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

Nearly Six Million Views on Obama's WHCA Jokes

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, May 3 2011

Barack Obama is having a history-making week in yet another way.

On Saturday night, President Obama delivered a humorous speech at the White House Correspondents Dinner at the same time, we now know, he was overseeing the operation that would lead to the death of Osama bin Laden. Obama got big laughs from the crowd. "My fellow Americans, mahalo," he opened, before poking fun at everyone from Michelle Obama, Joe Biden, and his potential 2012 rivals. He planted idea that that Minnesota Republican Michelle Bachmann was born in Canada -- "Yes, Michelle, this is how it starts" -- dinged Mitt Romney for the rumor that he passed universal health care in Massachusetts, and complimented Donald Trump for having the courage to, when push came to shove, fire Gary Busey from "The Celebrity Apprentice."

Source: YouTube

YouTube's Kevin Allocca points out that the 19-minute video of that speech is bringing in historic numbers. "Looking back at the viewing data since 2008, there are few other speeches overall that have more views," writes Alloca. "In general, views for CSPAN YouTube videos hit an all-time high on Sunday, 4.4 million views, which were mostly for that speech. That's roughly double the previous high from January 20th, 2009, Barack Obama's inauguration day." The views on Obama's WHCA performance are now just under 6 million. That's a multiple of previous recent WHCA presidential speeches. But another point of comparison: Obama's 2008 race speech from the campaign has been viewed 6.7 million times on YouTube in the three years it has been up.

"President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, along with members of the national security team, receive an update on the mission against Osama bin Laden in the Situation Room of the White House, May 1, 2011." White House photo by Pete Souza.

Also pulling in major numbers for Obama online: that quickly becoming iconic Pete Souza photo from the Situation Room as Obama and other administration figures pursued bin Laden. It's pulled in 1.4 million views since it was posted Sunday.

News Briefs

RSS Feed thursday >

First POST: Blogrolling

How Canada spies on its citizens' web behavior; with uber-blogger Andrew Sullivan quitting the field, whither political blogs; how big data is helping prevent homelessness in NYC; and much, much more. GO

wednesday >

First POST: Jargon Busters

Changes in the RNC's tech team; big plans for digital democracy in the UK; how people in Cuba are making their own private Internet; and much, much more. GO

tuesday >

First POST: Stalking

How the DEA tracks millions of America motorists; will the Senate enter the 21st century?; Obama veteran Jeremy Bird's role in the upcoming Israeli election; and much, much more. GO

monday >

First POST: Video Stars

How the White House hit a home run on YouTube post-State of the Union; why the Barrett Brown sentencing casts a chill on online security research; how media producers use Crowdtangle to optimize their Facebook audiences; and much, much more. GO

friday >

First POST: Moneyballed

The Gates Foundation's new "global citizens" email database, and why it's a terrible idea; why young people like the NSA more than older people; using open data about NYC taxi drivers to ID Muslims; and much, much more. GO

More