Personal Democracy Plus Our premium content network. LEARN MORE You are not logged in. LOG IN NOW >

Daily Digest: McCain's Online Drubbing

BY Joshua Levy | Friday, May 30 2008

The Web on the Candidates

  • John McCain is “taking a serious drubbing” on YouTube, writes the Los Angeles’ Times’ James Rainey, who cites video after video on YouTube that attack McCain for being less than a straight-talker. “Six of the top 10 videos returned by a ‘John McCain’ YouTube search Thursday pegged the 71-year-old as inconsistent, extreme, wooden or a combination of the three,” Rainey writes. Ouch. We continue to ask: where is the voter-generated video in support of McCain?

  • In his invaluable weekly report from across the political blogosphere, the Blogometer’s Ian Faerstein analyzes the fallout from Barack Obama’s “gaffe” in which Obama said that his uncle helped liberate Auschwitz (in fact, his great-uncle helped liberate Buchenwald). The story broke on the conservative blog Ace of Spades HQ and quickly gained traction among conservative blogs, eventually leading to a retraction from Obama. But Obama’s considerable army of online supporters pushed back, and has far as we can tell the story has fizzled.

  • Writing at Future Majority, blogger alicecheshirecat takes stock of the outdated Franking Rules that limit the outreach Members of Congress can make to their constituents. She suggests that the Hill get hip to wikis, which could help usher in a new wave of government-citizen interaction. When will Congress enter the 21st Century?

  • Here’s a reminder that if you live in New York it’s your duty to go to the Forum on Participation and Politics Online next Wednesday, June 4, at 6pm, at the NYU Law School. It’s sponsored by the good folks behind OneWebDay and will feature a knockout panel, including techPresident’s Andrew Rasiej and Zephyr Teachout and citizen journalism guru Jay Rosen, and it will be moderated by PdF’s Allison Fine. Go here for more details.

  • A personal/professional note: today is my last full day as associate editor at techPresident and Personal Democracy Forum. My good friend and colleague Nancy Scola will be taking over the Daily Digest baton for the next few months. I’m confident that this daily roundup of snark, geekiness, and tech/politics obsession will be safe, and even more informative, in her hands. As for me, I’m moving on to Change.org, where I’ll be the managing editor of a social issue blog network that will launch later this summer. It’s an exciting move, but my departure from PdF is bittersweet; I love these guys. Expect to see me poking my head in from time to time.

    Kids, please be nice to Nancy and continue to send your tips, suggestions, and love to techpres AT personaldemocracy DOT com or to Nancy at nancy AT personaldemocracy DOT com.

The Candidates on the Web

  • Newt Gingrich is becoming quite the online presence. Yesterday on The Next Right Patrick Ruffini reported that Gingrich’s American Solutions organization had gathered more than 100,000 signatures in 48 hours on a petition for domestic oil exploration. Ruffini is excited about the attention the petition’s getting, but points out that the long-term value of these petitions lies in the MoveOn-like ability to “galvanize activists around a cause using viral marketing.” So far, the right hasn’t been so good at that part. Maybe this is a turning point.

In Case You Missed It…

We've reposted a first-person account from Bruce Wilson of the making of the viral video of Pastor John Hagee that precipitated Senator John McCain's decision to renounce Hagee's endorsement of his candidacy. Wilson is a co-founder of the E Pluribus Media blogger collective.

In this week’s favorite political videos, the Democratic candidates show their inner Puerto Rican-ness by dancing in the streets, drinking the local beer, and speaking accented Spanish. We’ll see how they fare on Sunday. Also, a curious Memorial Day message from John McCain and a glimpse at Hillary Clinton’s early life in elementary school.

Transparency and Public Shaming: Pakistan Tackles Tax Evasion

In Pakistan, where only one in 200 citizens files their income tax return, authorities published a directory of taxpayers' details for the first time. Officials explained the decision as an attempt to shame defaulters into paying up.

GO

wednesday >

Facebook Seeks Approval as Financial Service in Ireland. Is the Developing World Next?

On April 13 the Financial Times reported that Facebook is only weeks away from being approved as a financial service in Ireland. Is this foray into e-money motivated by Facebook's desire to conquer the developing world before other corporate Internet giants do? Maybe.

GO

The Rise and Fall of Iran's “Blogestan”

The robust community of Iranian bloggers—sometimes nicknamed “Blogestan”—has shrunk since its heyday between 2002 – 2010. “Whither Blogestan,” a recent report from the University of Pennsylvania's Iran Media Program sought to find out how and why. The researchers performed a web crawling analysis of Blogestan, survey 165 Persian blog users, and conducted 20 interviews with influential bloggers in the Persian community. They found multiple causes of the decline in blogging, including increased social media use and interference from authorities.

GO

tuesday >

Weekly Readings: What the Govt Wants to Know

A roundup of interesting reads and stories from around the web. GO

Russia to Treat Bloggers Like Mass Media Because "the F*cking Journalists Won't Stop Writing"

The worldwide debate over who is and who isn't a journalist has raged since digital media made it much easier for citizen journalists and other “amateurs” to compete with the big guys. In the United States, journalists are entitled to certain protections under the law, such as the right to confidential sources. As such, many argue that blogging should qualify as journalism because independent writers deserve the same legal protections as corporate employees. In Russia, however, earning a place equal to mass media means additional regulations and obligations, which some say will lead to the repression of free speech.

GO

Politics for People: Demanding Transparent and Ethical Lobbying in the EU

Today the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU) launched a campaign called Politics for People that asks candidates for the European Parliament to pledge to stand up to secretive industry lobbyists and to advocate for transparency. The Politics for People website connects voters with information about their MEP candidates and encourages them to reach out on Facebook, Twitter or by email to ask them to sign the pledge.

GO

monday >

Security Agencies Given Full Access to Telecom Data Even Though "All Lebanese Can Not Be Suspects"

In late March, Lebanese government ministers granted security agencies unrestricted access to telecommunications data in spite of some ministers objections that it violates privacy rights. Global Voices reports that the policy violates Lebanon's existing surveillance and privacy law, Law 140, but has gotten little coverage from the country's mainstream media.

GO

friday >

In Google Hangout, NYC Mayor de Blasio Talks Tech and Outer Borough Potential

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio followed the lead of President Obama and New York City Council member Ben Kallos Friday by participating in a Google Hangout to help mark his first 100 days in office, in which the conversation focused on expanding access to technology opportunities through education and ensuring that the needs of the so-called "outer boroughs" aren't overlooked. GO

More