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The Media United States Youtube Politics

President Obama Will Kibbitz With YouTube Stars 105

theodp (442580) writes "For better or worse, YouTube stars are a big deal these days. Last December, Microsoft and Code.org turned to YouTube Stars iJustine and The Fine Brothers to help recruit the nation's K-12 schookids for the Hour of Code. And next week, in what the White House is touting as the State of the YOUnion , President Obama will turn to a trio of YouTube Stars for advice on the issues of day following his State of the Union Address. "We're inviting a handful of YouTube creators to the White House to talk with the President in person," explains the White House Blog, "and you can watch it all live on Thursday, January 22. YouTube creators Bethany Mota, GloZell, and Hank Green will interview President Obama about the issues care they most about and what they're hearing from their audiences." Commenting on the choice of the YouTube interviewers, CNN's David Acosta asked (confused) WH Press Secretary Josh Earnest, "I'm just curious, was 'Charlie Bit My Finger' or 'David After Dentist' not available?" So, how long until the U.S. is redistricted into YouTube Channels?"
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President Obama Will Kibbitz With YouTube Stars

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  • About as effectual as that.

  • by PapayaSF ( 721268 ) on Sunday January 18, 2015 @08:49PM (#48847491) Journal

    Thank you for having dealt with all the other more pressing problems, domestic and foreign, so that now you have extra time for these folks! I'm sure they'll have lots of informed, trenchant, challenging questions for you, the answers to which will be informative and enlightening. It'll be the adversarial press speaking truth to power!

    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I don't mind politicians trying something new, but this really does bring down the class and dignity of the presidency. Going on the late night comedy shows was awkward enough (at best), but this is downright distasteful. With this administration, though, this is just par for the course.

      • Which is worse, meeting with unknown D list celebrities, versus meeting with Halliburton execs?

        • All Presidents have always taken the time to meet with big Business Executives. Television entertainers? Not so much.

          Not sure why you separate out Haliburton. General Electric has Obama's nuts in a vice.

        • Oh, I'm sure he does that too. And when he does, he probably listen and cares about what they want rather than view it as a PR opportunity.

      • I don't mind politicians trying something new, but this really does bring down the class and dignity of the presidency. Going on the late night comedy shows was awkward enough (at best), but this is downright distasteful. With this administration, though, this is just par for the course.

        You haven't seen it yet, so why be so quick to judge? Also, pundits were saying [baltimoresun.com] that Bill Clinton's appearance playing sax on The Arsenio Hall Show [c-span.org] was a mistake, but look what happened:.

        Clinton's saxophone-playing appearance on "The Arsenio Hall Show" in June, though, was widely mocked at the time by many members of the we-know-everything gang covering national politics.

        It wasn't dignified. It demeaned presidential politics. It "coarsened" the discourse of democracy, to use the language that syndicated columnist George Will seems to use to describe anything that isn't white, male and borrowed from ancient Rome or Greece. Clinton was dubbed the "Elvis candidate," in part because he was playing (or rather gamely trying to play) Elvis Presley's "Heartbreak Hotel."

      • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
        They already bring it down with the journalists they let in the press room. Perhaps a national lottery for access to the press room would be better. But complaining over the class of journalists is elitist and undemocratic.
      • Oh to hell with "class and dignity". It would be nice if this was actually what it pretends to be, but here are some questions Obama will never be asked:

        - Mr. President, you've prosecuted more people under the espionage act than all previous presidents combined. Why do you think that is?

        - Mr. President, the only person in jail over torture at the CIA is the person who blew the whistle on it, John Kiriakou. Why is that?

        He never answers such questions in person, only if he absolutely has to does he even let h

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I'd actually prefer the President meet with people like this than the establishment types of convenientional media. At least these have a chance at breaking away from the corporate ranks than whatever over-stylized enunciator is sitting behind a big desk on network news.

      Heck, I wish there was a lottery where ten random Americans could have time with the President every week.

