YouTube: Welcome to the Wild West of Politics

Matt Lewis
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Posted: Mar 22, 2007 9:57 AM

Continuing with the ParkRidge47 discussion, I'm still not sure if this was the case of some maverick employee creating an independent YouTube clip, or if it was, at least, tacitly approved by the Obama campaign. Personally, I'm inclined to believe that the guy who created this was told (or authorized) to create it. It's just too convenient that this was created by a consulting company which works for Obama.

Am I suggestion a conspiracy theory? By definition, yes.

On the other hand, is it possible that this Blue State Digital employee was a "lone gunman" or a "cowboy" who was doing this on his own -- without direction? Yes.

Of course, this brings up lots of ethical questions. For example, shouldn't an employee have the right to participate in Democracy and free speech (if it's done on his own time)?

Should working for a consulting firm disqualify you from posting a YouTube clip about a candidate you like or dislike (so long as it's done on your own time), without being fired for it?

But if we accept this premise that Obama's campaign bears no responsibility here, doesn't this, de facto, mean that any campaign can disseminate any information they want -- without any fingerprints, whatsoever? 

(I'm not saying there should be any legal recourse.  What I'm suggesting is that if Obama wants to go negative, he should pay a political price just like the rest of the candidates would. So far, he's gotten away with going negative, but portraying himself as "Mr. Goodguy" ...) 

Personally, I think that's the direction we're heading. It's certainly a better option than having more regulation of free speech. 

Welcome to the Wild West of politics.