Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Barack Obama Wants You To Watch His Funny YouTube Video

The White House Correspondent’s Dinner, an annual tradition where the media and political elite meet to roast/congratulate each other, with mixed results, just finished up. Seth Meyers of “Saturday Night Live” hosted the event, and you should be able to watch replays on C-SPAN if you’re interested.

One new twist to the proceedings: The White House, which normally plays along with the event even though the chief occupant gets ribbed, has gone all in. Immediately after showing this video–a parody trailer based on the “The King’s Speech”–at the event, they released it on YouTube (via Twitter, of course).

The bit isn’t LOL-worthy, IMHO. But it does contain jokes, and I think it’s noteworthy that they’re putting this out there for public consumption, at a time when much of the electorate seems particularly… susceptible to jokes. Even more so if they’re easily accessible via Google.

Also, as The Atlantic.com’s Gabe Snyder points out, the clip contains a Wu Tang Clan sample. Which is sure to upset someone (and please lots of us, too).

(Correction: The song — “Shimmy Shimmy Ya“–is actually from (now-deceased) Wu Tang Clan member Ol’ Dirty Bastard, notes MediaMemo reader “quietstorms“. Even better/worse!)

Meanwhile, you can see all 17 minutes of Obama’s presentation here (much sharper, I think–good Fox News dig), via the Washington Post:


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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