tv The Chris Matthews Show NBC July 3, 2011 4:30pm-5:00pm PDT
>> this is "the chris matthews show." >> ask not what your country can do. [captioning made possible by nbc universal] >> brave new world. do cell phone cameras change politics? when barack obama complained about bitter voters, he forgot about cell phone cameras. how many political scouts are claimed by the 24-hour news cycle? the town hall shout fests at health care. in a precable age, one or two-day stories but today an
eternity. finally, bloggers rule. "newsweek" had the monica lewinsky story but it was a blog by matt drudge that broke it. chris: today i'm looking at how the new media universe has changed things in american politics. let's look at the new rules politicians forget at their per rit. -- peril. one, beware the cell phone camera. from former virginia senator george allen, with us a highly touted presidential candidate. >> let's give a welcome here. >> he said it was a nonsense word. never again. >> this is the world he's in, we're all in now, where you have to be very careful. i never quite new what the word meant. he never explained what it meant
but it went viral, once it when viral, he was done. chris: this was a volunteer for the opposition campaign with a cell phone. he was looking at what he thought was a kid a young guy, he was giving him trouble, he thought he was talking to a guy with a phone, he was talking to a guy with a camera. >> he should have known the camera had a phone on there. when it goes viral, when it has the most impact, is when people think, this is who that guy is. with george allen, that's all ewe hear. it then becomes a racist. everything else you know about him or what you might have seen about him in a longer broadcast gets obliterated by what you see on television. chris: two years later, barack obama and sarah palin both forgot the cell phone cameras
everywhere when they dropped their guard in private fundraisers. >> religion or an tip thi of people who. >> the best in america is being with all you hard-work, patriotic, very pro-america areas of this great nation. chris: what she wasn't counting on is people in the nonpatriotic parts of the country didn't like that. barack obama was at a fundraising group a supporter had one of those phones. >> a supporter quasi journalist, i might add, who had one of those and reported to this. and the question of clinging to guns, that phrase, has become a rallying cry against barack obama. made it very, very difficult for him. something he ended up having to
deal with and apologize for. i think politicians now know, you're always on the record, number one, and there is no off broadway anymore. there's no time to rehearse a presidential campaign. you're on all the time. so the old towns in -- the time you used to spend in iowa getting the kings out, forget it. chris: it's you're always on now. >> this new time, ficebook, twitter, the dream was to make politics more authentic and spontaneous because they can get arn the reporters and speak directly to the people. here's the reality, it's made politics less spontaneous because politicians know that at any time the most casual remark can become a huge story. it's made our politics more scheduled, more artificial at a time when people say they want
more spontaneity. chris: you want spontaneous, howard dean's scream was heard 633 times on tv in three days. >> dean suffered two setbacks in iowa, first, his loss, and second was this. >> we're going to california, and texas, and new york, and oregon and washington and michigan and then we're going to washington, d.c. to take back the white house! >> people have the sense of him as being too negative and too angry. finding his feet, this week, is going to be difficult. chris: he didn't know what a directed mike is, either. he thought he was yelling to the room. >> running for office now, it is a deadline every now second. you have to be on all the time. one wonders when does the canada have any time to think?
