What's fascinating about the Jon Stewart takedown of Crossfire is not just what he said but how his message got distributed.
Terry Heaton reports that there have been almost 400,000 downloads of the segment at iFilm (which is how I saw it) … in addition to countless (literally, countless) BitTorrent downloads. This was a flood of viral distribution that came from viral promotion….
In old TV, a moment like this came and if you missed it, you missed it. Tough luck. In new TV, you don't need to worry about watching it live—live is so yesterday—because thousands of peers will be keeping an eye out for you to let you know what you should watch (we call that metadata now) and they'll record it and distribute it.
The really stupid thing is that CNN didn't do this themselves: Hey, we had a red-hot segment with tsunami star Jon Stewart strangling our guys with a bow tie; you should watch; here, please, look at this free download because it will promote our bow-tie boy and our brand and our show and give us a little of that Stewart hip heat. That's what CNN should have done. Instead, they'll charge you to deliver a videotape (what's that?) the next day.