Obama's October Surprise: Viral Embarrassment

DannyG | October 6, 2008
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By K. Daniel Glover Here's a tip to all you fans of videos that feature young people singing and chanting praises to Barack Obama: Download them to your computer before they go viral because the videos will disappear as soon as the inevitable wave of ridicule in the blogosphere hits a fever pitch. Two cases of such viral embarrassment have happened in less than a week. The first episode occurred soon after The Drudge Report linked to a video called "Sing For Change," which featured elementary-aged children singing about hope, change and all things Obama. The video was broadly condemned. Even the nonpartisan blog PrezVid criticized the "creepy California parents" who made their kids sing words they couldn't possibly understand in political context. Apparently stung by the criticism, the creator of the video, Obama supporter Kathy Sawada, made it "private" on YouTube. When YouTube users began attacking her in the comments, she deleted most of the comments but made the clip public again. That didn't last long, though. Now it's private again. (I downloaded the original and posted excerpts at Eyeblast.tv just in case.) A few days later, another video called "Obama Youth" went viral. It features young black men from the Urban Community Leadership Academy in Kansas City, Mo., marching as they chant "Alpha, Omega," a phrase with messianic meaning. The youngsters also rotely recite Obama's "Yes We Can" motto and presidential plans, and they give him premature credit for who they hope to become. That video began to spread online last week and hit its viral stride over the weekend. Today, the YouTube user who uploaded the video, presumably an Obama critic based on the video description, pulled it without explanation. (I have a copy of that one, too.) The good news is that once someone pushes the publish button online, it's impossible to put the video genie back in the offline bottle. You can still watch complete versions of both "Sing For Change" and "Obama Youth" on YouTube, and "Sing For Change" already is the subject of parody after parody. Obama's online October surprise will continue from now until Election Day and beyond. Cross-posted at techRepublican