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Ed Driscoll

You Can’t Always Come Back, Baby—Because YouTube Never Forgets

August 24th, 2011 - 2:56 pm

And now, a few words on the long-term dangers of deficit spending, from a rather unlikely source:

YouTube Preview Image

(Correct me if I’m wrong, but he wasn’t too crazy about President Bush’s foreign policy, either. Go figure.)

On his personal blog, after linking to the above clip, Moe Lane writes about a topic I’ve explored a few times myself over the years. Back in 2006, I dubbed it “The Internet Immortality Thesis,” a sort of corollary of Mickey Kaus’s beloved Feiler Faster Principle. Linking to the above clip, Moe notes that while we take YouTube and other video aggregation sites for granted today, YouTube itself was only founded in February of 2005.

This means that the 2004 presidential campaign was the last more or less fought under the old rules of battle, with strategies largely dictated by the MSM.  John Kerry’s campaign was the last to play under the old rules of the game, and he paid for it dearly. Even without YouTube, the Blogosphere devoured him, thanks to his Radical Chic past. As I wrote right around this time seven years ago (my how time flies on the Internet), Kerry’s campaign was very much “Built for a 1972 Media:”

Kerry’s massively invented narrative (“swashbuckling Swift Boat lieutenant”–as Steyn describes him–turned brave defender of soldiers’ rights) was built to survive the glancing scrutiny (if you can call it that) of a 1972-era media that consisted of three TV networks with half hour evening news shows, and a few liberal big city newspapers, all of which were staffed with journalists more or less largely sympathetic to Kerry’s leftist anti-American beliefs.

But between the Swift Boat Vets and the Blogosphere, there are far too many people examining Kerry’s story, and his “reporting for duty” edifice has crumbled.

Is that fair? We’ll, we’re deciding if we want the man to have the key to the most powerful arsenal ever assembled. If he can’t survive the scrutiny of the Blogosphere, who James Lileks recently described as an “obsessive sort with lots of time on their hands”, is he someone who should be trusted with this power?

The 1972-style media seems to think so.

When Joe Biden described Obama in early 2007 as “clean,” what he meant, once you translated the typically painful Biden-ese into English, was that Obama didn’t have the same sort of radical chic paper trail that could come back to bite him in the Barack as other previous black leftwing presidential candidates. (See also: Sharpton, Al.) The appearance of Rev. Wright and Bill Ayers began to complicate Obama’s narrative, but Obama’s handlers, the JournoList, the complicit MSM, and the financial meltdown all helped to clobber a sclerotic and supine McCain campaign that was terrified of being branded racist. (Well over four years of this slash and burn tactic by the left have greatly devalued the potency of the scarlet-R, but then, short-term tactics often blind the left to their more permanent implications.)

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