Now it can be told: I infiltrated a Bush rally

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Thomas Veil, Oct 11, 2004.

  1. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2004
    Location:
    Reality
    #1
    Remember a few weeks back when I said I was working on an anti-Bush project? Well, here's the story.

    We have a public access TV facility in town, and a friend and I have always talked about doing a program of some kind for it.

    A few weeks ago -- even before the debates -- we were talking about Bush's disingenuousness in his speeches: his careful selection of facts, his distortions, his leaving out of unpleasant truths. And I suggested: wouldn't it be funny if we could take one of his speeches and insert satiric comments, a la Mystery Science Theater 3000?

    My friend agreed, although I quickly found that it's hard to actually get ahold of a speech on video. The networks don't cover them in total, and while C-SPAN does, it does not allow its videos to be used for any purpose, by anybody else.

    So it became apparent that the only way to get video of an entire Bush speech was to record it ourselves. To that end, I found out when he would be appearing around here, and called the local Bush-Cheney headquarters to inquire about getting in.

    I won't go into the machinations of how I managed to convince them to let me bring a video camera. Let's just say that I managed to talk my way in.

    When I showed up at the site of the rally, I was stopped no less than three times by various campaign workers or police who eyed me suspiciously. Two of the three times, they had to radio their superiors to get them to approve my entrance...and each time, they did. I couldn't believe my luck. Three times I could have been dead in the water, and three times I got through.

    So anyway, I set up in a good location and...well, the rest is all on videotape.

    Yup. I got it all. I couldn't believe no one was on to me. All the way home, I half-expected to be pulled over by a patrol car and have them confiscate my tapes. :D

    So now I have the raw footage, and I've been working on it, to air on our public access station.

    When discussing it further with my cohort, we ended up agreeing that a pure satire a la MST3K might not be the way to go. Remember our discussion of satire in a thread a few weeks back? We felt that it amuses the faithful and ****es off the other side, but it really doesn't do much in terms of education or persuasion.

    So we thought about a more serious approach. We ended up settling on a fun idea. Remember VH-1's Pop-Up Videos? We showed the speech uncut, but we inserted all kinds of "pop-up" comments into it. Everywhere Bush fudged, we put in a clarification. Everywhere he misled, we pointed out the facts.

    And yes, we got in a couple of snide remarks, because we just couldn't resist.

    You can see a couple of brief clips of our video here and here.

    These are 9 and 13 MB files, respectively.

    The show starts airing tomorrow, and will run several times this week. I figure it'll take, oh, about five minutes before the first complaint hits the cable office. :D
     
  2. Mike Teezie macrumors 68020

    Mike Teezie

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2002
    #2
    NICE.

    I have no idea how you managed to fanagle your way in, but excellent work. The video looks great too, especially when the facts pop up.

    I couldn't view the second clip, Quicktime "does not understand this file"....
     
  3. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #3
    Good idea. You might want to shorten the text in the pop-up windows, or maybe pause the Bush speech for the rebuttals. Hard to read and listen at the same time.

    I'm sure we'd all like to know what you told the security people to get in. You have succeeded where others have failed.
     
  4. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #4
    I had that problem too. Instead of trying to stream the video, option-click on the link to download first.
     
  5. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2003
    Location:
    PDX
    #5
    Well done.

    How long will the total length be?

    Personally, I would've left out the snide comments, as I think they will detract from your overall point (in the minds of viewers).

    Still, excellent plan and execution and nice use of pop-ups (although I wish they were smaller or off-center so as not to be distracting to the viewer)

    Will there be a re-hash of the sources of the pop-ups at the end, so people can do further research? I'd like that.

    Thanks. James Bond ain't got nothing on you...
     
  6. Don't panic macrumors 603

    Don't panic

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2004
    Location:
    having a drink at Milliways
    #6
    nice and funny, but if the purpose is education and persuasion (and possibly switching a couple of votes), you should come out as objective as possible.
    so I concur with most criticisms:
    the snide remarks are unnecessary, just let the facts speak (we all know it's more than enough).
    make quotes shorter: you still need to be able to follow the speech.
    if possible use more non-partisan sources (i.e not Kerry).

    ps: was he wired?
     
