THE YOUTUBE REVOLUTION….After reviewing the effect of YouTube (on the Montana and Virginia Senate races) and text messaging (in the Mark Foley scandal), Raul Fernandez says that politics has been changed forever:
In modern American political history, perhaps only the coming of the television age has had as big an impact on our national elections as the Internet has. But the effect of the Internet may be better for the long-term health of our democracy. For while TV emphasizes perception, control and centralization, Internet-driven politics is about transparency, distribution of effort and, most important, empowerment and participation ? at whatever level of engagement the consumer wants.
It’s unclear what the impact of technology on elections will be over the next 12 years. But one lesson should already be clear to politicians: In a world where cellphones are cameras and video recorders, every word that you utter (or text), and every nap you take, can and will be used against you on YouTube.
That’s true, but there’s a downside to this that’s been in the back of my mind for a while. Thanks to the growth of television and the ubiquitious use of media training among politicians, it’s already almost impossible to get candid statements out of anyone these days. Most politicians stick to their well honed scripts with an almost Stepford-like consistency.
Question: will this now become even worse? Knowing that they might be on video at literally any time, will politicians clam up even more? Are we creating an era in which politicians treat every waking moment as if they’re on stage?