On April 20, Facebook held an online town hall meeting for President Barack Obama, personally hosted by billionaire Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. It was filled with magically shifting budget numbers and time frames, packaged in endless talking-point speeches that left the Facebook crowd silent (or asleep) in a way that home videos of dancing housecats can never do.
Zuckerberg kicked off the affair by saying he cant wait to pay more in taxes, something he mysteriously fails to do voluntarily (Psst, Zuckerberg, here’s how you can make a donation to the United States Government). From there, attendees got to watch a President who gives nasty partisan campaign speeches instead of budget proposals call Rep. Paul Ryan‘s budget “radical, but not particularly courageous.” Epic fantasies of a slowly “recovering” economy were spun, causing many to forget all that unpleasant, unexpected news that keeps skittering across their newspapers. Billions in new spending were proposed with every passing moment.
The President graciously acknowledged that America is “still the most dynamic and entrepreneurial culture in the world, but I can’t do it all myself. People need to be engaged.” It was incredibly humble of Mr. Obama to concede that he can’t personally run the most dynamic culture in the world without a bit of help from his eager children in the American electorate.
Why shouldn’t Republican candidates be allowed to have this kind of fun with the Facebook crowd? After all, Facebook is the largest media company in the world, with half a billion members. Plenty of them are conservatives and Tea Party members. Sarah Palin has been using electronic origami to fold Facebook pages into clue bats for years.
Team Barack astutely exploited Facebook in the 2008 campaign to create legions of Obama Zombies who marched to elect the most radical and untested president in American history. In fact, did you know that Obama even hired the co-creator of Facebook, Chris Hughes, to help man his online operation in 08? No wonder why Obama was pulling in millions of Facebook friends and micro targeting hoards of clueless college students in their dorm rooms. As one McCain-Palin adviser self-deprecatingly observed after the election, “Memo to self: Next time get the co-founder of Facebook on your team.”
There will eventually be a chosen Republican candidate to challenge Obama. When that happens, the candidate deserves his or her own Facebook Town Hall. It should be personally moderated by Zuckerberg, just as Obama’s was.
Obama told his Facebook audience that he hoped they wouldnt “get cynical and frustrated about our democracy.” What would make us more cynical than watching the biggest media outlet on Earth give the incumbent President a massive in-kind campaign contribution denied to his challenger? Sign the petition, and demand equal time on Facebook!