivered his speech on race a year ago, the campaign uploaded, for example, its own version of the speech; it was cleaner and more elegantly produced than the CNN version, and it has been played more than 1.5 million times.

Every one of the president’s weekly public-address videos is conspicuously labeled “public domain,” and commentary is welcome. Plenty of detractors weigh in. Name-calling — “socialist pig,” “fascist in chief” — jostles for space with praise (“Nice to have an articulate, intelligent, thoughtful president again”). In general, the effect is one of openness and inclusiveness, even as the shooting and spreading of the videos has been tightly controlled. As of this writing, no video has surfaced, for example, from a St. Patrick’s Day White House event with the Irish prime minster, at which Obama thanked himself in an effort to parody an earlier teleprompter mishap. Could this be because his joke might be taken out of context by those who consider him the Teleprompter President?"

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