While I usually agree with what NewTeeVee says about new media, I am astonished by the shortsightedness of Wagner James Au’s latest comments on Obama’s ‘Yes we can’ viral video. Politics aside, the piece is not about the celebrities endorsing Obama for personal gain. The celebrities are merely a medium through which Obama's message is conveyed. To imply otherwise would be akin to finding fault with Hillary Clinton as a candidate because she was endorsed by the New York Times or with John McCain because he uses the web (another popular medium) to deliver his political platform.
If my point is unclear, let me explain further. The beauty of ‘yes we can’ is in its use of popular culture to covey a message of hope and change. The idea here is to let voters know that we are all in this together, and we can make a difference; that the 2008 election is the starting point of a revolution to return America to its former glory as a superpower of generosity, intellectual curiosity, innovation, freedom, and equality.
If you remove Obama from video, the message remains the same – “Now is the time to make things better for everyone.” Prognosticating Obama’s downfall simply because his medium of delivery is popular art not only shows a lack of understanding of the political process in the United States, but also of how to start conversations in the new mediascape.
Please comment if you feel strongly about an opposing viewpoint.