When Obamacare passed the 6 million-person sign-up mark, we pointed, with our tongues half-cheeked, to President Obama’s Between Two Ferns appearance with Zach Galifianakis. Turns out we were mostly on point. Recently, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius told the Huffington Post that the government “definitely saw that Galifianakis bump.”
Certainly we’ve known for some time that the Two Ferns segment was popular, and that at least on the first day the clip was live, sent traffic to the Healthcare.gov website.
To have the government reaffirm its importance among a wider set of outreach efforts underscores the importance of Internet video, and the shifting demographics in terms of what people of disparate generations turn to for news. Sebelius told the Post, “As a mother of two 30-something sons, I know they’re more likely to get their information on ‘Funny or Die’ than they are on network TV.”
How big of an impact did the segment derive for the Affordable Care Act? “The website traffic surged once the ‘Between Two Ferns’ interview went on.” Well then. I think the question of whether the bit was beneath the dignity of the Office of the Presidency is moot. It helped people in need of insurance get insurance.
Pack it in, everyone, the USA is over.