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Move over Judson Laipply and Tay Zonday, there’s a new crop of YouTube stars gunning for you. Their name? The United States Congress. In conjunction with the 111th session of Congress kicking off today, YouTube is launching channels for the Senate and the House of Representatives. From the YouTube Blog:
“[M]any of your elected leaders are starting their own YouTube channels. They’re posting videos direct from their Washington offices, as well as clips of floor speeches and committee hearings alongside additional behind-the-scenes footage from Capitol Hill.”
Here’s an intro video featuring congressional leaders struggling to read a teleprompter to explain the new service.
Snark side, these YouTube channels are pretty cool. You can click on a map of the country to bring up videos from your representatives, go “behind the scenes,” and even post a question. Hopefully this open forum won’t be ruined by the often-moronic comments YouTubers typically post (“U R DUMB. I H8 TAXEZ!”), and perhaps this won’t be just another empty new media gesture Congressional reps undertake to make themselves look more transparent.
The commitment Obama has made to online video by posting his weekly address on YouTube (and consistently getting hundreds of thousands of views) is a reason to hope our congressional leaders will take the forum seriously.
Now, all those congressional reps just need to learn the words to “Chocolate Rain” to jump-start their playcounts
P.S. In an interesting twist, it turns out both the House and Senate are only 31 years old.