Viral Video and the 2008 Election [4:31 pm]
The first whack at McCain, now on the video-sharing site YouTube, joins a rapidly growing collection of Web videos posted by critics of leading contenders in the 2008 presidential race. Targets so far include Barack Obama, Rudolph W. Giuliani, John Edwards, Mitt Romney and Hillary Rodham Clinton.
The explosion of video-sharing on the Web poses major risks for presidential candidates: Gaffes and inconsistent statements witnessed by dozens can be e-mailed instantly to millions.
[...] For the candidates, as well as their detractors, the chief attribute of Web video is its broad reach, accomplished at little or no expense.
“You can grab it, send it, link it, and at zero cost,” said Matthew Dowd, a top strategist for President Bush’s 2004 reelection campaign. “Two hundred thousand people could see it in 24 hours.”