Archive for June, 2007
Published by Jeff Jarvis June 30th, 2007 0 Comments Tags: cameron, UK.
More from London: David Cameron bids farewell to Tony Blair and says that Gordon Brown just isn't change enough.
The Guardian's news blog finds Tony Blair's tips for being Prime Minister handily posted up to Youtube:
Sicko is near-great documentary that will and should have a profound impact on the election and on public policy. If no president can fix our health care and insurance mess in this country and no politician can coalesce public opinion, maybe he can. Moore is -- for Moore -- practically deft and subtle as he exposes the hell we're all in with our insurance coverage. I was impressed that, all in all, he let the stories tell themselves and he left his 2x4 in the closet. Of course, he can't miss the opportunities to snicker and act incredulous; he has to ham. But he knows that he has a powerful message and that he doesn't need to amp it up. And keep in mind that he's attacking only one head of this hydra: insurance. There's much else that's a mess about our health care system. I do think, though, that Sicko would have been stronger if it has been more journalistic -- that is, more complete and, yes, balanced. Moore extols the virtues of the national health systems in Canada, the UK, France, and, as we all know by now, Cuba. Watching all those well-cared-for Canadians, I had a relapse of a recurrent urge to move north. Though he goes to waiting rooms and debunks some myths about the wait for care -- at least in those rooms -- no one would deny that these systems, too, have their problems; just read the British press about its National Health Service. On balance, his argument is still valid -- all the more valid, I'd say, if he'd have dealt with those yes-buts we're bound to hear. I know, Moore would say he isn't making journalism, it's advocacy. I say the line is blurred and whatever you call it, an argument will have more impact if it has the discipline to answer the hard questions. I can think of many other movies that had an impact on the culture -- you can list a dozen that affected American thinking about race -- and that affected public opinion -- name your anti-war movies from the Vietnam era -- but I'm not sure I can think of a movie that tries to have such a direct effect on policy and legislation. My suburban theater was jammed last night with plenty of people who surely vote Republican; I'm in a minority out here. They left sharing rave reviews. I'll bet that Sicko will be a hit on two scales: gross and impact. And Moore is using the web to extend that impact. A few weeks ago, he asked people to share their horror stories with us: Here are the 70 responses so far. Here's a guy who says he couldn't get his broken hand fixed because he didn't have insurance or $400 and so now it's mangled -- "waaaa, but I guess that's the state of things in America." Here's a very simple video from a woman who couldn't get insurance, try as she might, and who reacts to the heart-rending stories of others responding to Moore (in particular, this woman with MS here and here): At a screening for the 11 of 900 health care lobbyists who showed up, Moore says he wants the voters to demand universal health care from the candidates and he wants people to speak up and support Rep John Conyers' universal health-care bill. The audio's messed up but this is the essential Moore platform: And here, Moore goes to testify on Capitol Hill. It's more than a movie. It's a campaign. (Crossposted at PrezVid)
Hillary Clinton interviews Warren Buffett in front of Hillary logos. He proves he's a Democrat by complaining he's not taxed enough: His staff paid, on average, a third of their pay to Washington put Buffett paid 17.7 percent of his $46 million. (They should learn a trick from Obama's videos and get a remote, wireless microphone. It's hard to hear Buffett.)
James Kotecki, reviews Chris Dodd's YouTube Spotlight video dispatching his supporters to stalk fellow senators and congressman. James decrees it 'friggin' cool.' High praise, indeed.
The Clinton campaign is promising behind-the-scenes views of Bill and Hillary traveling Iowa next week -- "totally unvarnished, completely unprecedented." Well, actually, I think we got to hear Richard Nixon, totally unvarnished. If this White House thing doesn't work, they can probably get a series on VH1.
Published by Jeff Jarvis June 29th, 2007 1 Comment Tags: attacks, coulter, edwards.
Brent Bozell, self-appointed media nanny, issues a statement defending Ann Coulter (see post below) against Elizabeth Edwards. This is as easy to score as professional wrestling. Bozell said: As for Ann Coulter, don’t be fooled by the smoke and mirrors orchestrated by the liberal Democrat Elizabeth Edwards and her advisers in the Democratic Party. This attack on Ann Coulter, a conservative writer, is part of the liberals’ plan to squash free speech by conservatives. They want to silence Coulter, as well as Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Michelle Malkin, and many others. Hugo Chavez does this type of censoring in Venezuela—but in America, we don’t. (via Crooks & Liars)
Published by Jeff Jarvis June 28th, 2007 0 Comments Tags: abortion, giuliani, religion.
