Emdashes—Modern Times Between the Lines

The Basics:
About Emdashes | Email us

Before it moved to The New Yorker:
Ask the Librarians

Best of Emdashes: Hit Parade
A Web Comic: The Wavy Rule


In the Future, All Campaigns Will Be Conducted in Twitter

Filed under: The Squib Report   Tagged: ,

On the heels of the stupendous success of our New Yorker Festival Twitter experiment, I still found myself wondering what the point of the service really is—the similar function on Facebook has the virtue of being integrated into pages that people will consult in the course of other activities.

But then in the course of just a few days, Twitter popped up in probably the two most attention-getting presidential campaign stories of the moment. It turns out that Michele Bachmann (the Minnesota representative who announced a desire to investigate “anti-American” members of Congress) and Ashley Todd (the McCain worker who faked the politically motivated attack by an Obama supporter) used their Twitter accounts just before they became notorious. In both cases their tweets actually bear on the reasons for their eventual fame.

In retrospect, Bachmann’s optimistic tweet a few days ago that she would soon be appearing on Hardball, where she made her unfortunate remarks, is almost touching: she had no way of knowing that appearing on the show would undo her career. And Todd intentionally used Twitter to lay the groundwork for her hoax, indicating that she was hunting for a Bank America “on the wrong side of Pittsburgh,” complete with helpfully racist conception of what constitutes the right side of that fine town. How odd. Does William Ayers have a Twitter feed? (“Watching Bears game w/ BHO, planning violent overthrow of TPTB, LOL.”) Does Levi Johnston?


Twitter. Hmm. I’m too old for it, I guess. These e-interweavings do not make me too chirpy when they end up creating mischief. The Internet: a wonderful tool, a disastrous tool. Take your pick. Or take your, um, beak.

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, it may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Thanks for waiting.)

2008 Webby Awards Official Honoree