Journalist Opts for Twitter

An ongoing feud between talk-radio host Laura Ingraham and Megan McCain, Senator John McCain’s daughter, reared its head in the mainstream media this week. CNN’s Political Ticker covered this back-and-forth with multiple quotes from each aggrieved party. Then, as an update appended to their original post, CNN reported Senator McCain’s comments on the whole affair:

(photo: megan-mccain.jpg)
Photo Credit: CNN

“In a Tuesday afternoon interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on Twitter, Sen. John McCain repeated what seems to be his standard response to his daughter’s string of headline-grabbing statements. “I’m proud of my daughter and she has a right to her opinions,” he said, adding that “like any family we agree on some things and disagree on others.”

This is known in journalistic circles as “burying the lead.” While some may be interested in Senator McCain’s paternal defense of his daughter, the more important aspect of his comments was not what he said but the medium in which he said it. Twitter.

This is perplexing. If Senator McCain only had access to Twitter via his cell phone, he could have easily called Mr. Stephanopoulos with his comment, which would’ve allowed him more of a chance to elaborate. Likewise, if he were in front of his computer, an email would have been more appropriate. What remains is the distaste of a publicity stunt and an example of a technology being used for the sake of being used. This is typical behavior from late adopters of a technology who are trying to be cutting edge. In this case, politicians and reporters wanting to appeal to the youth of America.