to keep some perspective? i think it's led to a candidate, successful candidate being more programmed, more manipulated by advisors than ever before. when you leave the house in the morning, be careful every second of the day. these cameras, phone cameras out there, people are twittering. you say, i'd like to just walk around and think a little bit. don't think out loud. probably better not to think at all. >> what's interesting, an advisor to both campaigns in the last campaign, a memo would go in every day who won the 24-hour news cycle. that one 24-hour black means you can't take a long-term perspective. chris: the barack obama campaign said it was caught flat footed when they found the d.v.d.'s of the reverend jeremiah wright's sermons. here's pat buchanan talking
about the impact. >> obama has one problem. he's got one foot in radicalism, the folks in west virginia, they knew one thing about barack obama, jeremiah wright was his pastor and he lost 20 points. >> any right-wing opponent of barack obama could play that as a news program. >> and it's going on the web as well, youtube. you may have it played 200 times on television. it's being played a million times on youtube and the internet. people are going to it partly out of entertainment. partly to reinforce their own political views. but it's become sort of news. chris: especially when you have news networks who have points of view. they can say, it's just news, let's look at it again. >> and they're never put in
context. it goes up on youtube, nobody says what the context was, and it goes viral. so there's never a frame around it saying, this is how this happened. this is the background in which it happened, this is background of the record. all of that is out. >> look at what barack obama did with reverend wright. you can't wait for a story to gather steam. you have to try to deal with it. some said he waited a little long but he ended up having to confront it directly, gave a speech on race, which lots of people think ended up becoming the high point of his campaign syst of a good politician and good staff has to understand, ok, this is something we cannot ignore. in the old days, you could ignore it. chris: let's look at a low point in how these things work these days. sarah palin blew it in an interview with katie couric, but
news magazines multiplied it. >> what other supreme court decisions do you disagree with. >> well, let's see. >> what newspapers and magazines did you regularly read before you were tapped for this. >> i read most of them, before the press and media. >> specifically, i'm curious. >> all of them, any of them that have been in front of me over all these years. chris: she wasn't able to talk about any supreme court decision or newspaper she reads. what question is an easy one for her? >> that was pretty rough, but it was her answer to katie couric, it was like a kid answering a book report question who didn't read the book. >> or the cliff's notes. i think it was damaging to her. two words, tina fey. not only the echo chamber but there's the comedy show, there's entertainment which has become a big part of that.
chris: and that makes youtube. >> if anyone thinks you're being unfair to sarah palin. >> the only thing i would say is the echo chamber is so constant, so nonstop, if you can hang on for at least a couple of news cycles, there'll be some new storm. chris: but there's still a permanent record to be drawn on. >> but look what happened to sarah palin. if that had happened in 1975, it would have ended her career. in this era, it didn't. chris: we have to talk about barack obama. his approval as president took a 2009 nosedive in the summer of health care town halls. >> you want to be led out of here, you're welcome to go. now wait a minute. now wait a minute. now wait a minute. now wait a minute. wait a minute. >> do you all think you're
persuading people when you shout out like that? i beg your pardon? you don't trust me? chris: you saw him trying to deal with it but every politician knows how dangerous those moments can be. >> it was out of control. all those clips showed a politician that seemed to be out of control. >> but then we have to draw a conclusion, were all town hall meetings like this? or just the ones in the cable loop played over and over again? did we create more town hall meetings by continue to play them? >> part of the reason it goes viral so quickly is not totally out of the blue. it's picking up on public dissatisfaction anyway. you have people replaying things because it reconfirms an original political premise. chris: and the scythe geist. -- and the zeitgeist. another way politicians are hurt in the media, john kerry was at
a high in the campaign but the swift boat veterans sank him. they had a small media buy. they wanted it to go viral and it did. >> i served with john kerry. >> i served with john kerry. >> john kerry has not been honest about what happened in vietnam. >> he is lying about his record. chris: that is a tough ad put out there by kerry's enemies. it got out almost like a news item. >> this is something mentioned before, the emfa says is on responding quickly. got to respond quickly. the kerry campaign and the candidate himself, for whatever reason, decided to ignore this for too long a time. among other things, they said we have a whole campaign to run. and running a campaign is like trying to change a fan belt on a
moving mercedes. but they waited too long to respond to this and allowed it to play out just as the perpetrators intended it to. >> that was in 2004, the world was changing in terms of youtube and the web. i don't think political campaigns were aware of the fact that people weren't getting news by watching the nightly news broadcast. they saw it. but because they got their news the old-fashioned way, they didn't believe it. people now are getting news from youtube and their cell phone. they're getting what they want to see. >> the swift boat voters using free media wasn't lost on sarah palin. she posted this on facebook, free of charge. this is her quote. the america i know and love is not one in which my parents or baby with down syndrome has to stand in front of a death panel.
