Propaganda & Mass Persuasion: Obama Makes History with Live Internet Video Chat

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Obama Makes History with Live Internet Video Chat

President Obama went live on Internet video to answer questions asked by Americans on March 26, 2009. The online live town hall meeting was the first of its kind to be done by an American President. It was declared as "Open for Questions" pertaining to our economy.

Over 100,000 questions were submitted and our president was to answer the most popular questions live. After 3.6 million votes were cast, one of the top questions was: "Would legalizing marijuana stimulate our economy if the government regulated and taxed the drug?"

President Obama replied with a joke questioning “I don’t know what this says about the online audience.” The people sitting in the East Room of the White House which were nurses, teachers, and small-business people, laughed and thought it was funny. His response; “The answer is no, I don’t think that is a good strategy to grow the economy.”

This question later took up time during the daily White House press briefing, where the press secretary, Robert Gibbs, “Suggested that advocates for legalizing marijuana had mounted a drive to rack up votes for the question.”

One of the advocates was the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (Norml) who urged supporters to “let the president know that millions of American voters believe that the time has come to tax and regulate marijuana. Charleston Norml is the creator and promoter of reforming marijuana laws within the state of South Carolina.

The marijuana query was at the top of the list and it provided one of the livelier moments in the forum during the 70-minute event.

According to Sheryl Gay Stolberg from the New York Times, she states that a sliver of news was disclosed and it was that president Obama intended to announce in the next couple of days what kind of help his administration would give the auto industry.

This first time online town hall meeting occured around lunchtime on a Thursday and the point of this was to open up the White House to the American people. Many quesitons arose regarding eductation, the mortgage crisis, job outsourcing, national service and others. Many twittered that it was cool. But did people really feel like they had a voice? Did they feel their questions were answered satisfactorily? Did it make people feel more confident in where the economy and the country are going? Overall it seemed like the large response just proved that people want to feel like they are a part of something and care about whats going on, but that is the extend to which it is displayed.

The president felt it gave him a chance to see what Americans across the country care about and at the same time by pass the media.


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