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Radio in Name Only
November 15, 2008 9:53 AM   Subscribe

[An Important SLYT from President-elect Barack Obama] President-elect Obama releases his first Weekly Radio Address over Youtube. This marks the first time the weekly address has ever been released on web video, and the first of his promised web addresses that will be broadcasted throughout his administration.
posted by Weebot (57 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
Too bad they disabled comments. We're missing out on quality commentary like:

LOL @ U FAG NAME OBAMA LOLOLO!
posted by milarepa at 10:03 AM on November 15, 2008 [4 favorites]


I wish he wouldn't use a teleprompter. A little "off the cuff" sharing of thoughts and/or working off notes would make the thing actually have value. I already know he can read a script.
posted by norabarnacl3 at 10:03 AM on November 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


Too bad they disabled comments. We're missing out on quality commentary like:

The comments in this thread will make up for it.
posted by gman at 10:06 AM on November 15, 2008


I know this is nitpicking something almost completely irrelevant, but did his make-up people apply olive oil to his face or something?

Also, we better not be getting this FPP weekly, as well.
posted by Caduceus at 10:09 AM on November 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


A higher-res rip will likely leak to peer-to-peer later this weekend...
BARACK.OBAMA.1ST.WEEKLY.RADIO.ADDRESS.HDTV.h.264.720p.KLAXXON.torrent
posted by porn in the woods at 10:11 AM on November 15, 2008 [17 favorites]


Video killed the radio star
posted by Mick at 10:17 AM on November 15, 2008


It's good that he's starting this now, rather than later; it keeps the AllBamaAlltheTime theme going.

Still, it would be extra extra good if he moved from just the FDR-with-a-webcam bit and took a page from Perot and Gore (and Edward Tufte)-- that is, employed some simple charts and graphs.

Powerpoint to the Nation may not be all that dignified, but it does have the potential to make proposals more concrete.

Numbers, heard, easily turn to mush in one's brain; numbers, pictured-- seeing the differences between Plan X and Plan Y in terms of lines going up and lines going down, or big and little slices o' pie-- can do wonders to simplify and sharpen and crystallize an argument, and thereby secure mass consensus.
posted by darth_tedious at 10:20 AM on November 15, 2008 [17 favorites]


All Your 'Bama are belong to us.
posted by b1tr0t at 10:22 AM on November 15, 2008


I'm pretty sure the spines on the books over his right shoulder say "John F Kennedy."

Also, siren at 1:06?
posted by zippy at 10:24 AM on November 15, 2008


a page from Perot and Gore (and Edward Tufte)-- that is, employed some simple charts and graphs.

People make fun of Perot's charts, but at the time most of the people I knew were like, "Whoa! He's got charts and everything. This dude knows what he's talking about." Even if they didn't understand what he was talking about.
posted by cimbrog at 10:25 AM on November 15, 2008


I'm still a transcript-reading kind of person. You kids can get off my lawn, with your radio and video ... thingies.
posted by Xere at 10:27 AM on November 15, 2008


Eventually he'll run out of things to talk about, like all other vloggers.

I read on digg the other day...
Have you guys played Left 4 Dead yet? Yahtzee is an asshole, as usual, in his review...
We have this new intern named Penny. She's cute, but she doesn't even know I'm alive...

Maybe he'll get a MeFi account. bobama!
posted by sonic meat machine at 10:31 AM on November 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


Apparently we're supposed to think that replacing a regular radio address with a scripted video address is "transparency."
posted by grobstein at 10:36 AM on November 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Well, grobstein -- I can see right through you...
posted by seanmpuckett at 10:40 AM on November 15, 2008


I feel like he's still campaigning, and people are still acting like he didn't just get elected, giving him advice and wondering about the impact of certain choices. Who cares? He can do whatever he wants now. I kept waiting for him to break down during this and go, "Wait, holy shit you guys I'm really president!"

Also: Nice Wood Paneling.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:42 AM on November 15, 2008


Still, it would be extra extra good if he moved from just the FDR-with-a-webcam bit and took a page from Perot and Gore (and Edward Tufte)-- that is, employed some simple charts and graphs.

