Democratic Debate #1: Television Coverage
The GDELT Project and the Internet Archive are partnering together to help better understand which soundbites and speakers are dominating the political discourse on television. In particular, we are working to translate the social media concepts of "memes" and "going viral" to the television world. Using the Internet Archive's Television News Archive, which monitors major American and international television stations in realtime, along with an archive of more than 735,000 television shows since 2009, we scan all monitored television programming for audio fingerprints of each soundbite of selected major political speeches and identify all excerpts of those soundbites across television news shows in the following days. The tool we use, audfprint, developed by the Laboratory for the Recognition and Organization of Speech and Audio at Columbia University, scans the audio track of each show, so it is not dependent on closed captioning, which is extremely noisy and entirely absent from many foreign language broadcasts. The tool is extremely sensitive, able to detect brief excerpts even when they are overdubbed by a commentator and/or other sound effects.
Today we are excited to unveil our latest application: the Democratic Presidential Prime Debate, held at 8:30PM EST on October 13, 2015 at the Wynn Las Vegas hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. The entire transcript of the debate was hand-segmented into soundbites and all television news programming monitored by the Internet Archive for 24 hours following the debate were scanned for any excerpt of those soundbites, which are displayed below. Browse the entire transcript below and click on any passage to see how many times and where it was excerpted, and click on the video icon to the left of each passage or the list of shows mentioning the excerpt in the bottom right to view a brief video clip of the soundbite. These numbers only reflect those television shows monitored by the Internet Archive, representing only a small set of television stations in the United States. Thus, these numbers are far from exhaustive in terms of measuring the total reach of the debate, but offers a powerful glimpse into which pieces of the speech resonated and where.
What you are seeing here is a first glimpse of a whole new way of exploring television, using enormously powerful computer algorithms as a new lens through which to explore the Internet Archive's massive archive of television news to create for the first time a way of tracking what's "going viral" on television. Quite literally this project took an hour-long political speech, broke it into soundbites, and scanned two weeks of national television news programming for any excerpt of any of those soundbites. Imagine the future possibilities for tracking how soundbites move between social and mainstream media, and the future ability to apply these techniques to explore soundbites in online video!
Visualizing the Debate
The final results of this analysis are available through the interface below. By default the entire debate transcript is shown, but you can use the search box below to narrow to only soundbites containing a particular keyword or that were aired on a particular station or show. The timeline below shows how many times each soundbite was broadcast. As you scroll through the transcript, the top-most paragraph will automatically highlight in yellow and the corresponding time period will highlight in the timeline below,l while the sidebar to the right of the transcript will display key statistics about that passage, along with a list of links to view previews of every identified mention of that soundbite on a news show. The timeline allows you to zoom into any section to see it more clearly - click anywhere in the middle of the graph on the white background (not the bottom of the graph) and drag with your mouse to highlight a section of the timeline - a "reset zoom" button will appear at the top right of the timeline display to zoom back out to the original view. While zoomed in you can hold down the shift key on your keyboard and click and drag to pan the timeline forward/backwards.
By default the entire debate transcript is displayed below. You can use the options below to filter to only a subset of the debate, such as only those lines appearing on a particular television station or show, or only those lines containing a certain keyword/phrase or spoken by a particular person. Only lines matching all of your criteria below are included.
VIEW BY-STATION BREAKDOWN
(Displays a grid of piecharts, one per television network, that shows the percentage of matching soundbites on that network from each candidate.)
(OMALLEY) But we elected a president, not a magician, and there is urgent work that needs to be done right now. For there is a -- deep injustice, an economic injustice that threatens to tear our country apart, and it will not solve itself. Injustice does not solve itself.
(SANDERS) What this campaign is about is whether we can mobilize our people to take back our government from a handful of billionaires and create the vibrant democracy we know we can and should have. Thank you.(APPLAUSE)
(CLINTON) And every day, I think about what we need to do to make sure that opportunity is available not just for her, but for all of our children. I have spent a very long time -- my entire adult life -- looking for ways to even the odds to help people have a chance to get ahead, and, in particular, to find the ways for each child to live up to his or her God-given potential.
(COOPER) Secretary Clinton, though, with all due respect, the question is really about political expediency. Just in July, New Hampshire, you told the crowd youd, quote, take a back seat to no one when it comes to progressive values.
(SANDERS) Those are some of the principles that I believe in, and I think we should look to countries like Denmark, like Sweden and Norway, and learn from what they have accomplished for their working people.(APPLAUSE)
(SANDERS) Do I consider myself part of the casino capitalist process by which so few have so much and so many have so little by which Wall Streets greed and recklessness wrecked this economy? No, I dont.
