Monday, September 01, 2008

The Power of YouTube and Politics

A few days ago, this video appeared on YouTube, where Don Fowler (former chariman of the DNC and Rep. John Spratt (D-SC) are caught on camera joking that the timing of hurricane Gustav and the Republican National Convention must mean that "God is on our side."

Thankfully Gustav is now only a Category 2 hurricane, so it looks like New Orleans and much of the gulf coast will be spared.

When I saw the video I thought that a hurried clip, poorly captured by a cell phone would have little impact. Sure enough, the mainstream media didn't seem to pick up the story at all--it only existed on the net with bloggers posting about it. But now that Fowler has apologized the media has been forced to cover it. (Hat tip Instapundit.)

How amazing, really, when you think about it. Before the web and sites like YouTube, such a story could have easily been buried by the press. But once it is out there, people start talking about it. Fowler was forced to make some sort of response.

Two parting thoughts:

(1) Does it bother you that there is still no accountability? The political pattern of "say something reprehensible and if people get upset, just apologize and move on" is alive an well.

(2) Do you think if the video was instead of Sarah Palin on a plain talking about God being on the Republican's side because a natural disaster was poised to reign devastation that the media might have picked up the story sooner?

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