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Viral Videos From DNC08 in Denver

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, September 2 2008

While network TV has cut back its coverage of the national political conventions to an hour a night, and within that hour we often get more of the network "stars" bloviating than straightforward speechifying from the convention floor, the internet is, as my colleague Andrew Rasiej likes to say, "the Tivo of our times." A glance back at the speeches and media moments in Denver and their YouTube views suggests a couple of episodes must have strong word-of-mouth, since people are going to watch the stuff they heard about but missed. These include:

John Kerry's speech, which was widely praised as one of the best of his career: More than 55,000 views on BarackObama's YouTube channel and nearly 45,000 views on TPMtv's channel on YouTube, more than any other convention speech featured there.

On C-SPAN's YouTube channel, the top videos from Denver are, in order, Obama's acceptance speech (241K views), Michelle Obama's speech (173K), and Bill Clinton's speech (153K). No surprises there. But number 4 is Rep. Dennis Kucinich's boisterous address, which occurred well before prime-time, but has 124,000 views on C-SPAN's channel on YouTube alone, and probably another 130,000 from others who uploaded his speech.

Despite some positive buzz on the blogs, neither Mark Warner's keynote nor Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer's feisty speech show up on the C-SPAN or Obama YouTube channels as drawing unexpected interest. Warner has about 15,000 views on those two channels combined; while Schweitzer has about 7,000 (plus another 40,000 on the DemConvention channel).

As far as media moments go, it's harder to zero in on the viral videos from Denver, but here's the one that stands out above the rest: Patrick Buchanan raving about Barack Obama's acceptance speech. More than 160,000 views so far. I guess the Nixon-goes-to-China aspect of this TV moment is pretty irresistible. This video of a Clinton delegate, an African-American woman, describing how upset she is with Hillary's withdrawal, also struck a chord, with over 100,000 views so far.