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The Power of Twitter and Facebook

There’s been a lot of discussion about the role of Facebook and Twitter in the Arab spring. All of the discussion is justified. Here in the United States, Facebook and Twitter are thought of as tools that are used by the young to play and have fun. Last week, we saw two examples of how Facebook and Twitter are used. In one instance, they were a way to enhance a Super Bowl. Now you do not have to leave your house to go to a Super Bowl party. Log on and there are hundreds of thousands of people with whom you can share the experience.

On the business side, the Susan G Komen Foundation and Planned Parenthood found out that these new tools can quickly overwhelm your story. With the help of Ari Fleischer, the Susan G Komen Foundation thought that they could cut the legs out from under Planned Parenthood. They never imagined the vicious backlash that is still reverberating today. They are scrambling to try to pick up the pieces. As I mentioned earlier, it is unclear to me whether the Foundation will survive this. Rapidly, the news spread that the Susan G Komen Foundation was defunding Planned Parenthood. Somebody, somewhere, organized the first online petition. People didn’t have to think. People didn’t have to go to a rally. All they had to do was click a button. Shortly, thousands of e-mails were sent to the Foundation. Then, tens of thousands. Soon, within hours, hundreds of thousands of e-mails were sent to the Foundation. At the same time, Planned Parenthood saw the opposite reaction. Donations of $10 and $15 and $20 began pouring into Planned Parenthood. Over a matter of days, over $3 million was raised.

There are some people, sitting in little rooms somewhere, trying to figure out how to use social media for their own gain. I’m sure there are Democratic and Republican operatives trying to figure out how to tap into these instant emotions which can turn into instant dollars.

NPR had a nice story on this yesterday. What are your thoughts on this new social media? Is it going to change America? Because of the instantaneous nature of this media, what are the pitfalls?

By |2012-02-07T09:21:46-04:00February 7th, 2012|Blogging issues|Comments Off on The Power of Twitter and Facebook

Olbermann’s statement

Keith Olbermann will be back on the air tonight. He isn’t the second coming. He is a good commentator. That’s it.

Keith’s statement:

by Keith Olbermann

I want to sincerely thank you for the honor of your extraordinary and ground-rattling support. Your efforts have been integral to the remedying of these recent events, and the results should remind us of the power of individuals spontaneously acting together to correct injustices great or small. I would also like to acknowledge with respect the many commentators and reporters, including those with whom my politics do not overlap, for their support.

I also wish to apologize to you viewers for having precipitated such anxiety and unnecessary drama. You should know that I mistakenly violated an inconsistently applied rule – which I previously knew nothing about – that pertains to the process by which such political contributions are approved by NBC. Certainly this mistake merited a form of public acknowledgment and/or internal warning, and an on-air discussion about the merits of limitations on such campaign contributions by all employees of news organizations. Instead, after my representative was assured that no suspension was contemplated, I was suspended without a hearing, and learned of that suspension through the media.

You should also know that I did not attempt to keep any of these political contributions secret; I knew they would be known to you and the rest of the public. I did not make them through a relative, friend, corporation, PAC, or any other intermediary, and I did not blame them on some kind of convenient ‘mistake’ by their recipients. When a website contacted NBC about one of the donations, I immediately volunteered that there were in fact three of them; and contrary to much of the subsequent reporting, I immediately volunteered to explain all this, on-air and off, in the fashion MSNBC desired.

I genuinely look forward to rejoining you on Countdown on Tuesday, to begin the repayment of your latest display of support and loyalty – support and loyalty that is truly mutual.


By |2010-11-09T15:36:23-04:00November 9th, 2010|Media|1 Comment

Wyclef responses

I don’t know Wyclef Jean. I have heard only a couple of his tunes. I did see that special that 60 Minutes did on him and I thought it was awesome. Anytime that you put yourself out there, you are a target for those that simply look to tear people down. A black man from Haiti is by definition a target.

From HuffPo:

Wyclef Jean posted a video statement on YouTube today to respond to accusations against his Yele Haiti Foundation, which has been collecting Haiti relief donations following Tuesday’s massive earthquake.

A Washington Post article raised concerns about the Yele Foundation’s “fiscal scrutiny,” first reported by The Smoking Gun.

Apparently Yele Haiti Foundation’s tax returns raised questions about how money has been spent in the past on administration and various other expenses.

In his 5:30 response, Jean discusses the history of the organization and stresses that as a native of Haiti he has “always been committed to the people of Haiti.”

He states plainly, “I never would ever take money for my personal pocket when it comes to Yele. I myself have put $1 million inside of my own foundation.”

He added that he was “disgusted” by the recent criticism.

By |2010-01-18T22:31:14-04:00January 18th, 2010|Environment, Foreign Affairs, Music|Comments Off on Wyclef responses
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