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 monday >

First POST: Showdown

How demonstrators in Hong Kong are using mobile tech to route around government control; will the news penetrate mainland China?; dueling spin from Dems and Reps on which party's tech efforts will matter more in November; and much, much more. GO

friday >

Pirate MEP Crowdsources Internet Policy Questions For Designated EU Commissioners

While the Pirate Party within Germany was facing internal disputes over the last week, the German Pirate Party member in the European Parliament, Julia Reda, is seeking to make the European Commission appointment process more transparent by crowdsourcing questions for the designated Commissioner for Digital Economy & Society and the designated Vice President for the Digital Single Market. GO

First POST: Dogfood

What ethical social networking might look like; can the iPhone promise more privacy?; how Obama did on transparency; and much, much more. GO

thursday >

First POST: Sucks

How the FCC can't communicate; tech is getting more political; Facebook might see a lawsuit for its mood manipulation experiment; and much, much more. GO

wednesday >

First POST: Wartime

A bizarre online marketing effort targets actress Emma Watson; why the news media needs to defend the privacy of its online readers; Chicago's playbook for civic user testing; and much, much more. GO

tuesday >

First POST: Climate Changes

Google ends its support for ALEC; how network-centric organizing powered the big People's Climate march; is it time to retire the term "blogosphere"; and much, much more. GO

More