Pat Robertson gives Rudy Giuliani a hug and a rave review and a pass on abortion ("abortion is not something a president should have anything to do with"): And here is an interview on Robertson's "CBN", which Giulini's campaign put up on YouTube (Soundbite: "All in all, there is a conservative case to be made for Giuliani"):
John Edwards makes more hey out of Ann Coulter's attack on him. As long as she keeps spelling his name right....
Published by Jeff Jarvis June 27th, 2007 6 Comments Tags: dodd, edwards, spotlight, youtube.
Chris Dodd is trying to break out of the mold of YouTube's candidate Spotlight videos. In a video to go up today, he pushes voters to take their own video cameras and approach their senators and congressmen, asking them to talk about Iraq and to give their stand on the Dodd amendment, which would require starting to pull out of Iraq in 30 days, and then putting those videos up on YouTube. Citizen journalism meets voter activism meets YouTube. I just spoke with Chris Dodd's internet director, Tim Tagaris, who said, quite rightly, that the candidates' Spotlight videos thus far have been about nothing much more than telling everybody what you think. Or there's Clinton's stunt (which I'll take over the boring, safe, ultimately pandering blah-blah of the others'). Tagaris said Dodd's campaign wants the voters' videos to be more popular than the candidates'. And they want to enable voters to have direct impact on legislation and policy. And, no, they don't know whether this will work. Tagaris recognizes that going out and approaching politicians is much more difficult than sitting down in front of your web cam and blathering. Tagaris said it was a real challenge to cram into 2:15 the candidate's challenge, his explanation of the Dodd amendment, some swipes at how we're seeing the campaign through YouTube thus far (Hillary, Obama Girl, Edwards' hair), and an explanation of how to shoot and upload videos. Sound bite: "They say they talk about haircuts instead of troop cuts, sound choices instead of energy choices, Paris instead of Baghdad because they say that's what you want to talk about." Dodd has been more open and expansive with his internet video strategy than most of the candidates. They've webcast staff meetings. They broadcast live interaction with staffers during the debates, getting 9,600 viewers during the second debate. (By contrast, 18 Doughty Street, a nighlty, 5-hour political talk network in the UK gets a max of 2,000 viewers at a time.) Dodd himself is also more relaxed in front of the small camera. Tagaris said he's "comfortable in his own skin." I asked how Dodd would react when other candidates sent citizens with cameras after him. Tagaris said it happened when Citizen Kate nabbed him in a hallway. Indeed, Dodd was relaxed and charmed and charming. Edwards, by contrast, was scared to death of Kate. Tagaris said they're trying to put more and more video from behind the scenes of the campaign online, much of it increasingly live. "Real and fast," those are his bywords. I asked whether this openness to YouTube came in part because the Dodd campaign has less money than others; it's a way to get attention for nothing. Tagaris said that Dodd's campaign is merely "the first one to do something everyone's going to do, no matter how much money they have."
Sometimes on YouTube's YouChoose, we'll see a link to a video for a candidate that is later taken down and so the link goes to a page telling us we're out of luck. Last night, there appeared a link to a video promising to show Sam Brownback on a tractor (is that anything like Mike Dukakis on a tank?). Sadly, the video's not there; YouTube informs us that it was taken down for violating its rules. We're just not ready for a president on a tractor.
Given all the marital baggage that Giuliani carries, you were hoping this clip would be fun. It’s not. Proving once again that comedy is hard. A hot girl and a good tune are much, much easier. Still, props for the effort.
Barack Obama is running his first two campaign ads in Iowa this week. Titled "Choices" and "Carry," they’re mini-bios. Here are the mini-versions. Choices: college grad, community organizer helping workers displaced by closing of steel mills, Harvard Law, brilliant, passed up cushy Wall Street gigs to serve the community, dedicated to making people’s live better, able to leap tall buildings. Carry: elected state senator, worked on deep issues, not influenced by lobbyists, bipartisan, respected, negotiating skills, ability to understand both sides, more powerful than a locomotive.
Published by Peter Hauck June 26th, 2007 0 Comments Tags: ads, edwards.
John Edwards has a new ad running in New Hampshire. It's right out of a paint-by-numbers political advertising handbook, down to the stirring soundtrack. Sound Bite: "It's time for the President of the United States to ask Americans to be patriotic about something other than war." MORE: Here's Chris Cillizza's take from washingtonpost.com
Joe Biden uses his minutes on the Senate floor to suck up to unions. Sound bite: "Let there be no mistake -- the unions and the middle class are under attack."