- - Wednesday, October 5, 2011

YouTube ‘Obama girl’ was almost ‘Hillary girl’

In 2008, America’s infatuation with then-Illinois Sen. Barack Obama was captured in a viral YouTube music video, “I’ve got a crush on Obama.” It turns out the star of that video, who achieved fleeting fame as “Obama girl,” almost landed on Team Hillary. Amber Lee Ettinger tells ABC News that “Terry McAuliffe from the Hillary campaign, he actually took me … out to dinner to try to persuade us to go to Hillary’s side.”

Miss Ettinger, 29, was an actress/model when she was hired for seven hours to shoot the video. At the time, Hillary Rodham Clinton was far ahead in the polls, and Mr. Obama was a virtual nobody.

“People would ask me, ‘What are you working on?’” she told 20/20. “And I would tell them, ‘I’m shooting this video about Barack Obama.’ And half the people I told were like, ‘Who?’”

Then ABC’s Jake Tapper blogged about the video. Twenty-four million views later, “Obama girl” has become a permanent part of American campaign history.

Though she was courted by another campaign, Miss Ettinger explained to ABC that she didn’t want to be a “flip-flopper.”

“I was only going to sing and dance for one candidate. I didn’t want to be all over the place.”

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2011/10/03/youtube-%e2%80%98obama-girl%e2%80%99-was-was-almost-%e2%80%98hillary-girl%e2%80%99/

Jolie gets U.N. title for Afghan refugee work

Angelina Jolie, for the last 10 years a goodwill ambassador for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, has accepted a position as Special Representative on the Afghan refugee situation, the U.N. announced Tuesday in Geneva.

In this new role, she is expected to work with the governments of Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan on the Afghan refugee issue.

According to the U.N. agency, Pakistan and Iran host a combined 2.7 million displaced Afghan refugees. Miss Jolie’s work with the U.N. has taken her to 40 troubled locations around the world, including far-flung countries like Ecuador and Somalia. She was recently recognized for her unusually long tenure as a U.N. goodwill ambassador.

She spoke Monday at the United Nations Refugee Agency Awards about her work: “From them I’ve learned so much. I’ve learned to be a better person, a better mother. They’ve inspired me by showing me the unbreakable strength of the human spirit.”

Miss Jolie is the mother of six children, three of whom were adopted from countries she visited doing work with the U.N. InTouch Weekly recently reported that although husband Brad Pitt would like her to take time off from her career, Miss Jolie has no intention of slowing her pace anytime soon.

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2011/10/04/jolie-gets-un-title-for-afghan-refugee-work

Anderson Cooper vs. Reddit

Popular with Internet humor geeks for “image macros,” “meme generation,” and “narwhal obsessions,” the popular website Reddit is up in arms after CNN’s Anderson Cooper zeroed in on a section of the site dedicated to sexualized pictures of underage girls.

Thursday night on “Anderson Cooper 360,” the silver-haired anchor expressed shock that a section of the site called “R/Jailbait” was allowed to exist on a corporate property. Tastefully blurring out the pictures of clothed adolescent girls, Mr. Cooper nevertheless went through the segment highlighting some of the more sleazy aspects of the site, particularly a header proclaiming “Keep a teen off the streets — put her in your van!”

What surprised Mr. Cooper, however, was that R/Jailbait wasn’t “run from some site in Eastern Europe, or [by] some guy in his basement.” Reddit is a subsidiary of media conglomerate Advance News, recently split off from Conde Nast.

Conde Nast, the publisher of premier magazines such as the New Yorker, Wired and Vogue, bought Reddit in 2006. Its president has a seat on Reddit’s board.

“It’s pretty bad to know that a big corporation has something like this that would reflect badly on it,” Mr. Cooper said on his show.

The reactions of Reddit editors — or Redditors — waking up Friday morning ranged from annoyance at being defined by a minority of their community, to outrage at being tarred by the pedophile brush.

Most, however, laughed it off as a joke.

An “Ask Me Anything” request sprang up for Mr. Cooper, while user “atheros” pointed out that CNN had once praised Reddit’s “Random Acts of Pizza” forum dedicated to helping out hungry people in need with free meals. Meanwhile, Redditors started promoting another pre-existing site section — or subreddit — called “R/Whalebait,” filled with pictures of marine mammals with lascivious captions. Some even started joking that by promoting the site on his show, Mr. Cooper had unintentionally started driving traffic to R/Jailbait. Friday, a whole subreddit appeared photoshopping Anderson Cooper into R/Jailbait photos.

At the heart of the ‘jailbait’ outrage, however, lies a fundamental conflict.

Reddit general manager Erik Martin advocates that as an open Internet board, Reddit represents the Internet as it is — not how it should be. “We’re a free speech site,” he said in a statement to CNN, “and the cost of that is there’s a lot of offensive stuff on there.”

But First Amendment arguments may not extend to corporations, cautions CNN’s senior legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin, who has also represented the New Yorker as an attorney. Though there’s no issue of illegality since the girls pictured are clothed, a corporate site should exercise some control over its own content, he said.

“A website automatically exercises some control,” Mr. Toobin said. “The idea that [Advanced News executives] have no control over their own users is just wrong.”

He added: “There are big parts of Reddit that have nothing to do with underage sex. … Unfortunately, that’s kind of like saying ‘Look at all these banks that I didn’t rob.’”

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2011/09/30/anderson-cooper-vs-reddit

Compiled by Betsi Fores and Tina Nguyen © 2011 The Daily Caller

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