Kony 2012

This is a pretty amazing video and campaign. It has 1.8 million views in two days, which must approach a record on YouTube. Moreover, it’s 30 minutes long, which makes the number of views absolutely astonishing and against all conventional wisdom relating to sharable web videos.

Oh and as if there was a need for there to political confluence around this campaign and anything else happening in the world, it turns out the Grade A Asshat Rush Limbaugh has defended Joseph Kony and the LRA and been harshly critical of President Obama for sending US troops into Uganda to help stop him. Baratunde Thurston writes:

It’s hard to be disappointed by a man who makes a living by being a disappointment to humanity. Yet still, knee-jerk support for the number one war criminal in the world based simply on the logic of opposition to President Obama is dangerous political opportunism at its worst. It’s also stupid. Having avoided the simplest possible research on the LRA, Limbaugh publicly assumed this was some sort of pro-Christian group. Because it fit neatly into the right’s post-fact view of the world, where a Christian American president is actually a secret Muslim who oppresses Christians, he felt comfortable blindly and ignorantly supporting Joseph Kony, who has abducted and brainwashed over 30,000 children, forcing them to kill their own parents and mutilate his enemies and rape with abandon. This is more than a case of a partisan talk radio host stretching for time. It’s the logical and dangerous consequence of a poisonous media culture which financially rewards people who willfully neglect the truth and the consequences of spreading falsehoods.

Separate from Limbaugh, this is an amazing campaign that is already at the level of cultural phenomenon. Hopefully it helps lead to the arrest of Kony.

There are a number of very smart, informed posts critiquing the content of Invisible Children’s “Kony 2012” campaign. I think the are worth highlighting so people can assess the relative merits of the campaign itself, separate from it’s phenomenal online statistics. These posts each fundamentally question the strategic leadership, editorial style, inherent White Man’s Burden, fundraising, and over-simplification of the Kony 2012 campaign and the organizers behind it. Not the least in these critiques is that Kony 2012 is pushing for a military intervention and aid to the Ugandan military, which is not a particularly good actor.

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