Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Opinionator

September 12, 2007, 4:17 pm
Political Mash-Up, Half-Baked
By Chris Suellentrop
Tags: , ,

Tonight’s presidential “mash-up” debate, sponsored by The Huffington Post, Slate and Yahoo! is neither a debate nor a mash-up, complains National Review’s Jim Geraghty at his Campaign Spot blog.

Geraghty links to a Wired story by Sarah Lai Stirland that explains the problem:

Mashups typically involve the combination of two disparate elements — for example, metropolitan crime data and Google maps, or rapper Jay Z’s The Black Album and the Beatles’ The White Album — to make new creations such as chicagocrime.org or Danger Mouse’s The Grey Album.

To that end, Yahoo said as recently as Friday that it would upload the raw footage from the online debate to its own web-based video editing service Jumpcut, to make it easy for the footage to be spliced and diced as citizen editors saw fit. “Users will be able to create their own mashups and post the footage onto their websites afterwards — that’s for the hardcore fans who want to engage with this video,” spokesman Brian Nelson told Wired News.

But on Monday, Nelson called back to say the company had changed its mind. Instead the “mashup page” will only [let] citizens pick and choose which candidates they want to hear from on particular issues, by pointing and clicking on a web interface.

Geraghty concludes, “So in the end, users can… watch 15-minute interviews with the Democratic presidential candidates conducted by PBS host Charlie Rose. Thrilling!”

(Click the following link to read six articles published on the Times op-ed page last month as responses to the question, “What would a real new-media debate look like?”)

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September 12, 2007, 9:50 am
MoveOn’s General Disagreement
By Chris Suellentrop
Tags: , ,

Time magazine political columnist Joe Klein thinks the full-page MoveOn.org advertisement, which referred to “General Betray Us,” in Monday’s New York Times was “morally and politically outrageous.”

“MoveOn has handed the Bush Administration a major victory — at a moment when all attention should be focused on whether we should continue to commit U.S. troops to this disaster,” Klein writes at Swampland, the Time political blog. “Just nauseating.” (Gen. Petraeus hadn’t yet told Senator John Warner, Republican of Virginia, that he wasn’t sure whether the Iraq war was making America safer when Klein wrote his blog post.)

Klein thinks the flap over the advertisement will be more than a one-day story. He writes:

Usually the Republicans are the ones who’ve tried to change topics at a crucial Iraq moment…but MoveOn usurped that gambit this time. This is going to put the Democrats on the defensive. They’re going to have to answer questions like the one posed by the odious Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida: Will you disassociate yourselves from this? The Presidential candidates will be asked…and they will have to either disassociate themselves from MoveOn (which the party’s base won’t like) or associate themselves with calling General Petraeus a traitor. And make no mistake: One who betrays us is a traitor.

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