Sunday, March 02, 2008

Man on the Street

Man-on-the-street interviews are often used in the broadcast media to provide a sense of the Zeitgeist and can often pad network programming when there isn't enough b-roll or footage of expert talking heads to fill the alloted time. Man-on-the-street interviews can also be used for comic purposes, to demonstrate widespread ignorance about a topic, sometimes in ways that reaffirm cultural stereotypes about the parochialism of Americans about world events.

In the case of the campaign of Barack Obama, these man-on-the-street interviews are frequently used to show that Obama's supporters can not point to specific policy positions or legislative achievements when asked to explain their enthusiasm for the candidate. This kind of footage also appears on shows that satirize American political life on networks like Comedy Central as well.

However, this video about "technical specifics" from one Obama supporter has been watched more than six hundred thousand times as a kind of counter-case.

The young man, Derrick Ashong, also made a vlog-style posting explaining a little bit about his own family's history and his emotional attachment to the candidate here.

Thanks to Patricia Hartz for the links.

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