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Home  > Article

Youtube - The Left Wing Lapdog of the Internet

By John Fair

Youtube is changing the face of politics. Why some politicos are upset by the web's newest star and the possibilities it brings.

 

"YouTube is a campaign game-changer, shifting the dynamics of how to reach voters and build intimate relationships."

 

Conservative web users argue that their views are being suppressed on youtube. Even heavyweights like Republican Hollywood filmmaker David Zucker can be censored.

A short film by Zucker, who worked with "Scary Movie 4," "Airplane!" and other comedies, reportedly had been offered to the Republican Party for use as an ad, but it was declined. It appeared briefly on YouTube, until it was flagged as being "inappropriate for some users".

On the YouTube Web site, anyone can post videos. Above is a still from a montage of some of President Bush's speaking blunders posted as "Stupid Bush."

Michelle Malkin was first blogger to point out the leftist leanings of YouTube.

While bloggers played a role in the last presidential election, most advertising and message delivery still comes from campaigns, political parties and interest groups with enough money to bankroll a television blitz. But the YouTube revolution -- which includes dozens of sites such as Google Video, Revver and Metacafe -- could turn that on its head.

If any teenager can put up a video for or against a candidate, and persuade other people to watch that video, the center of gravity could shift to masses of people with camcorders and passable computer skills.

And if people increasingly distrust the mainstream media, they might be more receptive to messages created by ordinary folks.

"YouTube is a campaign game-changer, shifting the dynamics of how to reach voters and build intimate relationships," says Julie Supan, senior marketing director for the small, California-based firm, which by one measure now runs the 39th most popular Web site. "YouTube levels the playing field, allowing well-backed and less-known candidates to reach the same audience and share the same stage."

Even the seemingly simple act of posting footage of a politician's interview on "Meet the Press" or "The Daily Show" has a viral quality, because it can be seen by far more people than watched during a single broadcast.

The internet web site You Tube is a free and open area for internet users to post and view all kinds of video content. While there is a terms of service (TOS) that users must agree to before posting You Tube videos, the truth is that there is no real submission approval process. While posting copyright protected content is forbidden under the TOS, there is no mechanism to automatically screen for copyright protected material.

Detection of such material is left to the You Tube community, but, from the incredible number of protected videos that have appeared on the site, it seems clear that the TOS are not rigorously enforced. Of course, it is the responsibility of the users, not You Tube, to post material that is legal. Nevertheless, there have been some legal challenges to You Tube videos posted in recent months.

Contributors to YouTube seem to lean to the left. There are videos of verbal stumbles labeled "Stupid Bush" and "Bush Screwups," along with "President Bush Drunk," a bit on CBS's "Late Late Show" that slowed down a tape of the president so it appeared as if he were slurring his words.

Another shows Bush, in his Texas days, extending his middle finger. (One positive video features a group called the Right Brothers singing "Bush Was Right.")

Any registered user can form a group, and the site includes one called "Support George Bush," which says, "Don't be afraid of your beliefs -- most campuses nationwide have a liberal bias anyway . . . as does the media." But it doesn't crack the top 100 in terms of membership, unlike "Bush Sucks," which is designed "for everyone who hates Bush and all his Republican cronies."

John Fair is a noted producer and author. He currently provides content and commentary for CampusRights.net







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