Proof the WaPo’s Twit Policy Has Restored Its Credibility

On September 30, several days after news of the WaPo’s new Twitter policy came out, Howie Kurtz tweeted one of his last meta-tweets on the policy, calling for "discretion."

WP has no plans to monitor tweets as far as I know, so there’s no czar in charge. Grownups should just exercise a bit of discretion…

Three tweets later, Howie set off on an obsession the likes of which we haven’t seen since 1998.

Extortion aside, got to be embarrassing for Letterman to admit to sexual affairs with more than one member of his staff.

Three minutes later, Howie revealed that if a story is about infidelity, it must be about Bill Clinton.

How long before TV recycles Letterman’s jokes about Clinton and every other politician who’s had an affair? At least he went to the cops.

But don’t put it beyond Howie to meta-tweet about Letterman.

Weird: I tweeted, Anderson Cooper’s person saw it, seconds later I’m phoning in to CNN on the Letterman affair(s). Talk about Twitter power

Howie reflected an entire minute, then tweeted,

Good thing Obama went on Letterman before this came out. Would have been awwwk-ward.

Howie boasts that his new obsession is more important than the Olympics (or, though he seems blissfully unaware of it, burgeoning negotiations with Iran).

What Olympics? Just did GMA on the Letterman case. It was the lead story. Sex, lies, extortion: Nuthin’ but viewers.

The day the NYT publishes a blockbuster story showing that John Ensign was pushing legislation to keep his cuckold quiet, Howie still thinks Letterman’s scandal is more scandalous.

Prosecutors say CBS producer Joe Halderman cashed the $2-M check in the Letterman extortion plot. That doesn’t look good.

Later that day, Howie’s still apparently unaware that a Senator faces a far more serious sex scandal than Letterman. 

Just finished Letterman stories. Anything else going on in the world? How’d that Olympics thing turn out?

Howie, yucks it up!

Leno tweaks Dave: "If you came here to have sex with a talk show host, you’ve got the wrong studio." Hi-yo!

If the WaPo’s editors were unaware of Howie’s dangerous new obsession, they became aware of it on the 3rd, two days after the obsession first began.

My column on the fallout from Letterman’s Stupid Human Tricks

And by "obsession," I do mean "obsession."

My column on the David Letterman fiasco and whether his "creepy" behavior will hurt him with his audience.

Howie was offended when I said "blowjob" (wishing I had used a euphemism), but he’s okay with talking about "doing interns."

A debate over whether it’s OK for Letterman to do interns. Lisa Bloom, Amy Argetsinger, Ben Mankiewicz and me.

Howie responds to his critics who question whether or not he has noticed the exploding Ensign scandal.

Letterman not a public official. But amazed that one of my panelists said it’s OK for the boss to do an intern. Didn’t we have that debate?

At this point, you’d be right to question whether society really wants Howie to be the one to judge whether it’s okay to "do an intern" or not.

After a two tweet break from Letterman’s affair, Howie’s back, offering more of his "judgment."

Should Letterman go on Imus and make light of the whole mess? Nah, I didn’t think so.

Yet another response to those asking whether a Senator bribing his staffer is newsworthy.

Edwards, Sanford, Ensign are all big stories, and should be. The Letterman saga doesn’t change that.

And for future reference, the WaPo’s esteemed media "critic" apparently believes 14 tweets, a Sunday show, and one column amount to a "saga." Howie is apparently too focused on Letterman at this point to note that the latter-day Vikings are back in form to avenge the smear on Viking sagas inherent in Howie’s word choice.

Silly Dan Abrams! The WaPo’s CNN’s esteemed media critic wouldn’t say anything like "blow job" or "do an intern" on teevee!!

No. @danielabrams, my panelists didn’t talk about Letterman "doing" the intern. But here on Twitter I call it like it is. 

I’m wondering if Howie was thinking about Clinton again when he selected the verbiage for this particular tweet? Or is he just a little hot and bothered at thinking about little else besides Letterman’s affairs for six (!!!) days straight?

Letterman to offer a full-throated apology tonight. Maybe there were conversations at home.

Howie, now dreaming of shoes.

Just did GMA, Early Show. Said Letterman’s abject apology helped but he has to hope no other shoes drop

This far into Howie’s obsession, it’s unclear whose monologue he’s talking about here.

Wonder how Dave’s wife feels becoming part of monologue about how chilly it is in the house.

In Howie’s most recent installment (as of 2:15 ET, but things change quickly), he is apparently very interested that Letterman has 42% favorability. He’s apparently not at all interested in polls showing Ensign had 31% favorability back in July, before the much more alarming ethical and legal issues became public.

Rasmussen poll: 29% less likely to watch Letterman because of scandal. He has 42-46 fav/unfav. Good thing he’s not running for reelection 

There you have it, ladies and gentlemen, all the proof you need that WaPo’s new twitter policy has restored its damaged credibility and answered any questions about the biases and judgment of WaPo’s reporters. 