catity, unbelievable. >> it taps into a general suspicion about the health care bill and the role of big government. she used facebook but she was expressing a public sentiment. >> and she had a quotable quote, the death panel thing. that was not just something -- that was something that was calculated, a strong quote, something that would bang in there right away. >> if you tweet it or on your facebook -- chris: how does facebook pick up a news item or something on this program? >> there it is. we have people who look at everybody's facebook page or follow people who tweet. and a politician now can say, we just passed this fabulous bill, isn't that great. or i just voted for this because i care about you. they don't have to have an interview with us. within seconds -- chris: if you miss a news
program, you say, go to -- you say i want to see it again, there it is on facebook. >> people who used to be the referees, the front page editors of "the new york times" or "washington post" are out of the game. kerry's people said this isn't catching on. chris: no more editors or fillers, it's completely democratic journalism, meaning anyone can do it. coming up, how a blogger who works out of his house broke the monica lewinsky story. it's not just a few big rerters to worry about anymore. how modern news coverage has changed politics itself.
a national politician had to worry about. you know, the boys on the bus. the turning point was in january of 1998. a little-known guy with his own internet gossip site rocked washington. he broke a gossip item "newsweek" had been sitting on. they hadn't vetted it yet. it was posted on "the drudge report" and here it was. the president of the united states is having an affair with monica lewinsky. three days later, the "washington post" decided to go with that story that "newsweek" editors had been vetting. another example, it took a reporter for abc news' internet political sheet called "the note" to break this. >> when strom thurmond rain for -- ran for president, we voted for him. we're proud of him. and if the rest of the country had followed our lead we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years. chris: that brought down a leader of the senate. a little item in a little pip
sheet. >> that's a big generational movement that's changed journalism and politics over the past, say, 15 years. it used to be you could identify by name the important people who controlled the agenda. the editor of "the washington post," a handful of columnists. it was the executive producer and washington bureau chief, maybe three dozen people who were the filter. now there are literally tens of millions of filter. everyone with access to a mouse -- chris: no more gate keepers. >> very few. this may be as good a place as any to emphasize this new system, the new reality, is open to use. it used to be somebody like nixon would say, we're going to
turn our phone banks on chris matthews. or we'll have edtorials published. but this new system can be manipulated. we'll get this started and force the bigger networks to pick up on it. >> we see it very real. i think it's fabulous, the more information the better. the fact that we are getting information out of parts of the world we never would have done before through cell phones and twitter and facebook is great. but we saw during the iranian revolutions after the elections, you had twitter things that came out that sounded like they were from people opposing the regime and they were from the regime. there's a good example of where you don't know exactly where it's from. chris: when we come back, if you're a p
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chris: wbling back. we've been going through the huge pile of evidence that new media is a challenge to the average politician, but there's a shining example on the plus side. john mccain pioneered the use of the internet to raise money and build support back in 2000. four years later, howard dean came up from nowhere to create a very viable campaign on the internet. remember, you have the power. and then another four years later, the obama campaign perfected organizing on the internet with $6.5 million raised and three million people recruited, signed up with the campaign. the average online gift of
obama's campaign was $80 and the average donor gave again and again. that's how you build it. >> that's a gold mine. the obama campaign perfected it. we don't know what the next iteration of that is going to be. but it's very clear that if you want to keep your base in politics together, and if you want to keep a young demographic on your side, one place to do it, the republicans were light years behind the democrats last time around. one place to do it is on the internet. you'll notice when the president does his saturday morning address, it used to be just a radio address. now it's a video. chris: five years from now, will politicians running from president -- for president be tweeting all day? >> it'll all be on cell phones. donations on cell phones and everything. i think someone will continue to tweet for the candidate. >> mobile device revolution is
chris: thanks to our great round table for a fascinating look at how modern presidential politics has been -- has influenced politics. that's the show. thanks for watching. see you here next week. [captioning made possible by nbc universal] captioned by the national captioning institute --www.ncicap.org-- nine out of ten growing kids don't get the recommended amounts of whole grain and calcium? that's where their favorite cereals like trix and cocoa puffs can help. general mills big g has the only leading line of kid cereals