Making Hay Out of Obama's Swat

We had a neat little segment from John Harwood's interview with President Obama yesterday that went a little viral.

That's right ... the President swatting the fly. Oh the headline fun we had ... "A Presidential Fly-Bye"..."Mission Accomplished"..."Obama Goes Miyagi"... we opted for "No Fly Zone."

It was our most popular video yesterday. And it's on track to be the most popular today, too.

But there were some interesting Internet journalism issues to consider.

One, should that part of the interview be aired at all? It was obviously an unintended distraction. Indeed, it wasn't part of the originally edited interview for air. Killing a fly has nothing to do with regulatory reform.

On the other hand, it was remarkable for its presidential prowess. And President Obama did suggest the camera get the close-up of his handiwork. That makes it fair game, to my mind.

Then should the video segment be cut to the barest, shortest essentials ... or should we keep the John Harwood on-air set-up? We opted for the set-up since some folks, especially casual Net users, may need some explanation to appreciate the situation in full. Of course serious Net jockeys and TV fanatics might find that irritating, since they already appreciate how such out takes happen. Oh well.

Never had such considerations thrown up for discussion back so many years ago in journalism school. Could be a good course though: "Viral Video 101."