I was on CNN’s Reliable Sources this morning (with Mike Krempasky) about that Hillary Video and PrezVid. Roll the video:
I talked with Arianna Huffington tonight and asked how she got her scoop revealing who made the Hillary 1984 attack commercial. It was a true case of networked, bottoms-up journalism.
While the rest of media was tripping over themselves to do the same story of the Hillary ad, weeks after it came out, and idly wondering who made it, Arianna dispatched her troops to do real reporting. She said about 30 people were involved at first, making phone calls and digging into what they knew, debunking some leads and following others. Finally, it came down to contacts and a little technology. Arianna said that YouTube revealed nothing about the video’s maker or his account. But the guy apparently left some turkey tracks with his email. And a Huffpo person knew someone who knew someone — and so on — who confirmed the identity of the mysterious video man, Phil De Vellis.
Then Arianna called him. She said he was genuinely surprised and thought he would never be unmasked. She offered him the chance to write a post about what he did and why. After some delay — when he apparently dealt with his employers and become a former employee — he came back and delivered that post.
Arianna is admiring of him. She said he put out a message without any desire for fame. She says he told no lies in the ad.
I look at it differently. I think he hid, the chicken, behind online anonymity. It’s also quite possible that he did his man Obama no favors, as some will think the candidate made this and will think less of him for starting the attacks so early.
But Arianna and I agree that the campaigns, which are all about control, are going to be less and less in control as more people use YouTube and the internet to get their own messages out.
(Crossposted at PrezVid.)
Some new posts of note over at my PrezVid vlog/blog:
* My interview with Loic Le Meur, adviser and vlogger for conservative French presidential candidate Nicolas Sarkozy, about the amazing video action happening in the campaign over there. For all the attention American candidates are getting in our YouTube election, the video scene in France’s election is far ahead, moreso on Sarkozy’s site than on that of his liberal opponent, Segolene Royal (you supply the accents, please).
* John Edwards tells WNYC’s Brian Lehrer that this is, indeed, the YouTube election … and he’s not bothered by all the hair jokes.
* Watch Hillary at Google.
Clever that Hillary Clinton has gone to Yahoo Answers to ask us our experience with health insurance. More than 37,000 answers at last count. Of course, she could have done this on her own site. But by going elsewhere — by being a distributed candidate — she gets more people, more attention. [Hat tip, Janice]
On the same day, polar political opposites Hillary Clinton and Sam Brownback announced their campaigns for the White House on internet video. Compare and contrast.
: LATER: The Times of London says Hillary is “the new Thatcher.”
Hillary Clinton is to be presented as America’s Margaret Thatcher as she tries to become the first woman to win the White House. As she entered the 2008 presidential race yesterday, a senior adviser said that her campaign would emphasise security, defence and personal strengths reminiscent of the Iron Lady.
“Their policies are totally different but they are both perceived as very tough,” said Terry McAuliffe, Clinton’s campaign chairman. “She is strong on foreign policy. People have got to know you are going to keep them safe.”
: The Bivings Report finds significance in Hillary’s call for conversation-as-campaign: The campaign bus becomes the cluetrain.