The planet's boob tube?
English version is here. I’m posting the French for the sheer novelty value as a show of solidarity with our new friend in Paris. And there is a news angle here, believe it or not: 10 Downing Street just opened its own YouTube account, making Blair the first world leader to embrace online video.
If it weren't the twilight of Tony Blair's political career, you'd think this was just a pander-to-youth-voters stunt, the contemporary equivalent of Bill Clinton visiting Arsenio Hall's show to play the saxophone. But Blair's new YouTube video congratulating the French and their President-elect Nicolas Sarkozy instead seems to signify something more meaningful: a recognition that giving a speech anyone can access, e-mail or post on their own Web site is a powerful means of communication.
Bush will probably be next, but this sort of thing is much more useful to someone like Ahmadinejad or Chavez. It’s a freebie propaganda pipeline to the west, it’s more intimate and therefore humanizing than a televised speech, and YouTube is positively crawling with Truthers and various other useful idiots who’d be receptive to their message.
Sure, American politicians and special interest groups already use the site to great effect, but when international leaders move onto the platform, something bigger is happening. Is YouTube officially the default TV network of the planet? Blair’s channel would seem to argue the affirmative.