Pimp My Rep
May 20, 2009

OMG! Have you seen Episode 7 of’s “Freshman Year”? Unbelievable. First, Congressman Jason Chaffetz (you know, the Utah Republican living out of his office) totally slams Nancy Pelosi at his birthday party, laughing about how he shares a birthday with “all the ugly people”: the speaker, Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler, comedian Martin Short, and that creepy old guy who played Spock in the original “Star Trek.” Meanwhile, crunchy Colorado Dem Jared Polis gets to meet Bono (!), and they bond over how much they hate wearing ties. (Funny.

Claire Mccaskill, For The Twitter Defense
April 28, 2009

Via Matt Yglesias, I see Sen. McCaskill has responded to Matt Bai's charge that she epitomizes the problem with Twitter. Most of it is pretty unpersuasive (to wit: "[I]t’s fun. Trust me when I tell you that part of the problem in Washington is that folks there take themselves way too seriously..."), but this is probably her least unpersuasive point: I use Twitter because no one can edit me.

The War On Twitter, Cont'd.
April 26, 2009

Well, we're just going to have to go with it at this point... Hard to resist this pitch-perfect Matt Bai reflection on the Twitter revolution: I’ve been thinking lately about poor Bob Graham, as decent a man as any who ever entered politics.

Meanwhile, The Greatest Case Against Twitter . . .
April 22, 2009

 . . . comes from Garry Trudeau, who complains to Media Bistro about all the tweeting journalists: The serious journotwits, though, are at it all day — 30, 40 tweets between breakfast and bedtime. And as someone who follows a lot of these folks, I can assure you that outside of the occasional interesting link, there's not much added news value. It's all about fan base maintenance and trying to pump up follower counts. But high follower counts are like Mardi Gras throw beads — worthless out of context.

The Reductio Ad Absurdum Of Twitter Hype . . .
April 22, 2009

. . . comes from today's New York Times: Twitter makes food taste better! P.S. Apologies to Noam for momentarily assuming his role as resident Twitter curmodgeon. --Jason Zengerle

Modo On Twitter
April 22, 2009

I wanted to stop writing about Twitter--really I did. But this turns out to be one of those author-subject pairings for the ages. And, credit where due, both rise to the occasion. From Maureen Dowd's interview with the founders of Twitter:  ME: You say the brevity of Twitter enhances creativity. So I wonder if you can keep your answers to 140 characters, like Twitter users must. Twitter seems like telegrams without the news. We now know that on the president’s trip to Trinidad, ABC News’s Jake Tapper’s shower was spewing brown water.

The Revolution Will Not Be ... Tweeted
April 21, 2009

I was about to wrap up my anti-Twitter jihad when Jason forwarded me this irresistible Anne Applebaum piece: We've been waiting a long time for political upheaval to follow in the wake of technological change, and on April 7, it seemed to have arrived.

A Candidate Is Born ... On Twitter
April 21, 2009

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, a Democrat best-known for directing his city to recognize same-sex marriage in 2004, announced today that he's running for governor of California. But there was no rally or speech. He spread the word on Twitter and Facebook. "It's official- running for Gov of CA. Wanted you to be the first to know," he told his Twitter followers. On the one hand, I suppose this keeps with Newsom's reputation as a young, with-it politician.

Talking To The Men To Blame For Twitter
April 19, 2009

From the Journal's Saturday interview with Twitter co-founders Evan Williams and Biz Stone. "It's pretty bizarre," says co-founder Evan Williams, 37. "At least once per day we look at each [other] and say, 'What the hell?' You and me both, buddy.   Anyone I've ever talked to about this knows I'm a real Twitter* curmudgeon. I figured I'd take this opportunity to explain what my beef is.   What I find useful about Twitter are the social-networking applications. Like this stuff from the Journal interview: The real Twitter revolution may prove to be much more everyday.

April 01, 2009

As all the survivors of the ark burst ashore in a happy pandemonium chattering, roaring, howling for prey lowing to be fruitful and multiply while above their heads the rainbow hinted that there would be no end again--the end came for the fish without cares who lived off the catastrophe like slippery swindlers: now on the face of the stiffening earth the writhing fins were stranded and with gaping mouths they drowned in the air. Translated from the Hebrew by Leon Wieseltier For more TNR, become a fan on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.