a curious Yankee in Europe's court

blog about living in Europe, and Italy

Those images worth a thousand soundbites: new White House Vlog

Posted on the May 16th, 2010

With its new, weekly video log — “West Wing Week” — the Obama administration is offering a pearl beyond price (no sarcasm intended), it seems to me.

First and foremost to historians and other scholars who collect images as a database for analysis of society and civilization. The range and cumulative visual narrative of these video images take my breath away. An additional boon to analysts is that the imagery comes most conveniently pre-packaged with a running audio that supplies chronological and ID data.

And, in a lesser sense, to an interested citizenry, the videos offer an unparalleled (and entertaining) peek into the White House world itself.


As is discussed in the Washington Post where I saw the article today online about the new White House Vlog, this may be another way for the Obama administration to try and control the message  — but who can really blame them for that, given the chaos and idiocy of the news cycle at times (“White House video blog offers an inside view” by Paul Farhi, May 15, 2010) .

Or the Vlog could be transparency in action, as Obama the candidate often promised. Whatever. For those who really know how to look and how to decipher imagery, the codebreakers here are golden keys to the promised land.

Again, mamma mia!

UPDATE (5/17/2010): I was digging through my blog posts this morning on a hunt for something and I came across the post I wrote about Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s Vlog — I’d forgotten.

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Today’s opinion pick: “We the People” to “King of the World”: “YOU’RE FIRED!” …a letter from Michael Moore

Posted on the April 1st, 2009

Academy-award winning filmmaker Michael Moore is astounded and elated by President Obama’s firing earlier this week of the chairman of the giant U.S. automaker General Motors. In a blog post on his website today, Moore wrote that Obama’s stunning, unprecedented action has left me speechless for the past two days.

Two excerpts:

Nothing like it has ever happened. The president of the United States, the elected representative of the people, has just told the head of General Motors—a company that’s spent more years at #1 on the Fortune 500 list than anyone else—”You’re fired!”…

This bold move has sent the heads of corporate America spinning and spewing pea soup. Obama has issued this edict: The government of, by, and for the people is in charge here, not big business.

Read the full post here.

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