As one esteemed media critic once said, all you have to do is "exercise a bit of discretion."

92 replies
  1. readerOfTeaLeaves says:

    Edwards, Sanford, Ensign are all big stories, and should be. The Letterman saga doesn’t change that.

    Well, forgive me for being a twit about tweets.

    Asks mommy and daddy to cut mistress and her family a check for around $100,000:
    False = Edwards, Sanford, (Clinton), Letterman
    True = Ensign

    ‘Does’ an employee, who happens to be married to his Chief of Staff [or main staffer]:
    False = Edwards, Sanford, (Clinton), Letterman
    True = Ensign

    Obtained employment for mistress’s kid, with a political party, during [period of mad, hot sex]
    False = Edwards, Sanford, (Clinton), Letterman
    True = Ensign

    Recommends mistress’s spouse as a potential employee to private interests, who that ‘potential employee’ (and former staffer) will then will represent in lobbying the cuckolding elected:
    False = Edwards, Sanford, (Clinton), Letterman
    True = Ensign

    Evidently, I make far more distinctions than the venerable Howie Kurtz.
    Does that make me a TwitTwitter?
    Or a TwitterTwit?

    If so, I’m really in #lalaland.

  2. phred says:

    Howie is apparently too focused on Letterman at this point to note that the latter-day Vikings are back in form to avenge the smear on Viking sagas inherent in Howie’s word choice.

    You just couldn’t help yourself could you? ; )

      • phred says:

        If Favre took down Howie the way he picked apart the Pack secondary, maybe — maybe — I could forgive him for being so insufferably pleased during last night’s game at the Pack’s expense. For now though my Packer #4 jersey is stuffed into the back of my closet where it will remain until I recover my sense of humor. Harummpphhh.

        • freepatriot says:

          lonely at teh top, ain’t it ???

          the good news is, you ain’t stayin long

          an remember folks, A GOOD HUBCAP

          don’t try givin me somw “Yugo” hubcap or something …

          • phred says:

            Dang, and here I had a nice leftover foil pie tin that I pressed into the shape of a nice Pinto hub cap, just for you…

    • bmaz says:

      Oh Phred, I really hated rooting against the Pack last night. But seeing Brett send that sourpuss Ted Thompson a message and watching Thompson wretching up in his luxury box was worth every bit of the discomfort.

      • phred says:

        You know it was funny bmaz, I haven’t been all that bothered about the whole Favre brouhaha one way or the other. If he wanted to keep playing, good for him. If he suffers from a “decision making disorder” (h/t Gross Pointe Blank), what do I care? But I discovered last night that the blood in my veins is truly tinged with green and gold and it fried me watching Favre celebrate at my expense. I hope the Packers demolish the Vikes in Lambeau in November. Not that I’m bitter ; )

        By the way bmaz, sorry for missing yet another excellent trash talk thread, but the hubby and I had tickets to the Pats-Ravens game and that kept me away from the computer. What a great game that was, eh?

        And EW sorry for derailing your Howie thread, but seriously you don’t expect us to expend any real energy with a lot of typing on Howie’s pointless existence do you? ; )

          • phred says:

            Yep, in the swanky seats, too. Pretty cushy all around I must say : )

            And you are correct the Mr. was cheering ardently in favor of the Pats on account of his Steelers. I remained neutral (sort of), but since I had picked the Ravens in my football pool (as it appeared bmaz did, too) I was kinda hoping they would pull out a win there at the end. Still, it is hard to complain when one is in the company of a stadium full of happy people : ) It really was a great game. I’m glad we had the chance to go, even though I’ve been pining for some quality trash talk time ; )

        • bmaz says:

          I just think that ingrate asshole Ted Thompson deserved every bit of suffering through Brett’s satisfaction. I will root for Favre to kick his ass every time. Other than that, I am still a loyal Cheeser.

          • phred says:

            What bothers me more than Thompson’s unwillingness to pour syrup on waffles is his unwillingness to pay for experience to make sure we have sufficient depth at key positions. Left tackle comes to mind at the moment. The Pack is once again the youngest team in the NFL and we have a sieve for an offensive line as a result. I don’t care who is QB, 8 sacks isn’t a winning game plan. If I were Brett I’d be damn glad I wasn’t standing behind a bunch of wet behind the ears kids learning a new system. Maybe that was why he was all smiles last night, he wasn’t the one being pounded into the turf ; )

            • bmaz says:

              Thompson consistently put him behind exactly those kind of lines. Favre was just better at getting rid of the ball (sometimes to others) than Rogers. It is nothing new from Ted; he just dosn’t have Number 4 bailing his pitiful ass out any more.

