Posts about prezvid

God on Huckabee’s side?

Incredible that this has gotten next-to-no coverage but at Falwell’s Liberty University, Mike Huckabee claimed divine providence as the reason for his rise in the polls. More and the video at Prezvid.

: LATER: Lots and lots of comment over at Comment is Free.

Whom do you Digg?

Digg, the social news site, has created pages for all the candidates and already, there’s a rush to follow and befriend them. Tops on the Republican side: Ron Paul by a gigantic margin (they are a tenacious bunch, those Paulites… or are they the Ronnies?), followed by Huckabee, Thompson, Romney, then Giuliani. On the Democratic side: Obama followed by Kucinich (!), Gravel (!), Edwards, Clinton, and Biden.

True to form, Diggers find the stories that are overlooked in mainstream media. They’re also generally befriending the candidates overlooked by MSM.

(Crossposted from PrezVid.)

TechCrunch, a stop on the way to the White House

If you ask me — and you didn’t, so I will — it’s pretty damned incredible that Michael Arrington and TechCrunch is getting interviews with presidential candidates: McCain today; Romney earlier. It’s just a blog. It’s just a tech blog. But it’s powerful and has an important audience in a critical industry. So candidates are paying attention. That and 10Questions and the YouTube debates are evidence of a political process that’s just beginning to open up.

Fox fights free speech

Incredible. Fox goes after John McCain’s campaign to cease and desist use of a clip from the last debate that has the Fox logo on it.

It would be shocking enough for Fox to go after a citizen who put this online — and we should all fight for that citizen’s right to do so. It’s all the more shocking that Fox is going after a presidential candidate. It’s triply shocking that Fox is going after Republican McCain.

This precisely why we have been fighting for the networks to assure that they would make debate footage available to all of us. When I spoke with FoxNews about their policy in May, they said they would abide by fair comment and use. Well, as Stanford’s Lawrence Lessig has pointed out often, this is the problem with fair use: you can argue about it (and have to hire attorneys to do so).

McCain, to his credit, is telling Fox to shove it.

But one way to solve this is for all the candidates to pledge that they will not appear on any network’s debate unless that network frees the footage for all candidates and citizens. It is, after all, our election.

The AP reports:

In the ad, McCain is shown at the debate saying: “A few days ago, Senator Clinton tried to spend $1 million on the Woodstock concert museum.”

“Now my friends, I wasn’t there. I’m sure it was a cultural and pharmaceutical event,” he says. “I was tied up at the time.” It was a referance to the 5 1/2 years McCain spent in a North Vietnamese prison.

The Fox News logo is in the corner of the ad.

But Fox News bars candidates from using debate clips in ads, and officials there sent a cease and desist letter to McCain. McCain rejected the request, arguing that he is within the law’s “fair use” rights to use an 18-second clip of a 90-minute debate.

Here’s the commercial. Take that, Fox:

(Had the wrong commercial up before; corrected now.)
(Crossposted from Prezvid, where there’s lots of interesting stuff lately.)

Another debate

I’m pround to be a cosponsor, via Buzzmachine and Prezvid, of 10 Questions, an attempt to hold one more Presidential debate but to do it better this time. It’s elegantly simple: You tape the questions. We, the people, select the best ones. They are submitted to the candidates. They respond. We grade their responses. Have at ’em.

The Peter Pan of politics

Here is another example of either lazy or agenda-laded — or both — political reporting in the Times: Adam Nagourney’s exercise in apparent wishful thinking as he muses on Barack Obama attracting young voters. On Obama:

He has clearly struck a chord among younger voters. And his campaign has made what seems to be the most sophisticated effort of any of the Democrats to reach out to them, taking steps like sending recruiting teams to Iowa high schools and trying to ensure that New Hampshire college students who might be out of state on primary day get absentee ballots.

What will this mean in the end?

Now that’s a rhetorical question. Clearly, Nagorney doesn’t know and so one wonders why the story was done. The impression was certainly out there that Obama had younger supporters and that’s the premise of the story. But Nagourney’s first fact belies that:

The truth of the matter is that every four years – as sure as a sunset – stories appear about a surge of interest among younger voters in presidential politics, typically predicting a jump in turn-out that will benefit one campaign or another. It rarely turns out to be true: the percentage of voters under 30 in the total electorate was basically unchanged between 2000 and 2004– 17 percent, according to surveys of voters leaving the polls. Polls taken by The Times and CBS News last month suggest that there is no difference in the level of support between Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton among younger Democratic voters, though they view Mr. Obama slightly more favorably.

