Why I Love Politics: Political Journalists

Yes, I’ve blogged about the various wonders of Twitter but it never ceases to amaze me. For instance, did you know that political journalists could have *gasp* a sense of humor?  Some of the priceless gems that I’ve learned:

  • News of protestors during the second day of the Sotomayor hearing via Mike Madden (@mikemadden) of Salon.com through the tweet “When old white guys attack: #Sotomayor hearings, day two”
  • “Things I learned today: Teddy Roosevelt knew jujitsu and once detached a retina while wrestling” from Christina Bellantoni (@cbellantoni) of the Washington Times
  • Technical difficulties plague even the White House from Mark Knoller (@markknoller) of CBS News “The plunge of the TelePrompTer screen confirmed the presence of gravity in the Eisenhower Executive Office Bldg adjacent to the WH.” Also, “the TelePrompTer screen actually broke into a number of pieces when it hit the floor. no injuries, except WH communications agency’s pride.”
  • How to be antisocial at public events from Air America’s Ana Marie Cox (@anamariecox): “At a fancy media event at the new DC, W, trying to avoid talking to people. Twitter remarkably effective for this.”
  • Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) of ABC News clued me in to the #draftfirstmovies First Rule of Fight Club: “The first rule of Fight Club is: please turn off your cell phones and blackberries, or at least put them on vibrate.” #firstdraftmovies (for Twitter newbies — the # before a phrase lets people easily search for different topics. So with the #firstdraftmovies, Twitter users were coming up with what they thought were humorous, potential first drafts of famous movie lines)

Notice something about the above list? They’re all respected policital journalists. That’s the beauty of Twitter! It brings out the fun in people you never think of as having a sense of humor. Watching him on ABC News, who would have though Jake Tapper could be hilarious. I would not have pegged Mark Knoller for having the world’s dryest sense of humor.

The informal, conversational nature of Twitter makes it easier to approach people. Especially when, like all of the above, they’re very good at being open to the two-way conversations that take place on Twitter. I’ve seen people call them out for their biases, question the validity of a story, and I’ve even seen some of the journalists engage in Twitterviews with members of Congress, which leaves a Twitter-trail that anyone can read.

What I think this all boils down to is that the entire system is becoming more open. The playing field is leveling. Now more than ever, it’s becoming easier to engage in legitimate two-way conversations between the people in power and the people whose job it is to report on those in power, who some feel aren’t asking the tough questions of those in power. Either way, I like knowing that these people are human as well.

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