Source: WhoSaidYouSaid.com via YouTube.com
A video of Gov. Bill Ritter during a University of Denver Law School class presents the incumbent Democratic governor querying a video-taker, then lecturing students about the effects of video-taping on governance.
By Allie Winter, STATE BILL COLORADO
While Gov. Bill Ritter was busy today tackling budget questions and launching Colorado’s new “no texting while driving law,” a few Republican notables were busy launching a Web site and blogging hub, WhoSaidYouSaid.com, that took aim initially at the incumbent governor.
WhoSaidYouSaid.com’s commentators — former and current Denver GOP officers Mary Smith and Kelly Maher — wrote that their site will highlight people in the public eye through “video, audio and creative content.” What’s not mentioned is the motive for the posts. The first clip posted captures Ritter confronting a video taker in a law school classroom. Asked if the site was meant to make certain public officials look bad, Smith said no.
“ I am simply allowing people to form their own opinions,” Smith said. “It is simply to highlight the ideas of people in the public eye in their very own words.”
WhoSaidYouSaid’s first video, posted by Smith this morning, features Gov. Bill Ritter speaking to University of Denver law students and is titled “Gov. Ritter on the perils of Web Video.” Immediately after the title was this caption: “First up, Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter telling law students at the University of Denver about the difficulties of governance in a climate where not everyone agrees, but everyone is watching. Shocker! This government stuff is HARD!”
“There’s lots of funny stuff out there,” Smith told State Bill Colorado. “There’s plenty of topical material out there from public figures that people should know about.” But WhoSaidYouSaid is not intended to be a humor site, she said.
In the clip that’s posted, Ritter begins by asking a DU student who is taping him and why they’re taping him. He then goes on to give his views about how new media both helps citizens in terms of gathering information, but also polarizes them.
Smith said the reason WhoSaidYouSaid only showed the first part of Ritter’s speech was because it was the only time during his address where he mentioned Web video.
“Those were his opening remarks,” Smith said. “That is how he chose to open. He should be able to say what he believes .”
Smith did not specify if clips of Republican officials would also be featured on the site, or if it would only be Democrats.
“You are just going to have to wait,” Smith said.
A transcript of the video follows.
Ritter: Who is taping? Who’s taping? You guys are taping? For any purpose?
Student: Kind of. … Documenting politics in Colorado
Ritter: It’s a pretty interesting thing, this taping thing, right? Because you put in on YouTube and pretty much capture what people say. We live in this really interesting time in this state, I think, and maybe in the country. And technology can be our friend in terms of accessing information, but also, it seems to me that it’s helping to polarize us in a sense. And I’m going to start some of my remarks about how difficult I think it is to really have rational public policy discussions, in part because of the polarized environment that we’re in. I think we are seeing this in Washington, D.C. We experience it here in Colorado. We’ve been able to do some things, some important things that I think are great, sort of 21st century things. But its really hard to do that and particularly to do it in a bipartisan fashion. We’ve had some luck and when I say we, Democrats, since I was elected, we’ve had some luck in getting support that was bipartisan outside the building. But, inside the building, quite frankly, it’s been more difficult. And we need to figure this part of it out. As a country, we need to try and get to a place where we understand that there has to be common and shared goals. So I’m going to let you tape that, I said I would. And I have no idea what use you’re going to make of it and it’s always interesting as a public official, because of the peril you place yourself in and knowing that things like this, where there’s a taping that’s going on can be really misused or misplaced or you can take small parts of it out and try and present some part of it as unflattering. And I’m not trying to at all, I’m just using this as an example. I’m not trying at all to ascribe a bad motive to your conduct. We’ll wait and see where it winds up.”