One wonders again why the story was done, then. But Nagourney goes on to sell his now-questionable premise:

But could this finally be the year – and this the candidate – that produces the ever-expected burst of interest among younger voters? Polls aside, the kind of crowds Mr. Obama is drawing – and a walk through his campaign headquarters in Des Moines – certainly suggest that some young people have taken a strong interest in his candidacy.

Polls aside. Facts aside. History aside. Damnit, he’s determined to write this story, to push the image of Obama as the political Pied Piper. He moves to meaningless observations:

At 46, Mr. Obama has just the slightest streak of gray hair, no creases in his face and works out every day to keep trim. Democrats may debate whether his youthfulness makes it tough for him to come across as presidential; at the least, it means that he does not come across as parental, at least not to the newly voting age crowd.

The story is utterly uninformative. And I have to wonder whether there is an agenda here: another slap at frontrunner Clinton or an effort to boster the flagging Obama. In either case, I wish that we could have a dialogue with Nagourney over this story to ferret out the motive and method behind stories such as this.

I posted this comment on the story:

In one breath, you quote polls saying that there is essentially no difference between Obama and Clinton in youth’s support of them.

In the next breath, you try to argue that Obama is the youth candidate with little more to back up your contention — is it a wishful one? — than your vague, generalized observations about his hair and fitness and tactics, still unproven.

Why was this story written? What is the news here?

Spoonfed citizens

In this video from last night’s debate, Barack Obama makes politics a bit too cause-and-effect, in my book.

Sound bite: “One of the things the next president has to do is to stop fanning people’s fears. If we spend all our time feeding the American people fear and conflict and division then they become fearful and conflicted and divided. If we feed them hope and we feed them reason and tolerance then they will become tolerant and reasonable and hopeful.”

Isn’t that essentially insulting? We are politicians’ empty vessels. We are molded by their rhetoric?

The Presidency isn’t a PBS self-improvement show. It’s an executive job.

Sounds like Obama has been hanging out with Oprah too much.

Next he’ll get elected by giving us all free cars.


The Yahoo Presidential Mush-up

The much vaunted Yahoo/Huffington Post/Slate presidential debate “mash-up” is a pathetic insult to the voters that is years behind in internet culture.

According to’s Sarah Lai Stirland, it was Yahoo who wussied out and decided not to put up the footage up on its mash-up video site for voters and viewers to remix.

No mashing here. Just more mush from the wimps.

So we end up with watching Charlie Rose and Bill Maher asking the candidates questions on the usual topics — do we have a shortage of this on TV debates? Where’s the interactivity? Well, we get to pick which videos to watch. Oooh, the freedom. It’s like a bad children’s museum: ‘Here, children, push this button. You won’t do any harm.’

We should be the ones asking the questions. We should be the ones selecting the questions. We should be the ones editing the questions.

Instead, they give us buttons to push. What an insult.

I am shocked that Huffington Post and Slate did not pull out of this venture when Yahoo ruined it. They should have. It’s yet more proof how behind Yahoo has left itself. The last old-media company, that’s what I call them. But they’re even older in mind and spirit than NBC, CNN, and ABC, which at least opened up their debate footage for us to reuse. Yahoo doesn’t put such an open license on this content. Yahoo doesn’t even make it easy for us to embed the videos. You can’t do it on their alleged “mash-up” page, only if you find the video on their video site, which isn’t easy with their bad search. Here’s one:

Huffington Post, Slate, and the candidates should insist that Yahoo make good on its word and make this video available for us to remix. It will still be pathetic — since we did not get the chance to ask and select the questions — but it would be just a little less pathetic.

LATER: I just posted this to Huffingtonpost, ending with this suggestion:

But I do wish that you would force them to enable the mash-up. For you see, it’s not just about us watching. It’s about us producing and broadcasting. We should be able to make our mash-ups and show them to the world. Indeed, why not go one step farther and take all the video from all the debates — since they are open to our unrestricted reuse — and put them together so we can produce and publish the ultimate mashups from the election so far? And then we can also see what questions have note been asked and answered. Then we can ask them the next time.

UPDATE: I just got email from Arianna Huffington saying that users will be able to take their playlists to Yahoo’s Jumpcut and then embed the results in their blogs. This is supposed to happen this afternoon. More later.

UPDATE: Here is the mashup page.