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ABC News "Twitterview" of John McCain simply shows how stupid Twitter hysteria has become



Stephanopoulos-set2 One of the biggest things critics like me complain about in news coverage is the way sound bites have shriveled the public discourse -- pushing the 24-hour cable news channels and morning news shows into offering increasingly simple-minded coverage.

It's one problem Jon Stewart exposed in his well-publicized takedown of Jim Cramer and CNBC last week; when you focus on live interviews packaged into neat bursts of dialogue, then there's little opportunity for depth, research or analysis.

Which is why I wasn't really thrilled to hear that This Week host George Stephanopoulos was planning his first "Twitterview" -- interviewing Sen. John McCain by Twitter.

That's because an interview on the micro-blogging site Twitter would limit both questions and answers to 140 characters. Which, in practice, means questions can't be that detailed, answers less so. And you can dodge an uncomfortable question by simply writing an answer to something else.

It's also ironic that McCain, who as a presidential candidate admitted he didn't use e-mail, is now the most popular legislator on Twitter, with more than 220,000 followers, according to the Arizona Republic. His staff admits he doesn't always post his own tweets, but says he controls the content "100 percent." 

Here's the transcript below. You can judge for yourself: bold advance in technology or highly hyped waste of time?


Stephanopoulos-mccain SenJohnMcCain hi george im a little slow

SenJohnMcCainHappy St. Patricks day

[email protected] Happy St Patrick's Day! First things first: How do u tweet -- dictate or type? Blackberry or pc?

[email protected] Happy St. Patrick's day - slow, sometimes pc somtimes bb

[email protected] AIG: Would a President McCain break bonus contracts? Obama teams says that would cause more harm than good

[email protected] i would have never bailed out AIG, the real scandal is billions to foreign banks.

[email protected] ok, but today: should bonus contracts be broken? Dodd wants a targeted tax on bonuses OK with that?

[email protected] i haven't seen it but i would explore every option. i repeat, we wouldn't have this problem if we hadn't bailed them out

[email protected] RIght, but didn't you vote for first TARP, which went to AIG?

[email protected] i voted for first tarp but that doesn't mean i voted to bail out AIG.

[email protected] Obama says GOP can't "just say no" on budget Will you offer a full alternative to Obama budget?

[email protected] I'm working with others on alternatives - cong paul ryan has some great ideas.

[email protected] to follow up - first AIG bailout was pre-tarp.

[email protected] Take point on 1st AIG bailout How about budget? Will you offer alternative?

[email protected] What worries you more: Pakistan or Iran?

[email protected] both. the challenges are different but both significant.

[email protected] Cheney said on CNN that Obama putting US at risk of new terror attack Agree?

[email protected] too early to draw that conclusion.

[email protected] Lots of twitterers want to know: what do you think of Meghans's feud with Coulter and Ingraham?

[email protected] I'm proud of my daughter and she has a right to her opinions.

[email protected] Thanks for your time Senator.You're a good sport I know I'm not getting anymore on Coulter and Ingraham Happy St Pat's again

[email protected] Thanks a lot george, let's do it again soon. now i look forward to reading our followers comments and insults.

[Last modified: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 2:56pm]


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