Posts about prezvid

A bit of bragging

Pardon a moment of bragging but here’s a widget created by Daylife (where I’m a partner) with the Washington Post (which syndicates PrezVid, which I help write) to track media coverage of the candidates and the issues: which candidate is most associated (positively or negatively) with which issues. Go here to get the full effect.

The spin that sticks (where, full disclosure, I am a partner) gathers and analyzes the world’s news and that allows it to learn some fascinating things about the media’s coverage of the presidential race. Their latest looks at the quotes that were picked up most often by press. In short, these are the sound bites that resonated in the press this week, the spin that sticks. For each candidate:

Barack Obama: “All of our top military commanders recognize that there is no military solution in Iraq”
Hillary Rodham Clinton: “I do not think that a president should give away the bargaining chip of a personal meeting with any leader unless you know what you are going to get out of that”
Christopher Dodd: “You’re not going to have time in January of ‘09 to get ready for this job”
John Edwards: “Elizabeth is a strong woman who speaks her mind and I applaud her for that”
Mitt Romney: “We must not weaken our policy on Cuba until the Castro regime is dismantled, all political prisoners are freed and Cuba transitions to free and fair elections”
Sam Brownback: “It’s much more akin to the conversation that happens around the dining-room table in Nashua (N.H.) or at the state fair in Iowa rather than on a stage with a dozen candidates all trying to squeeze in their consultant-crafted sound bites”
Joe Biden: “This war must end, but there’s much more at stake as to how it ends”
John McCain: “We’re starting to succeed, and I think we’re seeing some shift in public opinion”
Bill Richardson: “I believe that if you leave any residual forces, then none of the peace that we are trying to bring can happen”
Mike Gravel: “I’m going to vote for myself”
Rudy Giuliani: “I took a city that had just about the highest illegality rates in the country and took it down to one of the lowest.”
Dennis Kucinich: “George, I’ve been standing here for the last 45 minutes, praying to God you were going to call on me”
Tom Tancredo: “I am encouraging the families of the victims to pursue the option of a lawsuit in light of this culpability”

While we’re at it, Ken Ellis, Daylife’s chief scientist, also looked at the most common quotes across all news sourcdes and topics since midnight Sunday. The context isn’t always apparent — which is actually what makes it more fun – so follow the links to each newsmaker’s Daylife page:

George W. Bush: “Clearly, the Iraqi government’s got to do more”
Billy Martin: “Mr. Vick has agreed to enter a plea of guilty to those charges and to accept full responsibility for his actions and the mistakes he has made”
Ruth Westheimer: “Bravo that the New England Journal of Medicine is publishing something like that. It’s about time”
John Charles: “People with cancer are surviving longer, elderly people are living longer”
Michael V. Hayden: “I thought the release of this report would distract officers serving their country on the front lines of a global conflict”
Marlon Byrd: “This is something freaky. You won’t see anything like this again for a long, long time. I am glad I was on this end of it”
Rob Moore: “It’s likely these miners may not be found”
Ozzie Smith: “It truly is an honor to stand with the very best defensive players”
Portia Simpson Miller: “Do not wait for the last minute to make the decision to move from where you are”
Bob Murray: “Had I known that this evil mountain, this alive mountain, would do what it did, I would never have sent the miners in here”

(Crossposted at Daylife)

Visualized news

Ellen Miller of the Sunlight Foundation wonders about extending the idea in the infrastructure project into her territory: tracking Congress.

I wonder what the analogue to what might be in our world of Congressional activity? A Google map of earmarks? A map that reflects where lawmakers have their fundraising events with lobbyists? (Yes, still permitted.) A Gawker Stalker effort that tracks lobbyists visits in the halls of Congress? A map that shows the land deals lawmakers have that also shows earmarks from the same members? A map of lawmakers daily schedules, each point representing the location of the group/business/person the lawmaker is meeting with (not the location of the meeting). More ideas?

How about mapping a politician’s donors to see how much comes from local support vs. outside interests (i.e., how much comes from Washington itself)?

How about mapping that against corporate headquarters in industries (e.g., someone on a health oversight committee gets lots of donations from New Jersey because there are so many pharma companies there)?

How about timelines showing how active each congressman is, visualizing their productivity: bills introduced, votes, and such?

How about mapping that against the timing of donations from various industries, showing the correlation (if not cause-and-effect)?