            • Phoenix Woman says:

              Yeah. The Vikings D is not the best in the league, so when it can sack a Packers QB eight frickin’ times, you know the Pack has to do something about its offensive line. (I say this as a Vikings fan who nevertheless admires Green Bay — how can you not like a team that can’t screw its fans by moving?)

              And for future reference, the WaPo’s esteemed media “critic” apparently believes 14 tweets, a Sunday show, and one column amount to a “saga.” Howie is apparently too focused on Letterman at this point to note that the latter-day Vikings are back in form to avenge the smear on Viking sagas inherent in Howie’s word choice.

              Alan Page, man. Enough said.

              • phred says:

                Thanks PW, and congrats to your Vikes : ) And thanks for the great reminder about Alan Page — I’ll be humming Purple People Eater for the rest of the day ; )

                So I’m just curious — how easy is it for you to cheer for Favre? A friend of mine at work is a lifelong Vikings (and Twins!) fan and he’s been eating his heart out over the prospect of cheering for the QB he has loved to hate these many years. I suspect by now he may be getting over it ; )

                And WO, fwiw I thought you were very clever with “Twitterrhea”. I hadn’t heard of it either, so I guess you’re not the only one getting old ; )

  3. WilliamOckham says:

    Somebody needs to tell Mr. Kurtz that old saying:

    Better leave one’s Twitter feed silent and be thought an idiot than to have Twitterrhea* and remove all doubt.

    *sheesh, that’s already in Urban Dictionary. The concept just occurred to me… I’m getting old…

  4. earlofhuntingdon says:

    How long before TV recycles Letterman’s jokes about Clinton and every other politician who’s had an affair? At least he went to the cops.

    Howie, did your mother teach you to put down the toilet seat and then pee or do you do it that way for spite?

    Mr. Letterman went to the police because he was the victim of blackmail – a felony punishable by long terms of imprisonment. Not because he had sex out of wedlock. And this has little in common with Mr. Clinton, except the refrain that for some, power and sex are mutually enhancing and self-exhausting.

    This has more in common with the experience of soon-to-be former Sen. Ensign. Sen. Ensign feared blackmail, but instead of dealing with his fears or his own behavior forthrightly, he secretly paid hush money – and it didn’t work.

  5. emptywheel says:

    As a person who has been fond of both the Vikes and the Packers over the years–and has the unquestioned respect for the Vikes that you get from hanging out with Vince Lombardi as a teenager–my biggest regret abotu Favray in purple is that he’s playing in a dome.

    That just isn’t right.

    • Attaturk says:

      Growing up in Minnesota in I remember the rickety old Met, freezing temperatures, Eller/Page/Larsen/Marshall and Bud Grant making them line up straight at the national anthem and forbidding heaters.

      • phred says:

        Yeah but remember when the Metrodome used to be Favre’s curse? Ah, the good ol’ days…

        And Jim, can’t help you with the Bucky Dent question. I’m last in my football pool at the moment, so my psychic powers aren’t what one might hope for ; )

          • phred says:

            Well, at least I have company… I’ve noticed bmaz blowing some of the same games I have ; )

            Still, it’s early yet — I plan to rally late in the season and retain my glorious hub cap!!! Bwahahahaha ; )

            • freepatriot says:

              I’ve noticed bmaz blowing some of the same games I have ; )

              has he made his prediction about The Bolts’ chances of winning the AFC West yet ???

              he really gets on a roll after that one

              (duckin & runnin)

              and dose anybody here realize that the next “trashbag Homer” could be the last ???

    • PJEvans says:

      I agree. Football should be played outside in the weather. (So should baseball, and its season was about 20 games too long before they decided that they wanted to do football-style playoffs. IMO. YMMV.)

      (I was in band during the fall quarter of my freshman year in college. One game was played in the rain, so the woodwinds put their instruments away and bellowed the parts. It was an away game, there weren’t that many people present, and it didn’t make any difference that we could see.)

  6. Jim White says:

    Okay, since this is a de facto trash talk thread now, I haven’t watched a major league game in ages. The drama of a one-game playoff will draw me in tonight, so my question is who is most likely to fill the role of Bucky Fuckin’ Dent tonight to win the game in the most unexpected way?

  7. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Edwards, Sanford, Ensign are all big stories, and should be. The Letterman saga doesn’t change that.

    And Howie claims not to be influenced by his GOP lobbyist wife. The Edwards story deflated an already empty balloon. It was personally sick, a tragedy for his wife, mistress and her child, and a near miss for Americans, who had and might once again have elected him to high office. It’s old news, as is whether Bill Clinton’s tailor adjusts the fit of his trousers to the right or left (an endlessly fascinating question for MoDo).

    The Sanford story is still with us, though it’s hard to tell. What’s news is not that a powerful politician had illicit sex, but that when that politician is a family-values Republican, he no longer needs to resign in disgrace because of it. Nor need he resign for abandoning his post owing to a continuing mid-life crisis. He demonstrates that, like Bush, he does very little as governor except run for another office, which was still too much work for Sarah Palin.

