A former student sent me a link to a Republican spoof of FaceBook, BarackBook.
It’s an interesting piece of new media campaigning, where the RNC has created an entire facebook parody displaying the social network of Barack’s friends. I know you go to great lengths to remain unbiased in the classroom (which is awesome!) but I thought you would enjoy looking at this from a social networking standpoint. It’s really a very accurate reproduction of the facebook design!
According to Wired,
In all, the site is a shockingly clever 21st century twist on the
age-old political tactic of guilt-by-association. It capitalizes on
some of the key attributes of successful communication on the web:
Brevity, graphics, and a subtle sense of humor.
In my journalism classes, I enjoy telling a story about a time when my college paper covered two simultaneous demonstrations — one in favor of legal abortion, and one opposed to it — on opposite ends of the same downtown street. The student reporter included four direct quotes and one paraphrase from people on one side of the issue, but merely quoted the slogans shouted by other side and the signs they waved.
I tell my students, “If you are waiting to hear me tell you whether that reporter was pro-choice or pro-life, then you’ve missed the point entirely — regardless of whether you agree with the reporter’s bias, that article was sloppy journalism that no self-respecting editor should have let get onto the news page.”
So, in the interests of fairness, here’s a democrat-friendly version of what a Yes-We-Can-style video would look like if it were a tribute to McCain. Yes, McCain’s “Bomb, Bomb Iran” performance has a prominent place. The various quotes from McCain aren’t really likely to upset die-hard McCain fans who value his bluntness, and the nonverbal reactions of the performers staring at shock at the words they’re supposed to sing and exchanging uncomfortable glances actually feeds right into the GOP’s recent, and fairly successful, strategy of painting Obama as a celebrity.
Addendum… the whole idea of the FaceBook reminds me of the tradition of the Glory Wall –
the absurd Washington phenomenon known as the “glory wall.” Also called
the “wall of fame,” “me wall,” and “ego wall,” the glory wall is where
members of the establishment flaunt their connections by displaying
photos of themselves with more famous people. Lobbyists have glory
walls in the office to impress clients. Staffers have them to impress
other staffers. Socialites have their glory walls on the piano. Forty
years ago in his novel Washington, D.C., Gore Vidal wrote:
“[T]he piano’s essential function was to serve as an altar on which to
display in silver frames the household gods: photographs of famous
people known to the family.” For aspiring Washingtonians, the glory
wall allows you to brag about conversations you never really had with
the chief justice and intimacies you never really shared with the
president. — John Dickerson, Slate
Sometimes you see something similar in a restaurant, which displays the photos of celebrities who have visited the establishment (or at least those whose publicists agreed to send a photo). A FaceBook “Friends” index is the average person’s glory wall.