  7. t300 macrumors 6502a

    t300

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2004
    #7
    What a bunch of stupid propaganda...

    Yeah, you really "infiltrated" a Bush rally, didn't you? How hardcore...
     
  8. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #8
    You mean the Bush speech?
     
  9. Thomas Veil thread starter macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2004
    Location:
    Reality
    #9
    Well, the joke-to-serious comment ratio is something like 1:7, so hopefully the sillier remarks won't be too distracting.

    Very few of the factoids are from Kerry's own site. Most are from the Congressional Budget Office, CNN, Reuters, FactCheck.org, a James Carville book, and similar sources. Half the time we took in making this video was researching it.

    Total length is 1h, 20m. We left his entire presentation uncut, except for a 30-second period it took us to change tapes.

    The quotes we really struggled with. Many of them did not lend themselves to being cut down and still retaining coherency. A few of the really lengthy ones we paraphrased, out of necessity, but for the most part we didn't want to cut too much. We didn't want to leave room for people to claim we were probably quoting out of context.

    ...I don't think he was wearing a wire...

    At the very end, we do have a "suggested reading" graphic, which includes Molly Ivins' "Bushwhacked", Al Franken's "Lying Liars", James Carville's "Had Enough?" and other books.

    I'll check on that second movie file. I had a little trouble with the upload, so I may have to do it again.
     
  10. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
  11. Thomas Veil thread starter macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2004
    Location:
    Reality
    #11
    Re-uploaded the second clip.

    BTW, the title of the video is "Bush*it". And yes, that's spelled very carefully. :rolleyes:

    I'm already working on a follow-up. Went to a Kerry rally this past weekend, and taped that as well. But I'll be playing the Kerry video perfectly straight, adding just an opening title and a few closing credits. I'm looking to begin airing that starting this weekend.

    Wish I could get "Bush*it" out to a wider audience, though.

    You suppose Sinclair would be interested in it?

    Naaaah.
     
  12. Xtremehkr macrumors 68000

    Xtremehkr

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #12
    Nice

    Great idea, you have a guaranteed viewer here. In fact, I would enjoying watching distortions from politician being exposed. Over and over again.
     
  13. Xtremehkr macrumors 68000

    Xtremehkr

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #13
    Second clip didn't work.

    It would be great if future clips were below 10mb so that I can email them out to everyone. I don't know of a way to email links larger than 10mb, any suggestion?

    I would link my emails to this site but I know that half the people I tell won't bother, they will if they have it in their inbox though.

    This is a great idea, the graphics look great. Good quality.
     
  14. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2003
    Location:
    PDX
    #14
    Thomas, I would like to see the whole thing, although I haven't the foggiest how to make that happen. Nevertheless, I appeciate the effort and I hope it is well-received (you know what I mean).

    As for the Kerry piece, I would encourage you to subject it to the same treatment. In addition to this being the fair thing to do (lending credibility to your work), it would also be an opportunity to further educate yourself about Kerry and his innaccuracies/distortions. It would also be a lesson in discernment and civic-participation and potentially helpful in future Elections, where the case my not be as cut-and-dry. Still, I know the amount of effort involved...

    As for the suggested reading list, I am worried about the perception of those seeing such Liberal "hot" names and having a negative reaction to your whole effort (assuming they were not Liberals)...but what do you do?
     
  15. Thomas Veil thread starter macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2004
    Location:
    Reality
    #15
    Frankly, we discussed giving the Kerry speech the same treatment...but since it took us a month to put together the Bush thing (working around our normal work schedules), we'd be done too late to air it in time for the election. We only taped the Kerry thing last weekend.

    Too bad, too. Kerry was also in town a month ago, the same weekend as Bush, but the events were so close together that we couldn't get from one to the other in time.
     

Share This Page