The Washington Times - July 10, 2009, 08:53AM

The lead item on President Obama’s White House website is not his trip to Russia, Italy and Ghana this week.

It’s the swine flu.




The administration held an all-day summit on the issue yesterday. My story on that is here.

As part of the administration’s attempt to raise awareness, they are offering a $2,500 prize to the best video submitted to YouTube that can serve as a public service announcement. The winning entry will be broadcast on national television.

This is, in fact, what they are highlighting right now on the website.

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius did a video on YouTube to talk up the PSA competition, and made clear she does not want young people to hold back on using their creativity to make these videos.

“I’m not talking about another boring educational video. This is your chance to be funny, dramatic, or whatever you think will make the most positive impact,” Mrs. Sebelius said.

Yeah! Go crazy! Be as creative as you want!

But! Check the rules first. Here they are:

Rule #3: The Video may not use music.

Uh. Ok. Yeah. Let’s get creative.

HHS told me the rule was necessary because they can’t broadcast something over the airwaves that might infringe on a copyright and spark a lawsuit.

But what about allowing people to use their own music?

I guess the no music rule just adds to the challenge. I do complain about TV shows or movies that rely too heavily on music. So maybe it’s a good thing.



— Jon Ward, White House reporter, The Washington Times

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