I’d like to animate the Washington Post’s wonderful candidate tracker against time to see who’s paying attention to what states when and what pays off.

What else?

Debates, freed

NBC and ABC have now joined CNN in freeing up the debates they air for our unrestricted use and remixing. Bravo. MoveOn heaps on the praise and after scolding them for not doing this I’ll now join in the heaping. Says MoveOn’s joint red-blue press release:

Today, a right-left alliance praised ABC and NBC for joining CNN in liberating presidential debate video – allowing footage to be legally shared, blogged, excerpted, and put on sites like YouTube.

ABC announced Sunday’s Republican debate footage would be “without restrictions on use” after airing live, joining CNN who earlier this year announced the same policy. NBC announced a similar policy, beginning with last night’s AFL-CIO Democratic debate – allowing any use of debate video if attributed to MSNBC, provided the primary intent is not commercial and that candidates don’t use NBC moderators in ads.

“ABC and NBC deserve praise for leveling the playing field–allowing everyday people to share key debate moments on blogs and YouTube just like the networks choose moments to show on the air,” said Adam Green, who leads media reform and Internet freedom campaigns for Civic Action. “It’s good for our democracy that TV networks are removing themselves as the sole deciders of which debate moments can have a life online.”

Mike Krempasky, co-founder of, said, “These networks are not only embracing new technology, but new communities. Their willingness to loosen the reins a bit will go a long way towards improving our politics as more and more people get involved.” . . .

CBS has not yet made a public statement about their policy, and does not have their first debate until December. Fox, which has hosted one Republican debate and is scheduled to host another in October, told USA Today that “it plans to treat the debates its airs like all its programs. In other words, it will not post the video for all to use.” [Fox told me that they would expect people would make fair use of their video – ed.]

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales said today, “Democracy works best when citizens are active participants in the debates. I encourage all media organizations to think about what kinds of content they could make available for re-use to allow people to get involved.”

In truth, YouTube users — including the candidates themselves — were already making liberal copious use of debate footage and the networks weren’t trying to stop them. But now there is an open acknowledgment that these debates are ours and that we will add value and perspective as we share and remix them.

(Crossposted from PrezVid)

Control freak pols v. the First Amendment

Seth at the Obstructionist [by the way, why don’t people use their names? aren’t blogs driven by ego?] makes a smartly proper parallel between two moves by control-freak politicians who want to manage our media: Mitt Romney wanting to put a V-chip in all our computers to wash our collective mouths out with soap and John Edwards wanting to stop the purchase of the Wall Street Journal because he doesn’t like the politics of the purchaser. They are, indeed, birds of a feather, even if they do not flock together: They want to control our media, what we read, what we own, what we say. That’s downright unAmerican.

Rushed again.

Rush, we have to stop meeting like this. I’m quoted on Limbaugh’s show again in the discussion over the YouTube CNN debate and various Republicans’ attempts to weasel out of it — and Rush’s attempt to find excuses for them. In full:

RUSH: The controversy here over the Republicans not participating in the upcoming YouTube CNN debate has led to lots of discussion, as some people think the Republicans are going to have this backfire on them because you gotta go out there and you gotta face the people. If you’re afraid to face the people, meaning the average Americans who upload their questions via video on YouTube, then you’re acting cowardly and so forth. Note the Democrats, to this day are scared to death to go on Fox, you got Barack Obama and Hillary in a meaningless argument over which thug around the world they will talk to when, the fact is, neither of them has the guts to go on Fox News for a debate. But you don’t hear that portrayed in the Drive-By Media. Now the Republicans say, “You know what, the office of the presidency is a little bit higher, has a little bit more prejudice than subjecting ourselves to questions from idiots dressed up as snowmen and so forth.” Now they’re saying it’s going to backfire on them, and this was a discussion on CNN’s Reliable Sources on Sunday with Howard Kurtz. He’s talking with Jeff Jarvis, media critic. Kurtz says, “They were supposed to, or at least was tentatively scheduled, a Republican presidential debate with CNN YouTube format for September. Now a lot of the Republicans are expressing reservations, have scheduling problems. Do you think the Republicans are being aware of being questioned by people who submit their queries through YouTube?”

