President Barack Obama jokingly mimics U.S. Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney’s “not impressed” look while greeting members of the 2012 U.S. Olympic gymnastics teams in the Oval Office, Nov. 15, 2012. Steve Penny, USA Gymnastics President, and Savannah Vinsant laugh at left. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Almost anyone who has been near a radio this summer has certainly heard Carly Rae Jepsen’s catchy tune, “Call Me Maybe.” In June, our family embarked upon a massive roadtrip that took us from Washington, DC to Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, West Virginia and back. We must’ve heard this song at least two dozen times while in the car, usually with a “Turn it up!” request from my girls in the backseat.
As it turns out, we weren’t the only ones. The Harvard University baseball team had a little fun with the song, as well. Apparently, on a roadtrip of their own back in May 2012, they sang and danced to the tune from the backseat of their van and uploaded a video of it to YouTube. Then, the Internet took notice. At the time of this post, their video had over 14.6 million views. But it didn’t end there.
2009 will most likely be remembered as the year that the Internet expanded beyond the tech set as more people flocked to the web to search and share information — largely due to the growth of social media and the rapid advancements in mobile handheld technology.
Whether in news, entertainment, sports or politics, just about everyone launched a Twitter account this year. At the time of this post, Ashton Kutcher topped the list with 4.2 million followers with Britney Spears, Ellen DeGeneres, Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey, John Mayer, CNN, Twitter, Ryan Seacrest and Kim Kardashian rounding out the Top 10 Twitter users.
My, what a difference a month makes. That’s right, this past Friday marked exactly one month since Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) yelled those two “spontaneous” words during a Joint Session of Congress in response to President Obama’s claim that his healthcare plan wouldn’t cover illegal immigrants.
President Obama has come a long way from “You Lie!” to being named the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize recipient!
Reaction around the world and in the media was certainly mixed with many feeling that this honor was bestowed way too soon – just eight months into his Presidency. In fact, the nomination application deadline for the prize was February 1, just 11 days after Obama took office. We don’t know who nominated him either and we won’t know a long time. They don’t release that information for 50 years.
Traditionally, August is supposed to be a little quieter in Washington, DC. Not so this summer with the current debates heating up over the future of the US economy, bailouts, healthcare reform and energy legislation.
The Internet is certainly playing a key role. In fact, YouTube may have officially reached its digital advocacy “tipping point” when a handful of videos were recently uploaded featuring flustered politicians struggling to answer tough healthcare questions during several Congressional town hall meetings.
Many Democrats in support of the bill have moved to characterize opponents as an organized, astroturfing, angry right wing mob. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) even went so far as to call the protests “un-American.” On the contrary, it was the SEIU who was caught on tape beating a black conservative who voiced dissent over the plan.
Back in March, Jose Antonio Vargas from The Washington Post assembled a bipartisan group of five panelists to periodically review President Obama’s White House Website in a feature called “Grading WhiteHouse.gov.”
Due to the overwhelming response to the first column, Jose decided to add a guest reviewer for “Grading WhiteHouse.gov, Round Two,” which was posted earlier this week — and I was honored that he thought of me. Of course, he did indicate that he wasn’t going to be able to print my entire thoughts, but agreed to allow me to post them here.