Saturday, March 4

Crooks & Liars video blog on Chicago Tribunes top 50

Good to see the vlog Crooks & Liars on the Chicago Tribune's list of the 50 best websites. It's a great example of using fair use and video blogging to recontextualize the political debate, and by recontextualize I mean deconstruct it's absurdities and eccentricities.

From:Chicago Tribune | Steven Johnson
Crooks & Liars ( Video links to all the cable news nonsense that goes on during the day. Usually has clips of politicians embarrassing themselves.
Crooks & Liar's has been getting an increasing amount of attention, even beating out Rocketboom, Mobuzz and other popular vlogs for a Bloggy (or was that a Webby I can't remember and their websites are unforetunatly very poor.)

The political debate is no longer ruled by only cable and sattelite powers. In fact I bet it burns them to no end any punk with a blog and some bandwidth can now pick apart their absurdity piece by piece. Who are we to dare think we should have an equal say in the political debate. :)

Me I'm just glad we can have a little more depth in the national political debate than the talking points, soundbytes and polarized amped up news shows pioneered by CNN & Fox which favor controversy over substance. Pundants beware, your mistakes and misdeeds are no longer relegated to the vaults.

This is just one of many great examples why the Broadcast Flag must be shot down. Like it or not the national political debate has been dominated by television and yet everyone has as much a right to participate in that debate as Rupert Murdock. The broadcast flag would put a litteral technological wall around television, and under a strict interpretation of the DMCA it would be illegal to break the copy protection scheme's and post such TV clips as Crooks and Liars does for the sake of discussion and debate. This is the very reason why fair use law exists and corporate rights should not userp citizens rights. These clips which are accessible and referenceable from anywhere in the world are a very important and understated part of the national political debate and will become much more so by 2008.

Politicians are now vlogging and podcasting. I can't name them all, but have you checked out Barack Obama's Podcast or Al Gore's videoblog? I know there's dozens, perhaps even a hundred more out there already but we've barely just begun to scratch the surface of a huge change in national political discourse.

By fundamentally changing the mechanisms by which national political discourse takes place we are fundamentally changing the power structure ant the political process. We saw it most obviously with the rise of a political dark horse, John Edwards rising quickly from relative obscurity to national poltical power in 2004. Even though he did not win his parties endorsement for presidential candidate it marked a change in politics as he most famously gained huge groundswell through a grass roots fundraising effort in large part do to blogging and the website Specifically, the $50 million he raise was not only a new record, but it was raised primarily in small contributions of fifty dollars or less.

As dynamic as the change was in 2004 it's going to be a whole new political process in 2008 with the advent of podcasting and video blogging. Never before have politicians been able to speak directly to their constiuents regardless of place and time. The impact of widespread and near limiteless direct discourse will in combination with new media undoubtedly heighten the level of political discussion.

Much like blogging I expect these new mediums of podcasting and video blogging to really come into their own in an election year.

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