JARVIS: I think they’re revealing themselves to be a bunch of fraidy cats. The Republicans for some reason have not done as much on the interpret and YouTube as the Democrats have, though in Europe it’s conservatives who are ahead on YouTube, so it’s not a bias thing as Rush Limbaugh tried to insist this week. I think the Republicans were trying to find some way to weasel out of this, and they used scheduling excuses, bias excuses, dignity excuses, but I think it’s going to come around. I’m going to bet it’s going to happen, and because they can’t avoid talking to us.

RUSH: They are not trying to avoid talking to you. By the way, they’re going to try to reschedule this thing for December, is what I’m hearing. I never said the Republicans shouldn’t do it because of bias. We all know there’s bias in the Drive-By Media. We all know that CNN’s going to choose questions based on their agenda, based on what they get submitted to them. We know there’s going to be bias. I suggested that it would be a rotten thing to do because it’s demeaning to the office. It lowers the office to the level of the lowest common denominator of pop culture. This is being presented as some revolutionary new thing, and it’s not. It’s no different than having an audience in there that you stand around, you run around with a microphone, let ’em ask questions and so forth, and you know how well that goes, and you know that they have never turned over, CNN nor any network has never turned over totally a debate to people in the audience. They occasionally go to people in the audience, like the ponytailed guy in Richmond, Virginia, back in 1992 who wanted all those candidates to explain to him how they were going to treat us like their children and so forth, it was gag me with a spoon time on that. If I were these professional journalists, I’d be a little upset that I’m being aced out of this. The Drive-By Media is in enough trouble as it is without their prestige being put on the line here by claiming that the debate will be better with these yahoos sitting out there with these cameras submitting their stuff via upload to YouTube.

So it is demeaning to the office to talk with the voters. Those good people on the last debate were “the lowest common denominator of pop culture.” Some man and party of the people that is.

Guardian column: YouTube debate

My Guardian column this week is about the YouTube debates, bringing together some of what I’ve talked about here. (Nonregistration version here.) Snippet:

The two media did not mix well. CNN displayed the YouTube videos in small squares on a big screen shot by a big camera – reduced, finally, to postage stamps on our screens. It seemed the network was ashamed to show the videos full-screen because they would not look like real TV. But, of course, that’s just the point. They weren’t real TV. They were bits of conversation.

TV doesn’t know how to have a conversation. TV knows how to perform. The event’s moderator, CNN’s Anderson Cooper, behaved almost apologetically about the intrusion of these real people, who speak without benefit of make-up. He interrupted the candidates constantly, allowing them shallow soundbites a fraction the length and depth of even a YouTube video.

So I wish we’d have the YouTube debate on YouTube and leave TV behind. A few of the candidates are beginning to answer voters’ questions and challenges directly, small-camera-to-small-camera. Thus they are opening up a dialogue between candidate and constituent that was not possible before the internet: a conversation in our new public square. That is how elections should be held, amid the citizens.

The GOP’s big internet mistake

The Republicans are, I believe, making a gigantic mistake in running away, scared, from the internet. They’re running away from voters — and their money.

The latest indication of their fear of the internet is their attempt to fink out on the YouTube/CNN Republican debate. The party line — as we see from Rush and others — is that YouTube is somehow biased. That’s absurd. That would be like the Democrats saying that mail is biased because the Republicans made the first, best use of it. If internet video is biased it is a damned bad sign for the right and mighty strange considering the leading work done in the medium by the conservatives in the UK, France, and Germany. Hugh Hewitt frets that listening to YouTube will open up Republicans to cheap shots. That’s merely convenient paranoia. They’re looking for excuses to stay away from this dance.

The Republicans are scared of the internet. They are scared of us.

Giuliani has, as this blog as pointed out frequently, run away from the internet and interacting with voters there at every opportunity: It shows in his pathetic internet fundraising. Patrick Ruffini, former Giuliani internet guy (we can see why that’s former) frets that the Republicans will be outraised by $100 million because of this attitude. Meanwhile, Mitt Romney is sniffing snottily at the quality of the questions on YouTube… from citizens. John McCain has been stiff and scared in his videos. Sam Brownback has hardly made any videos and the ones he has made are as stiff as a Kansas silo. The entire party has left the internet to Ron Paul. And he has taken it and run.

In the end, this is not only short-sighted tactically but also essentially insulting to the American people. We are on the internt. Come talk with us. What, you’re too scared to? Big, tough terrorists don’t scare you but we do? Come on, boys, we don’t bite. But we do vote.

(Crossposted from PrezVid)