NBC's Todd: Bill Clinton ‘Woefully Unprepared for 21st Century Media’
NBC News Political Director Sees Ex-President As Victim of 'YouTube Moments'
By Marisa Guthrie -- Broadcasting & Cable, 4/28/2008 2:01:00 AM
If there’s one thing that Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) all have in common, it’s that each of the presidential candidates has already endured his or her very own YouTube moment.
Whether it’s a clip of McCain’s erroneous assertion that Shiite Iran was training Sunni group al-Qaeda in Iraq, or videos of Obama’s former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr., shouting “God damn America!,” or CBS News footage proving that Clinton’s 1996 visit to Bosnia wasn’t quite the Jerry Bruckheimer action movie she’d taken to recounting, the digitally fueled wildfire of unfortunate video moments has singed all three candidates.
“It’s fascinating: Nobody’s been a bigger victim of the so-called YouTube moments than Bill Clinton,” Todd said. “I think Bill Clinton was woefully unprepared for 21st Century media.”
Although Clinton caught a glimpse of the digital future when he was president and a little-known Internet gadfly named Matt Drudge broke the Monica Lewinsky story, he was never subjected to the kind of unblinking scrutiny of today’s media environment.
When Clinton was running for president, Todd said, he and his fellow candidates could misspeak -- and even willfully obfuscate -- with relative impunity.
“It was like a Jedi mind trick with him,” he added. “It would take a few days for the media to catch up [and] by then he had moved on.”
But in 2008, Clinton’s gaffes -- calling Obama’s opposition to the Iraq war a “fairy tale,” inviting charges of race-baiting by comparing Obama’s campaign to Jesse Jackson’s, reviving his wife’s Bosnia trip for another spin in the news cycle -- sparked immediate blowback that seems to have caught him by surprise.
That’s not to say that the current campaigns aren’t media-savvy. If anything, Todd said, they’re all too savvy for news organizations operating on tighter budgets and with threadbare staffs.
“There may be more news organizations covering this [election], but nobody is going at it with the depth and breadth that major news organizations used to be able to do,” he added. “The campaigns are more sophisticated. They have more troops to spin than sometimes the media has to cut through it.”
As unprepared for 21st Century media as you say Bill Clinton is he will still come out the winner.
Historically that's the way it's always been plus with Todays Totally Ignorant Media and You Tube Public I'm afraid that he will always come out a head.
Dick Rasile - 4/29/2008 10:56:00 PM EDT
Perhaps he is preoccupied with his upcoming trial in California. Peter Paul v. William J. Clinton, et al.
Elaine - 4/28/2008 11:57:00 PM EDT
The internal polling on the "Obama Network" must show that Bill is effective in helping Hillary get votes!!! So Todd has to create a negative "news" story to hurt Bill. We all know what a true journalist Todd is and he''''s not a tabloid guy. HA!
Is Todd as indignant about Rep. Clyburn''''s racist and betraying remarks about Bill that are deliberately made to get out the NC blacks out to vote. Does he want to do a story about Clyburn. Oooooooh no!
Susan Cantrell - 4/28/2008 7:04:00 PM EDT
"Psy Ops" (psychological operations) to blame for Bill Clinton's odd behavior?
Read this before you consider whether such things are possible:
Remember Segretti - 4/28/2008 5:22:00 PM EDT
I too agree that there is something going on with President Clinton that people do not know about, whether it is his health or the pace he has been under after such health problems. Some of the things that he has done do not mesh with the genus he has been in terms of a campaigner, President, lawyer, Rhodes Scolar. I do know that MUCH of what has been said about him are nothing MORE than LIES. When the Obama Camp can turn the words fairy tale (talking about his war stance) a RACE statement is beyond MOST of the public's belief AND Pres Clinton...he meant exactly what he said and not what they NEEDED him to say. But bringing up the Bosnia thing was so unlike him...nothing like him in fact. When he is out on the stump the man is brilliant and his knowledge of foreign affairs and US politics is phenominal. Having said that Chuck Todd NEEDS to understand that HE in his short life should LIVE to be as intelligent as this man and his total disrespect for him says nothing for Todd's intelligence.
Cheryl Page - 4/28/2008 4:25:00 PM EDT
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