Making the Rounds
McCain Girls Are Your New Jalopy
By Garance Franke-Ruta
Barack Obama had the Obama Girl, but now John McCain has a troop of "girls" of his own.
On March 14th, the self-proclaimed "McCain Girls" released a YouTube video "It's Raining McCain," which quietly sat in YouTube limbo for a week until being picked up by The Huffington Post late Friday. On Saturday, the video started to go viral and has now picked up so much steam -- and more than 218,000 views, which is a lot, considering the excruciating material -- that it has become a "most blogged" video, according to Google Video.
Still unanswered, however, is the question of whether the video's stars are any more authentic than Amber Lee Ettinger's Obama Girl. Ettinger was a hired model who lip-synced her way through "I've Got a Crush...On Obama," a video written and produced by a political comedy group. But when the New Jersey Democratic primary came around, Ettinger failed to vote for her chosen man, or even cast a ballot at all.
An e-mail query to the McCain Girls on YouTube was met with silence, as was a query to the McCain campaign itself. Dana "DHinMI" Houle from DailyKos wrote that the video had to be "an example of an apparent dirty tricks campaign by some Democrat somewhere." But perhaps Duncan Black of Eschaton put it best when he wrote, "I believe the YouTube era begins the age when it is impossible to tell parody/irony/performance art from completely sincere product."
One clue to the video's likely origin comes from Mario Ruiz, the vice president of media relations for both the Huffington Post and its partner site 236.com. A joint collaboration between the Huffington Post and IAC -- Barry Diller's internet company -- 23/6 video is "a comedy news site," said Ruiz.
And it's where, he says, the HuffPo got the video in the first place.
Fair warning: This may make your ears bleed.
Posted at 3:41 PM ET on Mar 24, 2008
Making the Rounds
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