The Huffington Post is featuring a post by the man who blasted Hillary Clinton with an edit of the Apple Computer spinoff of George Orwell's anti-authoritarian "1984." The creator of the video is the former Internet communications director for Sherrod Brown's 2006 Senate campaign and until today was employed by Blue State Digital; a company that provides internet technology services to many presidential campaigns, including that of Barack Obama.
The video creator is Philip de Vellis and he explains his reasoning as follows:
Hi. I'm Phil. I did it. And I'm proud of it.
I made the "Vote Different" ad because I wanted to express my feelings about the Democratic primary, and because I wanted to show that an individual citizen can affect the process. There are thousands of other people who could have made this ad, and I guarantee that more ads like it--by people of all political persuasions--will follow.
This shows that the future of American politics rests in the hands of ordinary citizens.
The campaigns had no idea who made it--not the Obama campaign, not the Clinton campaign, nor any other campaign. I made the ad on a Sunday afternoon in my apartment using my personal equipment (a Mac and some software), uploaded it to YouTube, and sent links around to blogs.
The specific point of the ad was that Obama represents a new kind of politics, and that Senator Clinton's "conversation" is disingenuous. And the underlying point was that the old political machine no longer holds all the power.
Another point to be made is how this single event helped expose the bias and hand wringing of a few in the mainstream media who once again got caught peddling silly conspiracy theories that the GOP was behind this "dirty trick"
"Robin, the ultimate conspiracy theory, some Democrats think a Republican operative could be responsible because it not only makes Hillary Clinton look bad but Barack Obama look bad, since it's an attack ad."
ROBIN ROBERTS: "Something to think about."
The San Francisco Chronicle also went down the GOP conspiracy track.
Chris Finnie, a Santa Cruz-based Democratic operative, said the widespread coverage given to the mashup in GOP circles suggests the ad could have come from a Republican operative and smacks of "Swift Boat" tactics used in 2004 against Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry.
"It killed two birds with one stone," she said, by sharply attacking Clinton as being a political drone and smudging "Obama's positioning as the 'Mr. Clean' of politics. This is politics as usual, and by running a smear ad that is associated with him, it puts a dent in that image."
For the most part I believe that most media outlets got it right. Many were quick to point out that this is a statement about the impact that blogs, YouTube and independent internet outlets will have on this and future political campaigns. The mainstream media is no longer the single source of information and they often find themselves on the outside looking in. They no longer control the message and many of them don't like that simple fact.
Like it or not it is here to stay. George Orwell maintained that he wrote 1984 to alter other people’s idea of the kind of society they should strive after. In this case he probably couldn't be happier.
You may view the video ad: here
Terry Trippany is the editor at Webloggin.