The First YouTube Election, and Not the Last
You gotta love the New York Post. Thus today’s headline reports Rummy’s demise, encapsulating in two words the entire changing of the guard now under way in Washington after Tuesday’s game-changer elections.
And we owe it all not to the mainstream press, which, as far as I can recall did not break a single investigative piece of news that mattered to the voters on Tuesday.
It was, rather, thanks to YouTube.
For it was on YouTube that Virginia Senator George Allen was shown to the world, his shirtsleeves rolled up, microphone in hand, clearly unnerved by the presence of an observer with a video camera recording his off-the-cuff remarks, attempting to turn the tables by pointing to the cameraman and saying, “Let’s give a welcome to macaca here, welcome to America…”
And it was on YouTube that Montana Senator Conrad Burns was shown to the world, eyelids flickering, elbows slipping, as he tried to stop himself from dozing off in the middle of an agricultural hearing. His campaign slogan? “Delivering for Montana.” Democrats complained last time around when bloggers discredited pieces of John Kerry’s self-styled Vietnam heroics and flat-out dismantled the forged document Dan Rather somberly presented as fact on National Television.
So too Republicans will complain this time around that their precious Senate majority was lost thanks to wise-guy video-tapers looking for “gotcha” moments.
But if the mainstream press isn’t going to keep things honest—and they have proven they can’t, or won’t—then why not give that power to individuals?
Which is exactly what the internet has done.
Pretty cool, I think. Jeff Matthews I Am Not Making This Up
© 2006 Jeff Matthews
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