Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Stand and Deliver

Online video-sharing services like YouTube have played a prominent role in this year's presidential election, a fact further dramatized by Barack Obama's stirring speech on race in America yesterday. Thanks partly to the efforts of, the YouTube video of the speech on CNN, which was posted on one of the Barack Obama channels has garnered over two million views. As a rhetorician, I think it uses different tropes of comparison remarkably well, including at one point comparing his statements of his controversial minister, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, to the occasionally racist white grandmother with whom Obama grew up. Wright has become well-known thanks to YouTube for his support of Louis Farrakhan and fiery anti-Eurocentrism, but one of the strangest anti-Wright videos actually uses the Church Sign Generator to create its main digital effects. In the full text of Obama's speech on race, he mentions YouTube specifically.

Update: Apparently the McCain campaign has suspended one of its staffer for disseminating this mash-up video, "Is Obama Wright?," through Twitter.

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