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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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik