Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

YouTube Nabs a Sit-Down With Barack Obama

Yet another tie-up between Google and the White House: A one-on-one interview between Barack Obama and YouTube.

Google’s (GOOG) video site says it has collected 11,000 questions from its viewers and will ask a small fraction of them during a live sit-down with the president at 1:45 Eastern. No word on who’s actually going to deliver the queries to POTUS, but YouTube insists that “neither the President nor his staff will know which questions will be asked ahead of time.”

The YouTube part aside, there’s not a ton of novelty here: Asking citizens to send in questions for a political Q&A isn’t a new idea. The fact that the Q&A will be streamed live is more interesting to me, since it signals the site’s increasing interest in real-time events (see, for instance, U2).

Today’s Q&A did prompt me to scan YouTube for something apposite, but disappointingly, clips from Bill Clinton’s MTV “choose or lose” appearance are hard to find. And I can’t find any version of Tabitha Soren’s famous “boxers or briefs” query. Did turn this one up, though:


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald