Video interviews by confrontational Barack Obama supporters at John McCain rallies are shooting up the YouTube charts, revealing angry and nasty anti-Obama sentiment that is in turn motivational for the Democratic presidential contender’s supporters. You almost feel like Joe Francis is behind the camera asking girls to flash him. And watching brings the same voyeuristic and embarrassed emotional response.
A video titled The McCain-Palin Mob is the No. 3 most-discussed video on YouTube today, with more than 675,000 views since it was posted Wednesday. In the clip, Ohio rally-goers tell blogger Tim Russo (who’s behind the camera) they have reason to believe Obama is a terrorist. Russo’s questioning is clearly aimed at putting his subjects on the defensive, but they take it to another level, in particular one woman who keeps pushing her way back on camera. Viewership of the video is partisan as well, but on the other side of the spectrum, with more than 130,000 views coming from the Huffington Post and many more from other liberal blogs.
Another, separate video from a Pennsylvania rally has McCain supporters calling Obama a “commie faggot” among other epithets, and is the No. 25 most-discussed YouTube clip today.
In a campaign where off-hand remarks by candidates regularly become leading nightly news items, citizens with video cameras wield a lot of journalistic power. And so it’s a bit hard to take Russo’s point of view, in that his disdain for his subjects is so clear (see some unprintable, for us, comments he makes about them on his blog). But at the same time, the mocking response he evokes from the woman at the McCain rally, which would have never aired at length (or at all) on TV, made its way out into the world. We live in interesting times!