    Sen. Ensign’s story ought to still be news because his actions were creepy, hypocritical and quite possibly illegal and they remain under investigation. David Vitter’s, too, at least with his local bar, if not by his family values peers in the Senate. I guess that means Howie has a Republican’s notoriously inconsistent memory or that he only recently sorted out how to use Twitter.

  8. Petrocelli says:

    I enjoyed the game, Favre plays with so much enthusiasm and skill after all this time … incredible !

    If y’all really love us, you’ll find another job for Jon Gruden … I really, really miss Messrs. Madden & Michaels.

    • john in sacramento says:

      For some reason this season reminds me of 87

      I was at the Dome when the Twins clinched the West against the George Brett and the Royals on the last day of the season. It was a cool Fall day, and the air inside the dome blew out at us as we walked in. There was my Mom, my brother, my Mom’s friend, her son and myself. It was pretty loud, not as loud as the WS turned out to be, but still. After the game the team came out and ran around the edges of the field and thanked the fans

      Puckett, Hrbek, Brunansky, Gladden, Baylor, Viola, Blyleven, Homer Hankies (I had one) … there was something magical in the air that year; don’t know how to describe it, but you just knew they would find a way to win. They surprised the Tigers and beat them in 5 (maybe this year the Tigers will get payback) and went on to win all their home games and surprise Whitey Herzog’s Cards

      There were a lot of slim years at the Met (the old stadium) so that made it even more special. I have no idea how the Twins are doing it this year – smoke and mirrors?

      Course I’d like the Twins to win, but if the Tigers win I’ll cheer for them against the Yankees. All of the Tigers except for Miguel . Cabrera that is

    • Teddy Partridge says:

      Mr Sherri Annis is on a really, really short leash. And like Richard Cohen, Howie Kurtz would like a taste of the strange. Best to write endlessly about Letterman than be thought a philanderer oneself.

      Thanks, Marcy. (I think.)

      I wonder if OmbudsmAndy will take this up?

  9. Teddy Partridge says:

    Has anyone decided? Does Kurtz’s Letterman tweet-obsession fall in the category of recipes or weather? Those are the only two categories Howie promised to tweet after the new guidelines were issued.

  10. Mauimom says:

    What I noticed about Howie’s “tweets” was that it was all “I, me, my, lookie lookie at ME!!!!”

  11. prostratedragon says:

    Nick Punto up, still runners at corners, 1 out.

    Out at the plate on a fly ball!

    On to the 11th …

    (base running probably not aggressive enough)

    • phred says:

      WOW is right! I got myself relocated and settled in front of a TV machine just in time to see the run score followed by the double play. Whew! What a game — I just hope the winner isn’t too drained to give the Yankees a run for their money…

      • Petrocelli says:

        What’s better than watching the Fall Classic ?

        Having fresh Apple Pie (Northern Spy) a la mode at the same time …

    • Petrocelli says:

      Sorry ’bout that … we’re just 3 games into the NHL season, you’d think they would stay with the Baseball game …

      Hockey is our national religion !

    • phred says:

      Still tied going into top of the 12th…

      Petro, there is nothing better, which reminds me, I’ve got some apple crisp left in the fridge…

  12. prostratedragon says:

    Twins win!

    Tony(?) Casillas base hit, bottom of the 12th.

    Tigers [excellent] radio announcers are spent; first place since May, and the team doesn’t make the playoffs.

    Correction: A young player named Alexi Casilla. And yes, a Bucky Dent type, in fact even more so: Below the Mendoza line for the season (.198), and he wins the game to put his team in the playoffs.

    • Petrocelli says:

      I was actually thinking that Sager’s Jacket is better than the ones he wore during the NBA Playoffs …

        • Petrocelli says:

          Must suck to be a Tigers’ fan … big lead going into September, up 3-0 tonight, only to lose …

          I’ll raise a Grand Marnier toast to you & the Twins.

          Phoenix Woman, if you stop by, I’m pouring one for you !

          • Jim White says:

            I’m not actually a big fan. I had read nice stuff about Mauer and a few other players and thought the Detroit fold was an amazing story. They were a lot of fun to pull for tonight. I did enjoy pulling for the Twins back in 87 (after they beat my Royals).

            • phred says:

              Royals — of course! You’re a Jayhawk, aren’t you? How could I forget… My Dad’s a Jayhawk, I shoulda remembered that.

              • Petrocelli says:

                Y’all still up ? I thought unpublished Authors and Bloggers were the only ones up this late … *g*

                Do you and Jim fancy a little Grand Marnier ?

                • phred says:

                  Not for long ; ) I’d best put off the Grand Marnier for another occasion… Sounds lovely though : )

                  G’night all…

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