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Inside inside the echo echo chamber

Exclusive to American Airspace but also cross-posted here.

My extensive online research has uncovered the existence of a secret Internet cabal of reporters, journalists, bloggers, writers, and reporters.  Apparently, their self-assigned mission is to ignore major news stories, pass silently over rampant corruption in American government and business, and ridicule wonks and elected officials who take “issues” seriously.  Instead, they seek—often by fawningly citing each other’s work—to inundate American media with inane, trivial bullshit and deliberate stupidity.

The group is called “Twit,” and it is allegedly responsible for innumerable stories and op-eds about Michelle Obama’s biceps, Hillary Clinton’s cleavage, Al Gore’s wardrobe, and Barack Obama’s flag pin.

But beyond these specific examples, it’s hard to trace Twit’s influence in the media, because so few Twits are willing to talk on the record about it.

One byproduct of that secrecy: For all its high-profile membership—which includes Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Maureen Dowd, Mike Allen of POLITICO, Camille Paglia of Salon, Mickey Kaus of Slate, Richard Cohen of the Washington Post, and Caitlin Flanagan of the Atlantic—Twit itself has received almost no attention from the media.

A LexisNexis search for Twit reveals exactly nothing. Brad DeLong, a nonmember, may be the only academic blogger to have referred to it “in print” more than once—albeit dismissively, as “a bunch of twits.”

While members may talk freely about Twit at, say, a Georgetown dinner party, there’s a “Fight Club”-style code of silence when it comes to discussing it for publication.

Kaus, however, did agree to speak on the record, acknowledging that the idea of journalists and writers forming email discussion groups “seems contrary to the spirit of the Web.”

Posted by on 03/19 at 06:10 AM
  1. I knew it. Oh sure, they’ll deny it. But their defensiveness will be a dead giveaway - they will deny the existence of Twit because their Twit masters force them to deny its existence!

    Unless, of course, the Twit masters insist that they ignore this blog post altogether, which I can also see happening. In that case, their silence will speak volumes of their ultimate dedication to being Twits.

    Obviously, we need to see the Twit list.

    Posted by  on  03/19  at  08:43 AM
  2. Raivo Pommer

    US-Notenbank

    Zur Stützung des amerikanischen Finanz- und Immobiliensektors will die US-Notenbank zusätzlich eine Billion US- Dollar (770 Mrd Euro) in die Märkte pumpen.

    Wie die Federal Reserve am Mittwoch in Washington ankündigte, will sie bis zu 750 Milliarden Dollar (577 Mrd Euro) an hypothekenbesicherten Wertpapieren erwerben. Außerdem sollen bis zu 300 Milliarden Dollar an langfristigen Staatsanleihen gekauft werden, um die Zinsen auf verschiedenen Märkten zu drücken. Dadurch sollen Kreditklemme und Immobilienkrise überwunden werden. Zugleich beließ die Fed den US-Leitzins auf seinem historischen Tiefstand von knapp über null Prozent, der Mitte Dezember festgelegt worden war.

    “Die Federal Reserve wird unter den gegebenen Umständen alle verfügbaren Mittel einsetzen, um die wirtschaftliche Erholung voranzutreiben und Preisstabilität zu gewährleisten”, hieß es in der Mitteilung der Notenbank nach der Sitzung des Offenmarktausschusses.

    Posted by  on  03/19  at  09:17 AM
  3. I for one will never submit to our new Twit overlords! I’ll toil in their underground pixel mines before I give in. Wolverines!

    Captcha: “record” as in “this is off the”

    Posted by John Protevi  on  03/19  at  10:34 AM
  4. The late Nigel Incubator-Jones did not return calls for comment.

    Posted by  on  03/19  at  01:03 PM
  5. Just for the record, #2 is not a member of JournoList.

    Posted by Michael  on  03/19  at  01:43 PM
  6. Are these “Twits” the people who engage in this “Twit-tering” that all the young people are talking about these days?

    Posted by  on  03/19  at  02:03 PM
  7. Regarding #2, I was looking at Germany at the Onion’s Our Dumb World atlas and it was pretty good.

    http://www.theonion.com/content/atlas/

    Germany: Genocide-Free since April 11, 1946!

    Facts about Germany:
    Population Breakdown: German (91%) Lesser Races (9%)
    National Anthem: The word “progress” shouted repeatedly for three minutes.
    Consitution: Among the most tersely worded in the world.
    Comedy Films Produced: About 1 per decade , a limit imposed by German law.

    Posted by Peter K.  on  03/19  at  02:49 PM
  8. And, of course, Scott McLemee is not, I repeat, NOT, a member of JournoList.

    Posted by Amanda French  on  03/19  at  06:26 PM
  9. Pikers, those Twits. I can express a thorough debunking of caliphascistotalosocialism in 14 bits.

    010 0001
    011 1111

    Posted by David J Swift  on  03/19  at  08:34 PM
  10. Didn’t I read the very same thing in English? It was boring in English, too.

    Posted by Hattie  on  03/20  at  03:48 AM
  11. Do Twits tweak when they tweet, or is tweaking a necessary condition for one being an authentic tweeting Twitter??

    Posted by  on  03/20  at  06:22 AM
  12. Amanda—just to clarify, I belong to such a secret level of membership of JournoList that I myself do not actually know about it.

    Either that or I joined and forgot. It’s like when Grandpa Simpson found out he’s a member of the Springfield Communist Party.

    Posted by  on  03/20  at  10:33 AM
  13. David raises an interesting question: what is the minimum number of bits required to be superficial?  it cannot be zero: triviality still requires a little work.  Or is the key the ease of linkage to other triviality, so that bullshit requires the existence of an active bullshitosphere?  I sense the opening of new areas of inquiry, or not.

    Captcha end—there is no

    Posted by  on  03/20  at  10:52 AM
  14. 293899251_fcf70a0b77_o.jpg

    We Await Silent Twitero’s Empire

    Posted by  on  03/21  at  02:32 AM

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