(CLINTON) Well, let me just follow-up on that, Anderson, because when I think about capitalism, I think about all the small businesses that were started because we have the opportunity and the freedom in our country for people to do that and to make a good living for themselves and their families.
(CLINTON) And I dont think we should confuse what we have to do every so often in America, which is save capitalism from itself. And I think what Senator Sanders is saying certainly makes sense in the terms of the inequality that we have.
(CLINTON) But we are not Denmark. I love Denmark. We are the United States of America. And its our job to rein in the excesses of capitalism so that it doesnt run amok and doesnt cause the kind of inequities were seeing in our economic system.
(CLINTON & COOPER ) CLINTON: But we would be making a grave mistake to turn our backs on what built the greatest middle class in the history...COOPER: Senator Sanders?CLINTON: ... of the world.(APPLAUSE)
(SANDERS) This was a large and complicated bill. There were provisions in it that I think made sense. For example, do I think that a gun shop in the state of Vermont that sells legally a gun to somebody, and that somebody goes out and does something crazy, that that gun shop owner should be held responsible? I dont.
(CLINTON) No, not at all. I think that we have to look at the fact that we lose 90 people a day from gun violence. This has gone on too long and its time the entire country stood up against the NRA. The majority of our country...(APPLAUSE)... supports background checks, and even the majority of gun owners do.
(CLINTON) Senator Sanders did vote five times against the Brady bill. Since it was passed, more than 2 million prohibited purchases have been prevented. He also did vote, as he said, for this immunity provision. I voted against it. I was in the Senate at the same time.
(CLINTON) It wasnt that complicated to me. It was pretty straightforward to me that he was going to give immunity to the only industry in America. Everybody else has to be accountable, but not the gun manufacturers. And we need to stand up and say: Enough of that. Were not going to let it continue.(APPLAUSE)
(CLINTON) Theres no doubt that when Putin came back in and said he was going to be President, that did change the relationship. We have to stand up to his bullying, and specifically in Syria, it is important -- and I applaud the administration because they are engaged in talks right now with the Russians to make it clear that theyve got to be part of the solution to try to end that bloody conflict.
(SANDERS) I am not a pacifist, Anderson. I supported the war in Afghanistan. I supported President Clintons effort to deal with ethnic cleansing in Kosovo. I support air strikes in Syria and what the president is trying to do.
(SANDERS) Yes, I happen to believe from the bottom of my heart that war should be the last resort that we have got to exercise diplomacy. But yes, I am prepared to take this country into war if that is necessary.(CROSSTALK)
(COOPER) Secretary Clinton, Secretary Clinton, with all due respect, its a little hard -- I mean, isnt it a little bit hard to call this just a partisan issue? Theres an FBI investigation, and President Obama himself just two days ago said this is a legitimate issue.
(SANDERS) Let me say -- let me say something that may not be great politics. But I think the secretary is right, and that is that the American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn e-mails.(APPLAUSE)
(SANDERS) We have 27 million people living in poverty. We have massive wealth and income inequality. Our trade policies have cost us millions of decent jobs. The American people want to know whether were going to have a democracy or an oligarchy as a result of Citizens Union. Enough of the e-mails. Lets talk about the real issues facing America.(APPLAUSE)
(SANDERS) Let us be clear that the greed and recklessness and illegal behavior of Wall Street, where fraud is a business model, helped to destroy this economy and the lives of millions of people.(APPLAUSE)
(SANDERS) Check the record. In the 1990s -- and all due respect -- in the 1990s, when I had the Republican leadership and Wall Street spending billions of dollars in lobbying, when the Clinton administration, when Alan Greenspan said, what a great idea it would be to allow these huge banks to merge, Bernie Sanders fought them, and helped lead the opposition to deregulation.(APPLAUSE)
(COOPER & CHAFEE) COOPER: Well, with all due respect, Governor...CHAFEE: But let me just say...COOPER: ... what does that say about you that youre casting a vote for something you werent really sure about?
(OMALLEY) We cannot be this dissatisfied with our gridlocked national politics and an economy where 70 percent of us are earning the same or less than we were 12 years ago, and think that a resort to old names is going to move us forward.
(CLINTON) I certainly am not campaigning to become president because my last name is Clinton. Im campaigning because I think I have the right combination of what the country needs, at this point, and I think I can take the fight to the Republicans, because we cannot afford a Republican to succeed Barack Obama as president of the United States.
(SANDERS) Jim Webb is right: Money is pouring in to this campaign through super PACs. We are doing it the old-fashioned way: 650,000 individual contributions. And if people want to help us out, BernieSanders.com. We are averaging $30 bucks apiece. We would appreciate your help.(APPLAUSE)
All shows mentioning line: