Giffords iPad Interview: Timely or Tactless?

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In one of her last interviews before the Tuscon shootings, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords spoke with the recently launched The Daily (video here). Naturally, since she was speaking with an iPad-only newspaper, the topic of the interview centered on the Congresswoman's use of her iPad to keep in touch with her constituents, stay abreast of news, and have her essential documents and speeches readily available. "I really encourage people to think about investing in [an iPad]," Giffords says at the end of the segment.

The notable point of the interview wasn't the iPad conversation, it was that The Daily repackaged the footage after the shootings, splicing in police cars, boundary tape, and encouraging quotes from Giffords' husband to frame the discussion in light of the shootings. What results is video of a Congresswoman talking about her iPad, juxtaposed with editing that tried to connect the conversation directly to the Tuscon event.

"The Daily's biggest video feature on what is, essentially, its first day, is cringe worthy," wrote Fast Company's' Tyler Gray. "In the same way that the app has married features of a digital publication with that of a print one, it's also married elements of commercialism with actual news." Politico's Ben Smith also noted "quite the synergy" between using Gifford's increased exposure to praise the iPad. His post was succinctly titled, "Gabby Giffords, iPad Spokeswoman."

The Village Voice's Joe Coscarelli was less kind to The Daily. "To do [this] on day two, and with packaging that could be described as inexpert, sympathy-wise, comes across as a tasteless reach for publicity, trading on a name that is exponentially more popular than it was when the spot was filmed, but not less self-promotional," he observed. "It's not that the story isn't interesting or true, but it's still enough to trigger a wince and a cringe."

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