      • by TWX ( 665546 ) on Sunday January 18, 2015 @10:39PM (#48847919)
        President Obama already did meet with Youtubers once; Hannah Hart, who came to prominence for My Drunk Kitchen and later started producing videos on the challenges of being homosexual was among them.

        I get Hank Green to an extent, he's a little goofy, but his videos seem to be more in the manner of Bill Nye crossed with Andy Rooney, plus his status has been elevated through his collaborations with his brother, but I'm not sure about the other two. I hadn't heard of them before, and when I pulled up their channels from the article summary I was greeted with opening presentations that didn't really make me want to watch their videos. There may be something deeper about what they do, but it wasn't instantly obvious to me as a new viewer.

        It should be interesting, to see what the topics of the conversation actually are. Youtube today seems to have replaced what livejournal and blogger and other web log sites did fifteen years ago, so perhaps this is an attempt to engage the upcoming generation on their own terms, but by letting that generation bring their media to prominence rather than attempting to co-opt their media and failing at it badly.
    • Nero had his fiddle. History rhymes.

    • The State of the Union address would be far more entertaining if Grumpy Cat provided the post-speech response.
  • I need to get out more.

    • Only in their own minds, really. The only ones who are really 'stars' are the ones that land gigs other than YouTube using the latter as a springboard.

      Eww...that makes Bieber a YOUTUBE STAR!!!

      • by TWX ( 665546 )
        I expect that many of them make as much money doing Youtube videos as many local TV newscasters, reporters, and Radio DJs do, if they've been smart about how they do things. They certainly could do a lot worse for themselves.

        It's pretty clear that old-media isn't quite sure what to make of new-media. Jerry Seinfeld's show Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee exemplified this by bringing Miranda Sings on as one of the comedians- it was one of the few that I simply couldn't watch and ended up turning off. I
    • My SO's kids talk all the time about "famous youtubers". They don't watch TV or listen to the radio, social media and things like youtube are where they get their information. I think they are delusional thinking they are going to someday make it rich on youtube.
  • Just glad to see Hank Green doing stuff. Glad he's got this great opportunity!

  • Since it's not like an evil worldwide ideology is on the rampage or anything, plenty of time and resources for important things like this :)
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Since it's not like an evil worldwide ideology is on the rampage or anything, plenty of time and resources for important things like this :)

      Many of us know the US is involved in lots of aggression around the world, but I think
      when you call it "worldwide" you are exaggerating rather severely.

  • by AnotherBrian ( 319405 ) on Sunday January 18, 2015 @09:07PM (#48847579) Homepage
    Wow, I really want to slap the person who came up with that State of the YOUnion buzzword.
  • Frankly that "After Dentist" kid is exactly how I feel about five minutes into any president's State Of the Union speech...

    It would be great to see the wigged out kid and the biting baby / sibling behind the president as he gave the speech though. I can hear the young britsih accent now, faintly from the back... "Charlie, that man is really boring".

    • by Qzukk ( 229616 )

      After the fucking the internet has gotten by the NSA during this and the previous administration, I think it'd be more appropriate if Obama was to "kibbitz" with youporn stars.

  • Is the pres gonna plink with Hickok45 at his "backyard range"?

  • by Enry ( 630 ) <enry@nOSPAm.wayga.net> on Sunday January 18, 2015 @09:26PM (#48847639) Journal

    If you don't know who those people are (and I'll admit I don't) then this isn't for you. It's about getting younger people involved and voting. Older people already vote more regularly, with people in their teens and 20s not voting with much regularity (see 2014). If Obama can reach those voters and get them interested in the process, then he's laying a base for Democrats going forward.

    As for the 'all other problems being solved' nonsense, take a look at the schedule for Congress over the past few years and see what tough issues they spent their time working on.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    If you don't know how to spell an unusual word with yiddish origin that'll make you look like a pretentious schnook, perhaps you can find a better word?

    • I had to read the summery several times to figure out what the fuck the headline was supposed to mean. But then, there's not really much of a Yiddish population where I live.
    • If you don't know how to spell an unusual word with yiddish origin that'll make you look like a pretentious schnook, perhaps you can find a better word?