He totally needs to hire Charles Blow for this. Examples: one, two, three (particularly awesome), archive, By the Numbers blog. Maybe the only thing better would be to resurrect Charles Minard.
posted by The Michael The at 10:43 AM on November 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


This is all well and good, but I am sure that as a fellow Conan fan, President-Elect Obama must realize the clear and present danger posed by a potential Brett Ratner-helmed reboot of the movie series. Mr. Obama, it is within your power to see to it that this does not happen. I am sure that you yourself, working in tandem with California Governor Schwarzenegger, can see to it that this national tragedy does not come to pass. Crom is counting on you, sir.

Thank you, and sincerely,

kittens for breakfast
posted by kittens for breakfast at 10:45 AM on November 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


eh, I liked this -- I hope he keeps it up. Sure, it would be nice if it were less scripted, but maybe that'll come later.

Hey, what's with the autographed basketball? Does anybody know who it's from?
posted by vorfeed at 10:46 AM on November 15, 2008


It's only the first one. Give him some time to grow into it.
posted by troybob at 10:46 AM on November 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Maybe later he'll do that Star Wars thing, with little holograms of his cabinet spread out on the desk before him.
posted by troybob at 10:48 AM on November 15, 2008 [6 favorites]


Way better than Lonelygirl. I hope this one turns out to be real.
posted by Area Control at 10:48 AM on November 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


This is an RSS feed for the Change.gov channel. It does include non-Weekly Address videos, but I imagine Yahoo! Pipes could come into play to winnow out anything without Weekly in the title.
posted by WCityMike at 10:51 AM on November 15, 2008


> Apparently we're supposed to think that replacing a regular radio address with a scripted video address is "transparency."

Actually, despite being a near-fanatical Obama supporter, I have to say the Slate article grobstein linked to made a good point. What's going to make these addresses "transparent" is the content, not the mere fact of their existence. Now, mind you, I disagree with Grobstein's snarky tone or the cynical outlook it seems to me to imply. Even the author of the linked-to article notes Obama's definition of and record on transparency.
posted by WCityMike at 10:55 AM on November 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


The composition is weird. It's zoomed in too far, so that he looks like a kid who's too short to be at the adult's table. Let's see more of his chest (OK, that doesn't sound right), and move the plant and basketball so they're not so distracting. And the wood paneling reminds me of a mobile home.
posted by desjardins at 11:00 AM on November 15, 2008


Direct-to-humans is the best innovation in government since...well, ever.
posted by DU at 11:01 AM on November 15, 2008


I find it a bit humorous that for the "related videos" display that shows up at the end of YouTube videos, one of them was "Where Dreams Begin - Disney Princess."
posted by WCityMike at 11:05 AM on November 15, 2008


Hey, what's with the autographed basketball? Does anybody know who it's from?

After some Googling, Lebron James seems like the likeliest person, but I don't know for sure.
posted by Gary at 11:12 AM on November 15, 2008


This is a good idea, even if it comes off a bit stiff the first time. I imagine it'll be like many new TV shows: awkward at first, and then he'll grow into it. I mean, four and a half years of a weekly address? That's a couple hundred of these, so not only will they get better, he'll have to mix it up a little to keep our attention.

I can't wait to see the first West Wing-style walk-and-talk.
posted by rokusan at 11:18 AM on November 15, 2008


I liked Ross Perot before he caught the batshitinsane tag.

And I loved his charts.
posted by rokusan at 11:19 AM on November 15, 2008


Net Neutrality Advocates In Charge Of Obama Team Review of FCC
posted by homunculus at 11:30 AM on November 15, 2008


I would have liked more extemporaneousness, but I imagined the you-know-whos that are still on the criticize-criticize-criticize before he's even had a chance train. If he was funny or loose or entertaining in any way, they'd leap on that and instead of the news being reported positively that now you get talked straight to, and the media is cut out of it, it would have been negative.

