If you were a so-called "follower" of the Obama administration on Twitter, here's the message you would have gotten from the White House tweeter, dubbed quite simply "Tweetie", last hour:How nice of NBC's First Read to be so gracious!It's just the latest sign of an administration primed and ready to take advantage of every opportunity to connect with the public --
whitehouse: You heard it here first: Primetime presidential news conference at the White House, Wed. 7/22 @ 9PM EDT
...and to circumvent traditional media....or not.
Obama was a different kind of candidate -- not just because he was young and not just because he was a biracial Hawaiian, who spent part of his youth in Indonesia, admitted to using drugs in his youth and could toss a Jay-Z reference ("brush ya shoulders off") into a campaign speech with ease.Well, okay, that's actually pretty fair of you...
One of the most important things that set Obama's candidacy apart from all the others and that helped him break fundraising records, turn red states blue and ultimately, win the nation's highest office was his use of the Internet. His campaign harnessed the Web to mobilize, to organize, to make his supporters feel empowered and informed and a part of something. And he used it to raise small amounts of money from those uber-engaged fans. Twitter is just the latest incarnation of that effort to reach out and connect.
As of 5:15 pm Friday, some 714,125 people were following the White House on Twitter. (Note: The White House has just 284,933 "fans" on Facebook. And John McCain has passed a million followers on Twitters.)Meeeee-OW.
That tap tap of typing fingers you hear is the sound of thousands more people rushing to join, among them the journalists from old media -- and new -- who must now follow yet another "news" source....but the Village is not bitter about it!
"After all, John McCain's tweets are delightful and whimsical little slivers of bonhomie, 140 characters or less of donuts and barbecue and a predilection for bombing foreign countries. White House tweets are like...work, dude. We don't want to have to pay attention to tweets as a possible actual journalistic outlet of information, you know. That takes all the fun out of it."
Now taking bets on just how fast the Village hit story on Twitter not being cool anymore pops up. Also taking bets on which technologically impaired Republican mocks the White House Twitter account with spelling that would make your average 12-year-old go "What the hell are they trying to say?" Also taking bets on if FOX is actually going to bother covering Wednesday night's presser or if they're just going to dump it off on FOX News again.
[UPDATE 11:55 PM] Greg Sargent notes that ABC's Political Punch crew is also joining in on the concern trolling on behalf of the Steno Pool.
Julie Mason, Washington Examiner reporter and at-large White House Correspondents' Association board member-elect, says the announcing a major news event via the niche-medium bothers her.Why, one might actually think the White House did that on purpose. One might even think the White House has a bit of a problem with the Village.
"If the administration wants to have a twitter conference, then Twitter is the way to go. For a press conference? Notify the press," Mason said.
UPDATE: Exactly two hours after the @whitehouse twitter post, the White House sent out an official email announcing the press conference to the White House Press Corps.