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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: December 20, 2008 @ 11:56 am

    YouTube Review of the Year

    Fiona McCann

    It was a year in which, more than ever, Ireland, and the world watched the major events through YouTube. And then watched them again and again. From Sarah Palin’s interviews to Brian Cowen as a raging Hitler. Here are some of the YouTube clips that made the news, or put a different spin on it. Watch them, and let us know what we missed.

    Palin panics

    It’s hard to believe that, for about a week at least, Sarah Palin seemed to be the greatest weapon in the Republican party’s arsenal. It turned out to be a booby trap. In one-to-one interviews she proved disastrous, as obvious in her rabbit-in-the-headlights look, and rambling response, to the simple question: “Do you agree with the Bush doctrine?”

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    Once is not enough

    The Irish had a bit of Oscar glory at the start of 2008 thanks to Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova winning the Best Song gong for Falling Slowly, which featured in the movie Once. When Irglova was cut off by the impatient orchestra, host Jon Stewart invited her back out for the most magical moment of the evening.

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    Ireland gives the bird to Europe

    Having suffered Eurovision misery in recent years, we had so lost our bearings that we decided to throw Dustin the Turkey at the competition in the hope that its al-round craziness would win over Europe. It didn’t. Dustin was booed and kicked out and it became so ludicrous that his puppeteer ended up answering straight questions with straight answers, but while crouched under a desk with his hand up a puppets backside. It was a low point for all of us.

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    Cowen sings

    Brian Cowen’s honeymoon period lasted all of the time it took to get to Clara and back. The new Taoiseach’s homecoming was triumphant, when he burst into song after several false attempts. It was all downhill from here on in.

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    Defeat in Europe

    The Lisbon defeat rocked Europe, but it also resulted in a brilliant parody, Cowen’s Downfall, in which the “Taoiseach” is seen reacting to news that Dublin voted No: “All they delivered was trendy, do-gooder Irish Times readers who think their s*** smells better than anyone else’s!”

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    The Olympics were memorable for many reasons: Ireland’s boxing medals, China’s intention to fake the entire thing and Usain Bolt winning the 100m final in record time and while reading a book for the last 30 metres. But the great champion of the Games was swimmer Michael Phelps who won a record eight gold medals. Among them was his controversial win in the 100m Butterfly by a fingertip – at least that’s what the touchpads say.

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    Obama’s speech

    For those who stayed up late in to the night to witness the election of Barack Obama as president of the United States, his victory speech made it more than worthwhile. All together now: “yes, we can”.

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    The Munster haka

    It was another incredible year for the Munster rugby team, and while it would be natural to focus on the province’s second European victory, nothing quite made the hair stand on end more than the November night in Thomond Park when Munster’s Kiwi’s did the haka. The subsequent silence of the Munster crowd during the All Black’s haka is remarkable.

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    Pat stays cool for a watercooler moment

    The Late Late Show continues to be the crown jewel in RTE’s schedule, even if on closer inspection the jewel is cubic zirconia. The much maligned Pat Kenny, though, knew just what to do when a prize winner told him that she’d take the €10,000 but didn’t care much for the Toy Show tickets.

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