Have you had occasion to check out the way The New York Times has been posting the major speeches from the conventions? It’s about the coolest — and to me, most useful — software I’ve ever seen. Certainly the coolest since Google Maps came up with the "street level" view, and without the Big Brother overtones.
Here’s what it does: First, there’s a high-quality video window. Then, there’s a transcript of the speech posted next to the video, but that’s not the cool part. The cool part is that if you click on the paragraph you want, the video jumps to the beginning of that paragraph. Then, on top of that, there’s a topical outline to the right of the transcript. Click on the subject you want, and it jumps to that part of the transcript and video. It’s amazing.
Not only that, but the paper’s site search engine — which unfortunately often frustrates me; it doesn’t read my mind as well as, say, Google does — will take you straight to these miraculous pages with the simplest, most intuitive input, such as "Barack Obama’s speech."
Since I subscribe to the NYT, I don’t know whether these are accessible just to subscribers, or to everyone. But in the hope that you can go check them out and groove on them, here are a few of the top speeches from the two conventions:
Did it work for you? I hope so. This is too cool not to be able to share.
Yes, it is very cool.
One does not have to subscribe to the NYT to get it; they just have to register with the NYT to get the content.
The NYT made a decision a year or two ago to make their web content free to all.
That is pretty darn cool, especially with the automatically rolling transcript right next to it.
Brad, thanks for the links. This is an excellent tool for those of us who had to choose between football and politics.
I just finished watching McCain’s speech. It was pretty tough to grade. I guess because I had read so much about it there wasn’t the fresh factor. But even taking that into account it seemed rather bland. A couple of style comments are relevant. First, McCain has this very annoying habit of starting every sentence with the phrase “My Friends”. Even before the speech that was getting old. It seems condescending. If he just dropped it that would have shortened the speech and made it crisper.
Second, why on earth did he feel the need to, yet again, talk in detail about his time in the Hanoi Hilton? Surely one full reference during this convention would have been sufficient. This is an area that Palin had right. She made mention of it then moved on. Everyone in the world knows that story by now so why waste speech time on it. Perhaps in 2000 when no one had heard that story that would have been an appropriate talking point but not now. It just comes across as robotic and self-serving.
McCain did a better job with the gratuitous family stuff than did Palin. He said what needed to be said then moved on.
As for the content, well, what can I say. It really broke no new ground. McCain is certainly no great speaker. His facts, particularly on the tax issue and healthcare were way off-base. His choice of the very right-wing Sarah Palin undercuts his whole claim of wanting to reach across the aisle. Yet, that’s McCain. He wants it both ways. He wants to appeal to the red-meat conservatives as well as the middle of the road crowd at the same time. And maybe that’s a good political strategy. But as a talking point this “reaching out” business really is pretty lame stuff. I’d prefer he just lay out his agenda and leave it at that.
Overall grade: C-
There was speaker after speaker telling how long they have known John McCain and what they liked about him, about his character, his fortitude, his accomplishments.
At the Democratic Convention, no one came out and spoke for Obama. No one from his past told about his character, or his accomplishments, or any of that.
The only person to vouch for Barack Obama was Michele Obama, and she had no specific examples. She talked about his feelings.
Would you hire someone who had no references, like Obama?
That’s one way to look at it, Lee.
Another way might be to think about whether the Republicans are really interested in talking about issues and policies. Anything of substance they have to say would have been either 1) a reminder that we have had eight years of a Republican president and Republican policies or 2) a lie. Of course they would spend all their time talking about how great McCain is.
I think most Republicans are aware that the economy and the security of the nation are much better than what Clinton left us: a recession, crashed stock market, and terrorists thumbing their noses at him.
Bush’s only mistake was in going along with half the deficits the Democrats wanted. His tax cut produced enough new revenue to balance the budget, had they not blown it on welfare programs.
Un-freakin-believable!! Brad talks up McCain’s speech in his Sunday piece is a literary effort of trying to ram a round peg in a square hole.
McCain’s call for bipartisanship and ending the partisan rancor is a disgusting example of hypocrisy. After he repeatedly claimed “Obama wants to lose a war for political gain” how does he have even an iota of credibility?
He then recklessly picks a novice as his VP for obvious political reasons after bashing Obama for his inexperience. A person who’s been overseas once in her life could easily be the leader of the free world in a crucial time in our history because McCain is playing politics with our country. Despite this, the crowd brandished “country first” signs and heralded his patriotism.
He only picked her after he kowtowed to the extreme right by changing his mind about Lie-berman in favor of one of them. His judgement led him to a person who is so shrill and partisan that when a dj interviewing her called her political nemesis a “b_tch” and a “cancer” (the object of this vitriol is a cancer survivor), Palin laughed. She was governor at the time and laughed. (There is an audio clip of this that is easily found on the web).
The appropriate surfing analogy that I see here is Brad’s credibility wiping out.
Obama has bigger problems on its hands, when the Jews figure out that he is financed by black nationalists and Muslims who use these blacks to spread propaganda among blacks that the “white Jews” in Israel are not the children of God. Reverand Wright is just the tip of the iceberg.
Obama’s support for reparations funded by “taxing rich whites and Jews”, also might wise up some of the WASPs out there.