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YouTube: Medium Hot

Posted by: Jon Fine on September 26, 2006

While discussing Bill Clinton’s (mild, stagey) tantrum on Fox News, The Times’s Virginia Heffernan nails one crucial new world distinction. The boob tube is medium cool, but YouTube is Medium Hot, and the cool remove that plays well on longform television does not make an impact in the quick-swig Web video world:

It was a perfect three-minute aria of fury: Gore-like (heh) in its understanding of the third screen, the insta-fury, the clip fit, the sheen of spontaneity and socking it to the cable prigs live. Drudge called Clinton “purple-faced,” because he wasn’t cool in a cool medium — television.

But YouTube isn’t a cool medium.

I disagree with her that Clinton went after Chris Wallace specifically with Web-video heads in mind, as I’d be very surprised if Bill Clinton has even seen YouTube.

But her overarching point is dead-on.

Reader Comments


September 26, 2006 1:51 PM

What i think is even more interesting is this: try searching for the video clip on YouTube of Clinton on Fox. A notice pops up saying "this clip has been removed by Fox due to copyrights" or something of that ilk. Fox is beyond uncool... they should recognize the power of YouTube in proliferating a story, but instead they put the smackdown on it. Not so smart, Fox.

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The media world continues to shapeshift as new forms arise and old assumptions erode. On this blog, Bloomberg Businessweek will provide sharp analysis and timely reports on the transformation of this constantly changing terrain.



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