Ed Driscoll.com Ed Driscoll.com
The Macaca Boomerang

Greetings From Minneapolis! I have arrived; the convention may now proceed. Unless of course it doesn't.

But if it does (and hopefully that means that Hurricane Gustav's force will have greatly diminished before hitting land), this clip should aired on the Xcel Jumbotron in prime time and referenced by several candidates in their speeches:

Ed Morrissey asks:

This also prompts a question of ethics, which all of us should consider carefully. Should private conversations between politicians get videotaped surreptitiously like this? If so, then perhaps Fowler and many, many others should take better care about having a laugh at the misery of others, even among friends.
Plenty of traditional liberal journalists have turned off the record remarks of politicians and celebrities into major stories. (Which is ultimately part of what earned them their "drive-by media" sobriquet from Rush.) As Roger Ailes noted several years ago:
Jimmy Carter's famous confession that he sometimes had lust in his heart for women other than his wife was uttered to a Playboy magazine journalist as he was leaving Carter's home at the conclusion of the formal interview.
And there are numerous additional examples of such moments, a few of which are described in the above link.

But as is its wont, the Internet amps these sorts of moments not up to 11, but 1100. George Allen's Senatorial re-election in 2006 was sunk by his "Macaca" gaffe, which was part of a coordinated effort by the left to videotape Republican candidates during every possible appearance (and then some), waiting for any sort of gaffe that could be turned into a YouTube clip and exploited by a friendly news organization such as the Washington Post, which ran over 100 stories on Allen's gaffe in the space of about less than three months, in which he apparently mispronounced his campaign staff's nickname of the young mohawk-haired James Webb campaign operative assigned to tape him.

Whatever the explanation, Allen's gaffe, given massive exposure from the Washington Post and other quarters in the MSM ended his senatorial career, which ultimately lost GOP control of the Senate, and sank Allen's presidential ambitions. In its wake, Markos Moulitsas of the Daily Kos gleefully wrote:

Every appearance by a top Republican official or candidate should be recorded. Every one of them.

All it takes is one "Macaca" incident to transform a race or create one where one didn't exist. As the Montana incident blogged earlier today showed, a video can knock out prospective candidates before they even enter.

And this is no longer about finding one big blunder to put on a campaign commercial. It's about using video and (free) technologies like YouTube to build narratives about opponents, using their own words, at their own events.

A couple of years ago, Jonah Goldberg wrote:
Liberals are geniuses at unleashing social panics because A) it never occurs to them that their motives are anything but pure and B) because they are almost exclusively focused on short term tactics. And yet they are invariably shocked when these moral frenzies come back to bite them.
The "tape 'em all, let YouTube sort it out" philosophy began on the left, but its eventual boomerang was merely a matter of when, not if.

Since 2002, News, Technology and Pop Culture, 24 Hours a Day, Live and in Stereo!

(And every Saturday on Sirius XM Satellite Radio.)

What They're Saying

"Ed Driscoll is 'The Diplomat', for always being the one to bridge the divide."--Alexandra von Maltzan, All Things Beautiful

Twitter Feed
About Me


Support the Site


February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003
December 2002
November 2002
October 2002
September 2002
August 2002
July 2002
June 2002
May 2002
April 2002
March 2002


Bookmark Me!

Blogroll Me!

Steal This Button!

Syndicate this site (XML)
Podcasts Feed

AddThis Feed Button

AddThis Social Bookmark Button


Our Podcasts' Apple iTunes Page

Powered by
Movable Type 3.35

Site design by

tumblr site counter
Copyright © 2002-2008 Edward B. Driscoll, Jr. All Rights Reserved