Sunday, July 20, 2008

John McCain and the Internets

The New York Times recently interviewed John McCain at length about different issues, including what kind of conservative he is, what kind of Christian he is (who cares about these two points?), the current banking crisis, the Internet, and many other topics.

I was taken aback by McCain's comments about the Internet. Clearly, this guy is not qualified to be president in the age of rapidly expanding technology. Other people show him websites. He's LEARNING to go online himself. And he doesn't use e-mail. Here is an exerpt from the interview. The whole transcript is linked above.

"Q: What websites if any do you look at regularly?

"Mr. McCain: Brooke and Mark show me Drudge, obviously, everybody watches, for better or for worse, Drudge. Sometimes I look at Politico. Sometimes RealPolitics, sometimes.

"(Mrs. McCain and Ms. Buchanan both interject: “Meagan’s blog!”)

"Mr. McCain: Excuse me, Meagan’s blog. And we also look at the blogs from Michael and from you that may not be in the newspaper, that are just part of your blog.

"Q: But do you go on line for yourself?

"Mr. McCain: They go on for me. I am learning to get online myself, and I will have that down fairly soon, getting on myself. I don’t expect to be a great communicator, I don’t expect to set up my own blog, but I am becoming computer literate to the point where I can get the information that I need – including going to my daughter’s blog first, before anything else.

"Q: Do you use a blackberry or email?

"Mr. McCain: No

"Mark Salter: He uses a BlackBerry, just ours.

"Mr. McCain: I use the Blackberry, but I don’t e-mail, I’ve never felt the particular need to e-mail. I read e-mails all the time, but the communications that I have with my friends and staff are oral and done with my cell phone. I have the luxury of being in contact with them literally all the time. We now have a phone on the plane that is usable on the plane, so I just never really felt a need to do it. But I do – could I just say, really – I understand the impact of blogs on American politics today and political campaigns. I understand that. And I understand that something appears on one blog, can ricochet all around and get into the evening news, the front page of The New York Times. So, I do pay attention to the blogs. And I am not in any way unappreciative of the impact that they have on entire campaigns and world opinion."

I don't believe anyone can truly understand the scope and power of the Internet and related technologies if they have never surfed around and discovered it for themselves. McCain's statement is almost as scary as W's reference to his familiarity with "the Internets" several years ago. How can this man lead us into the future?

Update: Several other bloggers have had fun with this issue and commented. Here are a few links.

Back from the Dead...More or Less
McCain Discovers the Internet, Fire and the Wheel
My Mom is Better than John McCain

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