The Macaca Warning: Born of Barack’s “Bittergate,” It’s the Political Miranda Rights Equivalent

April 15th, 2008

Genius idea from PoliticsTV’s Dan Manatt: with Obama’s now-infamamous (and citizen-journalist-reported) “bitter” comments in mind, he wrote in techPresident today that ubiquitous digital recording should now require campaign staff to take Extreme Measures:

Combine (1) this rule of Digital Omnipresence with (2) the rules of Off-the-Record/On the Record (i.e. — nothing is ever truly, reliably, off-the-record), then you’ve got Bittergate.

What’s the upshot? Campaign managers should consider, on a daily basis, reminding candidates of their Digital Miranda rights — call it the “Macaca Warning”:

“You have the right to be recorded — and should expect you are being videotaped and recorded 24/7. Anything you say can and will be used against you by your opponents. Beware that something that sounds OK in one setting may be a gaffe in another setting…”

Excellent idea! e.politics has been fascinated by the effects of portable video and audio recording on politics from the beginnings of the site in the Antediluvian days of 2006, and I’m damn jealous that Dan thought of that one before I did. Soon, only robots will be clean enough to run for office, and our fate as a species will at long last be sealed.

cpd

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