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Bogus Web Conversation by Clinton

NY Times: On Web, Voters Question Clinton Directly. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton sat in a fake living-room set on Monday night and fielded questions on a live video Webcast.

Was this a joke? Clinton’s alleged conversations with America have been so entirely scripted as to be laughable.

If this is her idea of changing politics in a Webby way, we’re not making much progress.

4 Comments on “Bogus Web Conversation by Clinton”

  1. #1 Seth Finkelstein
    on Jan 28th, 2007 at 8:20 pm

    Sigh. Nobody can have a “conversation” at the level of millions to one, except in the most twisted and metaphorical form. The progress we’ve made is in new ways to give people the illusion of participation, while profiting from them.

    Did you ever read my analysis of Dean?

    “If presidential candidates were previously being sold as detergent, the new approach here was to sell them like a bubble stock IPO. That’s indeed an innovation. But not necessarily a good one.”

  2. #2 Paul Andrews
    on Jan 28th, 2007 at 11:47 pm

    Hey Dan, looks like Frank Rich was channeling you!

    “Compounding this problem for Mrs. Clinton is that the theatrics of her fledgling campaign are already echoing the content: they are so overscripted and focus-group bland that they underline rather than combat the perennial criticism that she is a cautious triangulator too willing to trim convictions for political gain. Last week she conducted three online Web chats that she billed as opportunities for voters to see her “in an unfiltered way.” Surely she was kidding. Everything was filtered, from the phony living-room set to the appearance of a “campaign blogger” who wasn’t blogging to the softball questions and canned responses. Even the rare query touching on a nominally controversial topic, gay civil rights, avoided any mention of the word marriage, let alone Bill Clinton’s enactment of the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

    When a 14-year-old boy from Armonk, N.Y., asked Mrs. Clinton what made her “so inspirational,” it was a telltale flashback to those well-rehearsed “town-hall meetings” Mr. Bush billed as unfiltered exchanges with voters during the 2004 campaign. One of those “Ask President Bush” sessions yielded the memorable question, “Mr. President, as a child, how can I help you get votes?”

  3. #3 Dan Gillmor
    on Jan 29th, 2007 at 8:16 am

    Paul, Rich’s piece came out first. I was channeling him, more likely…

  4. #4 Paul Andrews
    on Jan 29th, 2007 at 8:37 am

    Well, great minds, like channels ;^)