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Out of Control

by Nancy Francis

Posted on September 9, 2007 at 5:53 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 4 at 2:33 PM

"Out of control."

Those were the only words on a whimsical email this week from my oldest daughter, just starting her freshman year in college on the East Coast. This video link followed:

That clip is just one of the latest offshoots of a YouTube video that started with an otherwise inconsequential Rose Festival live shot assigned to me last May. (For the record, I had suggested a completely different and...ahem... more serious story in our reporters' morning meeting that day).

If you haven't seen the original "I Like Turtles" video, check out this link:

For reasons I still don't understand, that clip has received well over a million views and spawned video responses, remixes and parodies galore.

Here's the story behind it:

From the Washington Post:

Crazy, right? I think so. Especially when I hear my unscripted report parroted word-for-word by children I never met and who probably have never even watched KGW except on YouTube. While I think those kids are darling, the extent to which they (and their parents?) took the time to recreate one of the quirkiest moments of my career is beyond me. Even the little girl's outfit looks remarkably like the one I was wearing that day. (Candidly, had I known the clip would get such viral exposure, I would have worn something else.)

Clearly, YouTube has changed the media landscape. All TV reporters are on notice that, for better or worse, anything they say (or mispronounce) could live forever on the Internet. Between that and the unforgiving lens of HDTV, it's a dangerous job :)

As for the original "turtle boy"... What a good sport! Jonathon has reappeared recently with full zombie makeup in a promotional spot for "Friday Night Flights with Joe Becker and Adam Bjarnson.

It seems to me Jonathon should get something out of all of this. I got to thinking maybe we could all help him get on the Ellen Degeneres Show. He's a big fan and has written her himself. But so far, he's not received an invitation. The link below invites the public to send "viral videos" to the show's producers. Maybe if enough people copy, paste and send in a link to the "i like turtles" video.... ..... Ellen will give Jonathon a call.

Wouldn't that be awesome?