Saturday, February 28, 2009

Cocaine and Coma

If you wrote for the NY Times, and were writing an article about media stars that use twitter, why would you start it this way?
Left alone in a cage with a mountain of cocaine, a lab rat will gorge itself to death. Caught up in a housing bubble, bankers will keep selling mortgage-backed securities — and amassing bonuses — until credit markets seize, companies collapse, and millions of investors lose their jobs and homes.

And news anchors and television personalities who have their own shows, Web sites, blogs and pages on Facebook.com and MySpace.com will send Twitter messages until the last follower falls into a coma.
Am I missing something about Twitter?
It’s tempting to dismiss Twitter fever as a passing fad, the Pok√©mon of the blogosphere. But it’s beginning to look more like yet another gateway drug to full-blown media narcissism.
And then the last 20% of the article focuses on Rick Santelli, who doesn't use Twitter. The suggestion is that his rant the other day was the culmination of the self-absorption that the author believes Twitter engenders.
Those who say Twitter is a harmless pastime, which skeptics are free to ignore, are ignoring the corrosive secondary effects. We already live in an era of me-first journalism, autobiographical blogs and first-person reportage. Even daytime cable news is clotted with Lou Dobbsian anchors who ooze self-regard and intemperate opinion.

On-air meltdowns are the new scoops. The CNBC correspondent Rick Santelli, a former trader, delivered a rant last week...
Blech. Blame writer Alessandra Stanley.

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