Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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December 19, 2008

WORRYING ABOUT YOUTUBE.... The president said something interesting this week to RealClearPolitics' Tom Bevan and John McIntyre about politics and the online world.

"I am the very last President not to really have to worry about YouTube" while campaigning for the White House, President Bush told RealClearPolitics in an exclusive Oval Office interview last week, discussing the role the Internet and new media played in the November 4th elections.

"The 'gotcha' moments in my campaign in the past were few and far between," the President recalled, noting that with the advent of YouTube candidates have to be "really careful" what they say or "you're liable to see yourself on the Internet, along with 20 million other people."

I think I know what Bush means. He's had three serious campaigns in his professional political life -- 1994, 2000, and 2004. YouTube was created in February 2005. Bush was caught saying all kinds of bizarre things during his campaigns -- it's painful to think about how many -- and they made for great fodder on outlets like "The Daily Show," but distributing these humiliating moments became effortless after Bush's last race, not before.

That said, I strolled by YouTube this morning, just to see what happens when I do a search for "Bush," and found that one could spend many a day going through all of the cringe-worthy clips.

Bush is the "very last President not to really have to worry about YouTube"? Here's a crazy idea: maybe he should have worried about YouTube.

Steve Benen 11:35 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (12)

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When you don't give a crap about anything you don't worry about You tube too much.

Posted by: Rick on December 19, 2008 at 11:39 AM | PERMALINK

There were plenty of 'gotcha moments. The press just looked the other way so as to not make it so obvious.

Posted by: AJB on December 19, 2008 at 11:41 AM | PERMALINK

As long as the TV networks, cable news stations, major newspapers and newsmagazines, and talkradio stations remain the wholly-owned subsidiaries of the same corporatocracy and oligarchy that owns and operates the Republican party, Bush will have little to fear from YouTube. Obama, and every would-be progressive, not so much.
It's not so much the weapon as who wields it. And last time I checked, over 60% of Americans surveyed still thought Saddam Hussein was personally involved with 9/11. And blogs like this one were reporting that "only" about 45% thought Obama either was or might be involved in Blago's attempted sale of his former Senate seat -- as if that were a good thing.
News flash: when somewhere around half of the populace believe complete untruths about fundamental facts of the world, we're not living in a democracy.

Posted by: smartalek on December 19, 2008 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

I think it's a good sign that when you said "the president," it actually took me a moment to realize you were talking about Bush and not Obama.

Posted by: JRD on December 19, 2008 at 12:16 PM | PERMALINK

Letterman has pretty much run his own nightly YouTube-type moment for years with the "Great Moments in Presidential Speeches/History" bits, and I can't remember one of Bush's cringe/queasy-making idiocies that was a repeat. In fact, the comics -- known in earlier times as court jesters or King's Fools -- have done superb patriotic work these last years: Letterman, Stewart, Colbert's show in general and the magnificent and courageous WH Correspondents' Dinner, most recently Tina Fey. Stewart, from what I've seen, pretty much made the gotcha video with the rat-a-tat-tat staccato of MANY gotchas what it is today.

Posted by: SF on December 19, 2008 at 12:23 PM | PERMALINK

To say nothing about all the "Bushisms" calendars out there (one being on my desk).

Posted by: Hedley on December 19, 2008 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

Sorta on topic - but did anyone see the excerpt of an interview Bush gave in the last day or so (maybe to Charlie Gibson), where he sat slouched down in his seat?

Bush seems to have "checked out" a long, long time ago.

Posted by: phoebes in santa fe on December 19, 2008 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

by saying bush should have worried about youtube, you miss his point: once elected, he had nothing to worry about. his single goal had been achieved.

Posted by: angry young man on December 19, 2008 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

I agree with the comment by 'angry young man'. Once elected, what did Bush care about? You tube folks couldn't have unseated him. The democratic congress majority wouldn't dare impeach him for fear of reviving the 90's congressional warfare and now they won't want to, for fear of provoking filibusters during Obama's time.
The Right has the nation sewed up pretty tight, what with more than half the people getting everything about politics from the likes of Fox news. A literate population, this is not. Democracy definitely depends upon a literate and critically honest people.
Roy S.

Posted by: roy songin on December 19, 2008 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK

To be fair to the poor guy, he was both the last president not to have to worry and the first to have to worry.

Posted by: Jack Keefe on December 19, 2008 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK

He'll begin to care when the truthful moments Youtube portrays work against his library's think tanks' rewriting of history. Long live Youtube!

Posted by: Always Hopeful on December 19, 2008 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

The clear difference between old-fashioned MSM reportage and YouTube generation coverage shows we have had the wool pulled over our eyes for a very long time.

Apparently the press are just a bunch of toadies, but they will show their teeth to a Democratic president because they know it's important to be "fair and balanced".

Posted by: MarkH on December 19, 2008 at 5:27 PM | PERMALINK



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