I never heard a full radio address, because I don't listen to the radio, because I'm not about to sit through a bunch of ads and talking while waiting for the content. Perhaps those are available for download on one of the .gov sites, who knows. But I know everybody, even my tech challenged family knows about YouTube. And it's there for me to look at immediately after it is released, to watch and rewatch or watch whenever I want, free of media filter.

That's what I loved so much about the idea of Obama texting us the VP pick (the actual execution fell a little flat). I knew it was a mass communication with a ton of us, without the media mediating the conversation. And what separates that from email is that with a text, it reaches people at grocery stores, at the mall, at the park, at a friends house, in the back yard grilling, wherever. Most people carry their phones with them.

So I love the way his administration is continually speaking directly to us. To me. These things aren't completely mind-blowing, but to me, yes, this is the start of a change.
posted by cashman at 11:30 AM on November 15, 2008 [3 favorites]


I think this is pretty awesome for those of us, like myself, who can't be bothered to own or listen to a radio. But hey! YouTube! I can get my update on the nation and then watch some Japanese cats launch themselves into cardboard tubes!

(No really, I'm serious. This isn't sarcasm. I honestly believe that this is awesome for this exact reason.)
posted by grapefruitmoon at 11:31 AM on November 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


.... though I'm pretty sure if this grows into anything, it'll be something like Colbert's "The Word"*, with chyrons supporting what he's saying. Folksy paper charts would be better -- and more in keeping with his senatorial background -- but this is going to be a technology-forward administration, so I'll bet on the graphics.

(Which, of course, will look pretty scary on 100 TVs in a window, in an Orwellian way. The right-wingers will "love" it.)

(* I know it's an O'Reilly parody, but I can't remember what O'Reilly's is called, and I bet Colbert's is much more widely-known by now anyway, okay?)
posted by rokusan at 11:31 AM on November 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


It was a mass communication with a ton of us... Most people carry their phones with them.

OBAMA KNOWZ WHERE U R!
posted by rokusan at 11:33 AM on November 15, 2008


What's a radio?
posted by rokusan at 11:40 AM on November 15, 2008


prediction #1: He stops doing this when the remixes start getting more hits...

prediction#2: Barack Obama will be the most criticized president in history. The irony of this, coming at the heels of W's reign of shame, will be lost on 85% of the American public. Get ready for the new annoying catchphrase..."I voted for Obama, but...."

The upside of all this sniping is Obama will most likely not have anyone thrown in jail, besmirch anyone's career, lawyer up and play hardass, imply treason, or issue a terror alert because people call him out on shit. So the more he gets snarked at, the better we end up as a nation.

I like the wood paneling. But then again, I think the Bob Newhart show was the epitome of interior design excellence.

Also as long as the economic situation remains the same, we're going to get "serious Obama" which sucks, because I think I speak for most americans when I say I prefer "Fonzie Obama"
posted by billyfleetwood at 11:49 AM on November 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


This looks like it could be a pretty good vlog.
But I still miss Ze Frank.
posted by rmless at 12:07 PM on November 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


it's very badly lit, I'm surprised. the set is bad, the composition doesn't work -- the flag hangs badly, the books look fakes, just spines made of cardboard -- it's the first time I see the Obama people do something cheaply, it's more webcam-at-IKEA than anything else. Obama looks bad in it. and the reading from the teleprompter is too unsubtle. as I said, I'm very surprised, if they wanted it to look homemade and not overly designed they only made it look lame.

no one says this should look as slick as that 30 min infomercial, but still this is weak. Obama's communications team has the best, sleekest production values probably ever seen. this looks like something the Huckabee team could put together, sorry
posted by matteo at 12:26 PM on November 15, 2008


I never heard a full radio address, because I don't listen to the radio, because I'm not about to sit through a bunch of ads and talking while waiting for the content.

Try NPR
posted by captainsohler at 12:36 PM on November 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


I dunno ... I'm just not sure whether the US is ready for a black president.
posted by sour cream at 12:54 PM on November 15, 2008


> But I still miss Ze Frank.

Ze Frank for President.
posted by sdodd at 1:06 PM on November 15, 2008


in this country, we rise or fall as one nation; as one people.

