Rhetoric surrounding the mid-term elections is getting more fevered, if a YouTube clip from Hollywood producer and director David Zucker is any measure. According to the Drudge Report, Zucker’s 30-second clip "was intended to be used by GOP organizations in the closing weeks of the 2006 campaign." However, Drudge breathlessly tells us that "GOP strategists all across Washington, DC … have refused to use it!"
I find it hard to believe that the ad was ever intended for TV. Instead, I believe it was intended for viral net distribution. Unlike the controversy in 2004 over Hitler ads which appeared briefly on MoveOn, this is a professionally produced and sanctioned clip. After all, Republicans gave the clip to Drudge.
The Zucker clip is focused on the Clinton Administration. Its narrative presents an unflattering depiction of former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright — from her 2000 visit to North Korea to fabricated scenes where she is subsurvient to bearded Arab-looking men and oblivious to suicide bombers. It’s along the lines of his Kerry flip-flop clip.
YouTube is an interesting place to check out political themes.
LiberalView takes a measured (and probably too long, it’s 3.47 min.) approach to FOX News editing of Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s press conference comments. As edited, her response to a question about the Military Commissions Act "makes it look like Leader Pelosi was overreacting to a different, milder statement from Speaker Hastert." Great lesson in editing for journalism students. Also, yet another reason for unmediated (ie, uncut) clips of political speechs and press conferences to be posted online as a matter of principle.
Contrast that with the Fog of War, a quick satirical view of "The Decider." It’s a jab, but nothing like the full body slam of Zucker’s clip. Then there’s the mash up of Bush gaffes … again, a jab, but not a knock-out. Besides, there’s no actor involved, the footage — while unflattering — is all Bush, all the time.
YouTube takes viral political messages to a new level of sophistication and reach. This can’t be why Google purchased the firm, can it?
This post first appeared at uspolitics.about.com