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Using YouTube to Make a Point

We've noticed a great example of how some campaigns use YouTube to edit pre-existing video journalism to make a point.

Following last week's Democratic debate in Las Vegas, CBS News White House correspondent Jim Axelrod fact-checked statements that Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, and Barack Obama made during the two-hour tussle.

Axelrod's report aired on last Friday's CBS Evening News. It "fact checked" some things said by the three leading Democratic candidates:

1.) It confirmed a claim Edwards made that Clinton has accepted "more than $500,000 from lobbyists," but mentioned that Edwards has received more than $8 million from trial lawyers.

2.) It noted that Clinton said she does not "want to fix the problems of Social Security on the backs of middle class families and seniors," by increasing the amount of money subject to social security tax. But privately, Axelrod reports, Clinton has acknowledged to some voters that she's open to raising the cap, which would amount to a tax increase.

3.) It mentioned that Obama's health care proposals would not provide universal health care coverage to all Americans. Obama's proposal calls for "universal access, not universal coverage," possibly leaving 15 million poor Americans without a guarantee of health coverage, Axelrod says.

Here's the full report:

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In an effort to refute Obama's claim that he and Clinton are proposing "basically the same plan," for health care, the Clinton camp posted 24 seconds of Axelrod's report to prove that the plans are in fact different:

Some may say that posting the 24 seconds about Obama's health care helps distract from the less than flattering reminders about money from lobbyists, and Social Security. And the Clinton camp isn't the first to use this editing gimmick, and it is one of several campaigns that posts portions of TV newscasts without all the context. For example, this clip surfaced a few months back, in an effort to raise doubts about Rudy Giuliani's conservative credentials.

Expect to see similar YouTube edit jobs as we near the early primaries and caucuses. And if you know of any other good examples, leave links to them in the comments section below.

-- Ed O'Keefe

By Ed O'Keefe |  November 19, 2007; 5:48 PM ET
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