I always love it when politicians of any stripe who try to play the Aw-shucks-I’m-just-regular-folks role have it blow up in their faces.
The latest ploy of all the sods running for office is to create MySpace pages to show that their really just one of the guys. This is done, of course, in an effort to garner votes from the generation Xers who are the main denizens of MySpace. It seems pretty smarmy to me since MySpace isn’t really the typical province of 50-60 year-old multimillionaires. But, there they all are, trying to scarf votes from a bunch of geeky kids, most of whom are probably still living at home with their parents.
John McCain decided to give it a go and had the twits who run his website (I’m assuming) set him up on MySpace. Problem is said twits hadn’t bothered to realize that there were people out there a whole lot smarter than they at the MySpace business. One of these people is Michael Davidson, who designed one of the popular MySpace templates, and who is the co-founder of Newsvine, an online news mag. When Mr. Davidson discovered that Camp McCain had used his product and even server space without his permission or without even giving him credit, he decided to have a little fun.

You see, John McCain’s people commandeered my world-renowned MySpace design template and did a few things wrong:

  1. They did not credit me for the template, even though the template explicitly requested credit.
  2. They used my own unmodified imagery, specifically for the “Contacting John McCain” table.
  3. As if #2 wasn’t bad enough, the McCain crew is actually pulling their image directly from my server on each page load. So every time someone visits the McCain MySpace page, my bandwidth is being used to deliver part of the page! Bad McCain!

Mr. Davidson then strikes with a vengeance.

So, the only thing necessary to effectively commandeer McCain’s page with my own messaging was to simply replace my own sample image on my server with a newly created sample on my server. No server but my own was touched and no laws were broken. The immaculate hack.
Abortion? The Iraq War? Probably too heavy to joke about. Gay marriage seemed like a more of a non-lethal subject to center the prank around.
So with a few minutes in Photoshop and a quick FTP, a new John McCain was born…
…and The Straight-Talk Express isn’t just for straight people anymore.

Read Mr. Davidson’s full post; it’s hilarious.
Here is the before and after John McCain post on his MySpace page. Note the little twist of the knife, too, in the bottom of the ‘Dear Supporters’ statement. Mr. Davidson placed a link to his own website newsvine.com. Heh, heh, heh.
(Hat tip to Tech Crunch)


  1. Hehehehe. Stealing bandwidth is a big no-no; he’s lucky he got off so easy. I know sites that would do much MUCH worse than what Mr. Davidson did.

  2. MySpace is Generation Y (aka the Millenials) Gen X (aka, the 13th Generation of Americans… I am a member) is older than MySpace. It’s the difference between me (Atari/Nintendo) and my brother (XBox/PS3).
    Very funny though. Couldn’t happen to a more side-winding straight shooter.
    Hi Max–
    Thanks for the generational education.  I guess anyone who is young is a Gen Xer to me.

  3. Maybe I’m just feeling paranoid, but do you get the idea that politicians on both sides have not only hired idiots as staffers, but that the entire process is filled with moral laziness? The younger staffers on McCain’s team should have never let this happen–somebody had to be aware of the consequences!
    Then there’s always the emails that are being leaked, the altered photos to show a bigger audience, the potential donors being insulted or misinformed–there’s no end to it.
    Hi LC–
    In my opinion only an idiot would go into politics.  And all the people who want to work for politicians are, for the most part, politician wannabes.  That explains it all.

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