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Wednesday, April 7, 2010 as of 11:14 AM ET

Politics

Kimberly Schwandt

Washington, DC

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New Dem Site Seeks GOP “Macaca” Moments

June 29, 2010 - 11:50 AM | by: Kimberly Schwandt

In a strong sign that YouTube videos and camera phones will be ever-important in this year’s election, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) is launching a new program called “The Accountability Project” encouraging anyone to upload videos catching and “documenting” Republican candidates at public events.

They are hoping to then point-out any “misinformation, lies and double-speak” they see from “candidates try to make misleading attacks and false claims under the radar,” the DNC said in a release announcing the project.

The DNC move is a sure sign that “macaca” moments are now a regular part of the political landscape. The term “macaca moment” quickly became part of the political lexicon in 2006 when Republican Senatorial candidate George Allen used the term “macaca” in reference to an India-American aide to his opponent taping an event. He later apologized for using the derogatory term saying he didn’t know what it meant. Allen ended up losing his re-election to Democratic challenger, Jim Webb.

The DNC pointed to that very instance in their announcement, saying, “It was just one moment. Who knows what else is being said when the cameras aren’t running?”

It’s moments like these — sometimes off the cuff remarks, sometimes deliberate — but not meant to be a formal part of event that go viral on the internet. Take for example Vice President Joe Biden’s remarks to a Kopps frozen custard manager in Milwaukee last week. The vice president called the manager a “smartass” after the manager gave Biden a free frozen custard and asked in exchange for lower taxes. A local news station, WISN, picked up the remarks and it quickly hit the internet and national television stations.

The Republican National Committee (RNC) fired back on the new launch as hypocrisy on transparency, “If the DNC now believes in openness and transparency, the best place to start is not on the campaign trail, but with this White House and this Congress,” said RNC Spokesman Doug Heye.

“We would also ask for footage of a budget being drafted, but we know no such footage exists – just as no budget exists,” Heye said.

The new Accountability Project website is set-up to be similar to other social-networking sites that are interactive and user-friendly. Average people from anywhere in the United States can upload videos, add information on events, and view videos from other users. They also want to track campaign “tactics,” seeking any recording, mailer, e-mail or advertisement.

The RNC also currently makes use of video, but does not have a formal project like this one. They would not discuss any future plans of what they may or may not be planning in regards to a similar site.

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