Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Whitewater Rafting through the Video Stream

When Ford bombed with the Edsel in the late 1950s, they spent a fortune on PR research to find out the best way to deal with the disaster. The final suggestion: do nothing.

Sen Hillary Clinton's (D-NY) campaign took the Edsel approach to viral video of her singing the national anthem off-key in Iowa. The video spun around the Internet -- but never emerged in the major media. The campaign has to consider that a victory.

Campaigns are struggling to determine what streaming videos can be ignored and which ones must be responded to right away -- and how to best respond to it without being "George Allened."

The best, simple explanation: The national anthem was an honest, innocent attempt to sing the Star Spangled Banner. No insult -- just the same off-key effort most of us are familiar with. Sen George Allen's "macaca moment" was an honest, deliberate attempt to insult a Virginia voter with a racial slur -- and then he made excuses and lied about it as the story grew. (NYT)

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