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Now on YouTube: Politician-generated video

By now, politicians are used to being subjects of footage on the site, for better or worse. Rep. Ed Markey decided to take matters into his own hands.

It's already clear that user-generated video sites are being used to shape the upcoming presidential race, but has Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) spearheaded a new trend of on-the-fly, politician-generated flicks?

In an unusual--unprecedented, even--move at a Thursday morning hearing entitled "The Future of Internet Video," the veteran congressman pulled out a digital video camera and shot some footage of the participants, complete with cues to wave and a bit of narration.

Now, as promised, the 85-second footage is on his dedicated YouTube page for all to see.

The feature opens with a close-up shot of Markey delivering part of his opening statement, as recorded by the subcommittee's counsel, who sat beside him. Then, with a shakiness a bit reminiscent of the Blair Witch Project, the politician himself wields the gadget in an effort to offer a chairman's-eye view of the proceedings.

"You know, congressional expert is an oxymoron, like jumbo shrimp or Salt Lake City nightlife," Markey says toward the end of the flick, drawing chuckles from the audience. "But anyone can put their video up on YouTube, and we're going to prove that."

Judging by the timestamp on the site, it was likely an obedient staffer, not the congressman himself, who likely fed it to the video-sharing site, but we'll let that slide this time.