Our View: Hoopla over YouTube video on local GOP website demonstrates new media spin cycle at its worst"It's amazing that the amount of news that happens in the world every day always just exactly fits in a newspaper."
"It's amazing that the amount of news that happens in the world every day always just exactly fits in a newspaper."
Those are the humorous words of comedian Jerry Seinfeld. Of course they were uttered well more than a decade ago. If only Seinfeld knew the joke would have so much more, if a bit ironic, meaning into today's age of instantaneous media.
We no longer need to wait until press time to consume the news of the day. And we are no longer confined by the physical dimensions of printed newspaper.
With the continued evolution of the internet and social media, it's as if the news cycle has entered into a perpetual rapid spin cycle.
As soon as a subject may percolate the interest of readers, those in the new age of the media and the blogosphere are going to latch onto it and squeeze out every last drop to their own benefit.
That's exactly what happened last week not long after a poor attempt at humor made by the webmaster on the blog for the local Republican Party became red meat for political pundits and news outlets across the country.
A quick Google keyword search for "Randy Brown" and "Republican" turns up dozens of hits from new and traditional media across the Twin Cities and the country.
What did the Woodbury resident and blogger for the Republican Party in Senate District 56 do to draw attention from the likes of the New York Daily News, Huffington Post and MSNBC?
Quite simply he posted a link to a YouTube video with a political bent that attempted to draw a superficial comparison between Republican women and Democratic women.
Brown didn't even create the video. It had gone viral months ago before the local GOP webmaster posted it to the SD56 Republicans blog last week.
After it garnered more attention than Mr. Brown likely anticipated, the post linking to the video was pulled from the SD56 Republicans website.
However, the furor continued and Mr. Brown was named the "Worst Person in the World" by left-leaning talking head Keith Olbermann on his nationally televised cable punditry session on MSNBC.
Brown was rightly criticized by many circles for posting a not-so-funny attempt at humor on an official website for the local GOP.
The video can easily be seen as objectifying toward women who choose to participate and lead in politics. Especially in a district whose representatives at the state Legislature and in U.S. Congress are all women.
But really, the worst person in the world?
Olbermann apparently didn't even accurately describe Brown's role when he called him "webmaster of the Minnesota State Republican Party."
That slight inaccuracy demonstrates how our news cycle works in this age of new media.
A subject spins so fast through the various interested media and political websites that by the time it reaches the desk of a former ESPN anchor, it's a little more warped than it was before it was put into the wash.
The lesson to learn here is two-fold: YouTube can be a cesspool for not-funny jokes. And consumers of the new media should be wary of how a subject can be put through the ringer by outlets more interested in ratings or getting a jab in then they are accuracy and context.