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

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Obama Makes History in Live Internet Video Chat

President Obama was the first President to have a live internet video chat. The chat was based on the public submitting questions, and the President would answer the most popular questions. Over 3.6 million votes were cast, and the top questions was; whether legalizing marijuana might stimulate the economy by allowing the government to regulate and tax tax the drug. President Obama responded "the answer is no, I don't think that is a good strategy to grow the economy." The question about marijuana took up most of the video chat. Robert Gibbs (press secretary) felt that advocates for legalizing marijuana had racked up votes for the question. Obama also discussed briefly that he intended to announce soon what kind of help his administration would give the auto industry; "we will provide them some help" Obama stated. "Thursday's session, which had been advertised on the White House Web site since Tuesday, is the latest example of efforts by the Obama team to replicate its creative use of the Internet in the election campaign" (New York Times). Obama has been going through all types of media (although he was trying to bypass the news media) trying to make the case for his economic agenda (i.e.. Jay Leno, 60 Minutes). The president describe this as an experiment; Macon Phillips, the White House director of new media said that he was pleased with the experiment; "anytime you ask if people will engage and 100,000 people show up, its a big deal." Some say the forum had a "canned feel", they felt the the public tend to be more polite in their questions rather than news reporters.

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