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Clinton's YouTube Apple mashup mystery

Blog claims ad was inspired by campaign quarrel

The creator of the Apple ad mashup that paints Senator Hillary Clinton as a 1984-esque ‘Big Sister’ has not yet been identified. But earlier this month, the creator told a political blogger the idea came after a campaign contribution quarrel between Clinton, Senator Barack Obama and Hollywood producer David Geffen.

Clinton, meanwhile, downplayed the video and called it a "small favour".

Dubbed the “Hilary 1984" video, the remix uses Apple's classic Mac introduction advert, which ran only once on television 23 years ago. It replaces the droning Big Brother of the original with images and words of Clinton. Although the mashup ends with a rainbow-coloured logo for the Obama presidential campaign and the URL of his website, Obama has denied any connection with the ad.

According to YouTube, someone identified as ParkRidge47 first posted the video. ParkRidge47's profile claims that he or she is a 59-year-old American.

Within days of the video appearing on YouTube two weeks ago, Micah Sifrey, co-creator of TechPresident.com, a blog site covering how the '08 candidates are using the internet, had written an email to, and received a response from, ParkRidge47.

"A friend suggested the idea after reading a New York Times article about the Clinton's campaign bullying of donors and political operatives after the Geffen dustup," ParkRidge47 wrote to Sifrey on 7 March. "I don't want to say more than that. I'd prefer to let it speak for itself."

ParkRidge47's username is a play on Clinton's background; born in 1947, she grew up in Park Ridge, Ill.

On Tuesday, Clinton spoke for the first time about the mashup, which some commentators have taken to calling the first instance of an internet-based, virally-spread anonymous attack ad.

"I haven't seen it, but I'm pleased that it seems to be taking attention away from what used to be on YouTube and getting a lot of hits, namely me singing 'The Star Spangled Banner’," Clinton told New York's NY1 News in an interview. "I thank heaven for small favours, and the attention has shifted, and now maybe people won't have to tune in and hear me screeching."

The YouTube video has been viewed more than 2.1 million times.

ParkRidge47 did not reply to a message sent via YouTube.


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