      Yeah, if the submitter/editor used the word, I expected there to be some specific reason for it. Then I got "schookids" and "the issues of day" and realized that it's just plain old stupidity.

    • Since he's actually being interviewed by them, the spelling is less objectionable than kibitz not being the right word at all. He's involved, not a spectator.

  • by 0123456 ( 636235 ) on Sunday January 18, 2015 @09:36PM (#48847677)

    He does know he's not campaigning for re-election, right?

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by Smidge204 ( 605297 )

      Wait, if he's not up for re-election... could that mean he's genuinely interested in engaging younger audiences?

      The implications boggle the mind!
      =Smidge=

    • by houghi ( 78078 )

      His party is. So if he does nice things, it is the party. If it turns bad, it is him taking the blame.

  • How pathetic.

  • Will the Annoying Orange get invited? Huh? huh? huh? huh?
  • "about the issues care they most about and what they're hearing"

    care they most??
    really??
    It's not just the summary, that's on whitehouse.gov...
    I am so ashamed to be a citizen of the U.S. right now.

  • by Rob Bos ( 3399 ) on Sunday January 18, 2015 @11:24PM (#48848017) Homepage

    I've never seen the other two, but Hank Green, and his brother John, are two people who've earned much respect in my view, for their charity work, for their educational series "Crash Course", and for the work they've done supporting other youtube science channels, like Emily Graslie and Animal Wonders.

  • The Prez wants to hang with Aurini, because bitches, man.

  • Attempting to turn yourself into an internet meme won't cozy you up to us, not when your administration's policy is that all private communications online should be subject to government snooping.

  • Bread and circuses (Score:4, Informative)

    by X.25 ( 255792 ) on Monday January 19, 2015 @02:11AM (#48848351)

    Always works well.

  • That means they're confident. So confident about these youtubers' ambition and personalities that Obama will never hear any word that might potentially upset him, such as "Kiriakou", "torture", "drone", "kill list", "accountability" or "war criminal".

  • by rebelwarlock ( 1319465 ) on Monday January 19, 2015 @02:41AM (#48848401)
    At least explain your nonsense if you're going to say it in public.
    • by Xenkar ( 580240 )

      Well a lot of the people who write articles happen to be Jewish and they have a habit of occasionally inserting Yiddish and Hebrew words into their works. This habit of theirs makes it fairly simple to know when a Jewish fellow is posting a comment when the other simple identifiers like defending reducing cities to rubble and firing shells at hospitals during ceasefires are missing.

      I'm still speculating on whether or not the occasional yiddish and hebrew is intentional or accidental. I could see it being ei

  • YouTube has more viewers and gets basic facts wrong less often than CNN. Yet despite CNN's numerous ongoing deficiencies, the President has been quite generous and gracious to the network, appearing for interviews several times -- including a one-on-one interview with Candy Crowley late last month.
  • FoxNews would have a field day

  • Well, it's not as bad as it seems. They could have invited Cartmanbrah.
  • 'Bethany Mota' a very clever way of selling product to kids, under the guise of some Valley girl just hanging in her bedroom with her Youtube 'friends'. Marketing exec: 'We got a contract to shift some .. 'batiste dry shampoo', 'Bumble and Bumble City Swept Finish', 'white eyeliner', 'red lipstick', 'mascara', 'vests from Target', 'skirt from For-ever-21', 'boots from For-ever-21', 'tanktop', 'Blue dress from LX-Fashion', 'White shoes from American Apparel', 'Purse from Clothing Line', 'Overalls from Love
  • Never heard of him!
  • ...in Bread and Circuses.

  • "Kibbitz" (or "kibitz") is a Yiddish term meaning, "to offer unsolicited advice". Until very recently, this is the only meaning i'd heard for this term, but lately people appear to be using it to simply mean, "converse" (or perhaps more precisely, "engage in small talk"). I understand that language evolves and word meanings change, but if this is indeed the case with "kibbitz" it would be a real shame, because the word in its original sense is useful for conveying a concept concisely that otherwise cannot b

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