This is the Year of the Online Video election.
Today I received via RSS two anti-McCain videos from two separate action groups, both using McCain's old interviews and speeches to reveal his weaknesses. A digital version of "give him enough rope to hang himself" strategy, these videos are like a kind of political instant replay -- YOU make the call.
Everyone's been talking about the increased role of the internet in this year's election, which was confirmed by last month's Pew Public Policy Report on the internet and the 2008 election. The report found that so far 46% of Americans have used the internet, email or cell phone text messaging to get news about the campaign, share their views and mobilize others.
But the easy proliferation on online video footage is or will be every politician's worst nightmare. The videocam is mightier than the pen AND sword when it comes to undermining a candidate's authority, authenticity, and veracity. The Pew study found that:
- 35% of Americans say they have watched online political videos--a figure that nearly triples the reading the Pew Internet Project got in the 2004 race.
- Some 39% of online Americans have used the internet to access "unfiltered" campaign materials, which includes video of candidate debates, speeches and announcements, as well as position papers and speech transcripts.
Planned Parenthood: McCain on birth control
Planned Parenthood made this one of videos I was sent today. The Daily Kos says it "is aimed at women voters, and will be broadcast during the season premiere of "Project Runway," on Bravo, Lifetime’s "Army Wives," and "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in some markets."
MoveOn.org: McCain (& Bush) on the economy
MoveOn.org made this video, which begins, "We've been listening to John McCain and George Bush talk about the economy, and we've noticed a pattern: they keep saying the problems are all in our heads."
What could be more satisfying than using a candidate's own words to expose his ignorance, arrogance and hypocrisy?
The only thing better is that scene in Annie Hall when Woody Allen's character, stuck in a movie line with a guy pontificating about Marshall McLuhan, pulls the real Marshall McLuhan out from behind a billboard:
MARSHALL McLUHAN: -- I heard what you were saying. You, you know nothing of my work. How you ever got to teach a course in anything is totally amazing.
WOODY ALLEN: (aside) Boy, if life were only like this.
(You can watch this scene for yourself on YouTube or, what the heck, in the window below.)