That is lovely. Especially lovely coupled with this article from my town's daily rag about the sudden influx of US Republicans interested in fleeing to Canada. Because, you know, they know what to expect from PM Harper.
posted by YoBananaBoy at 1:14 PM on November 15, 2008


grapefruitmoon: I think this is pretty awesome for those of us, like myself, who can't be bothered to own or listen to a radio. But hey! YouTube! I can get my update on the nation and then watch some Japanese cats launch themselves into cardboard tubes!

(No really, I'm serious. This isn't sarcasm. I honestly believe that this is awesome for this exact reason.)


that cat is so awesome! LOLOLOLOL!!!!!
posted by CitizenD at 1:17 PM on November 15, 2008


I liked Ross Perot before he caught the batshitinsane tag.

I like the idea of tags as communicable diseases.
posted by Caduceus at 1:19 PM on November 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


>and then watch some Japanese cats launch themselves into cardboard tubes!

Of course, if Obama doesn't stop at getting a dog for the kids, and goes on to get a cat for the nation...

and keeps the cat with him during his 'Tube casts...

that, I think, would make up for the Fernwood Tonight paneling behind him.

And then if he just leaves the cam on, with cat in place, after he leaves the room...

Huh.

Actually, maybe he could do a 1:1 replacement of, or rendition of, every major web trope/meme/thang. (Don't know how he'd tackle MeFi, though.)

It would be like turning the entire country into Box o' Puppies. Except the puppies are watching themselves. After voting. Or something.

Though I guess that could get time consuming.
posted by darth_tedious at 2:04 PM on November 15, 2008


FONZIE OBAMA/CHACHI BIDEN '08
posted by potch at 2:25 PM on November 15, 2008


Prescient post
posted by spock at 2:36 PM on November 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Barack Obama will be the most criticized president in history.

ASTEROID COMING...

Black President's Fault?

posted by kittens for breakfast at 2:54 PM on November 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Give him a break on the cheesy set, guys! He's in transition mode! He doesn't need to spend money to woo voters anymore! I'm assuming that once he's in office, he'll have these little chats from the Oval Office. And I'm also assuming he'll bring the puppy with him... right?

As a concerned citizen, the wellbeing of the first puppy is of paramount importance to me.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 3:19 PM on November 15, 2008


Oh thank god, an Obama thread, just when the withdrawal symptoms were getting really really bad.

(and WCityMike, thanks for the feed link, as this old lady always forgets to do stuff like that. I DO own and listen to a radio.)
posted by nax at 3:40 PM on November 15, 2008


An intermission from the cynical mefi hate-on, Jonathan Coulton singing his Presidents song with a new ending.
posted by amuseDetachment at 3:58 PM on November 15, 2008 [3 favorites]


grapefruitmoon: I can get my update on the nation and then watch some Japanese cats launch themselves into cardboard tubes!

Link, por favor.
posted by nosila at 4:37 PM on November 15, 2008


You go for production value, you get criticized for not keeping it real and for wasting money.

You go low budget, you get criticized for not putting enough production time into it.

I sometimes wonder if the politicians ignore the average person because the average person has no fucking clue what they want.
posted by scabrous at 5:48 PM on November 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


A) This should really be available as a podcast. It's not like they don't know how.

B) Presidential radio addresses are kind of bizarrely boring. I'm not sure who's expected to listen to them. The main thing you hear in Bush's latest address is papers being shuffled loudly in a tiny room.
posted by designbot at 6:19 PM on November 15, 2008


nosila: cat. cardboard. awesome.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 6:21 PM on November 15, 2008


so he's a v-blogger now? he needs to make it more like rocketboom or the wine kone... like with a more experiment-y aesthetic (instead of just a regular old boring tv address to the nation).
posted by kliuless at 7:32 PM on November 15, 2008


B) Presidential radio addresses are kind of bizarrely boring. I'm not sure who's expected to listen to them.

I used to hear them in the car as a child, on my father's AM news channel - and not crazy right wing news, just the commuter station that had news, stocks, weather, sports, traffic on a 20 minute cycle. I think they went out weekends.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 9:44 PM on November 15, 2008


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