My first reaction to the ABC News press release about George Stephanopoulos’ “Twitterview” with Sen. John McCain - a “first,” according to the network publicist - was that Twitter was now getting perilously close to jumping the shark.
Then I got the transcript. It was pointless. You can read it here.
(Full disclosure: I am not on Twitter and have yet to glean anything of note from the Tweets I have followed; conferences or panel discussions.)
The “Tweeterview” between the This Week host and the 72-year-old senator from Arizona was disjointed and completely un-illuminating. The two tweeted about a host of deadly serious topics: Pakistan, Iran, AIG and Meghan McCain’s media feud with Ann Coulter and Laura Ingraham, offering no more than a smattering of syntactically challenged tweets on each, which is the point of Twitter.
But what is the point of news organizations? A long time ago, TV news was accused of lacking depth - as compared to the print media. Now that print is becoming extinct, TV (and the web) has an even bigger news hole to fill.
And while ABC News certainly pulls its weight (this week, they’re doing a “Where Things Stand” series on Iraq), the “Tweeterview” feels like a transparent attempt to horn in on another new media trend.
It’s a little desperate. Since Twitter is really just one more tool for self-promotion, perhaps it’s best to leave this one to the experts: high schoolers.
After all, the Sunday morning programs are among the last places where viewers can find actual back-and-forth between the media and politicians. There is holding feet to the fire, there are divergent viewpoints, there is informed discourse - much more than you’ll ever find on Twitter.