Saturday, September 27, 2008

Waiting to Exhale

Check out the essay by Peggy Noonan in today's Weekend Wall Street Journal, entitled A Hope for America, all about the nation's heightened anxiety, the rough election season, and "the sense that our great institutions are faltering and our leaders have gone astray." Here below, is an excerpt—her take on the power of social media to upend, expand, and re-phrase the political debate:

"...Two huge teams are in a massive public brawl in an era in which the Internet has liberated everyone in the country from the old restrictions, the old establishment, the old, encrusted media monopoly. YouTube has yielded, this year, the most moving and wittiest advertisements about each of the candidates. Professional political consultants with their piece of the buy didn't produce them, artists did. For Obama, it was the video by, with the Obama speech and the snatches of song made from his words. More than anything else this year, [this Obama video] captured the feeling behind his movement. The McCain video, alas, was anti-McCain, and keyed off the video. It featured young people and artists taking snatches of McCain speeches, turning them into song, and then starting to...freak out as they listened to the words. It made you laugh out loud. Anyway, one of the untold stories of the year is the failure of the political professionals to compete with the art and brightness of the nonprofessionals..."

(Photo illustration: Boy With Face Paint/

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