“The five minute soundbite has ruined cable news”
Media Icons like John Stewart have lambasted CNN and its compatriots for turning news into entertainment television instead of a credible source dedicated to creating a more informed citizenry.
As our attention has shortened and the ADHD generation matures into adulthood, most media has adapted its tactics. C-SPAN has long been notorious for its inability to remain interesting for even the most dedicated policy wonks and Capitol Hill nerds. Once we found sources of prank calls elsewhere, it looked like things would go downhill.
But alas the viral video era began and politicians had a new medium in which to flex their intellectual muscle. While some went on to make asses of themselves (see here, here, and here) others were able to rise to prominence on the backs of impassioned monologues and public shakedowns.
It is no wonder then that populist-minded politicians from both side of the aisle are on the rise. Bernie Sanders, Rand Paul and Elizabeth Warren may not agree on every issue, but when they have gone against the establishment and stood up and represented the interests of their constituency.
The Patriot Act had very vocal opposition and Rand Paul stood up to fight it last year. Instead of getting buried in the archives of C-Span, Youtube and social networks allowed his speech to be shared with voters.
These speeches, taking place within the walls of Congress and not on a campaign trail, give us insight into the actual work these elected officials are doing.
In an age where we cynically mock our politicians on shows like Veep, the viral political video may be our saving grace. My hope is that we will be able to weed out the nincompoops and identify the thoughtful, ethical minority that is actually interested in protecting our best interests. Hopefully it doesn’t slow down Congress anymore.
Either way, next time you think about sharing some video of a cat or a picture of food, consider sharing a viral political video and help move the conversation forward.
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