Now that I’m an oh-so-sophisticated purveyor and consumer of social media — one of the Twitterati, no less — I find myself embarrassed whenever I look back at a post I wrote in 2006 about Andre Bauer.
The post went like this:
Andre Bauer is coming in for his interview at 4. I’m reviewing a few questions for him between now and then. I’m curious: What would you ask a lieutenant governor who:
When stopped speeding down Assembly Street, charged so aggressively at the cop that he felt threatened enough to draw his weapon?
When driving 101 mph on a wet highway, got on the police radio frequency to tell the patrolman pursuing him that “SC2” was “passing through,” and when he was stopped anyway, asked, “Did you not hear me on the radio?”
Lying to reporters about that incident, then saying you “forgot” about it when confronted with the evidence?
Showed up to negotiate with the Department of Transportation a price for land he owned — with a member of the transportation commission in tow?
Has his own Myspace site?
Seems almost certain to win the GOP nomination again?
The problem is that penultimate item. It was, for me at the time, sort of shorthand for someone who was too juvenile to play with adults. Of course, I was redeemed somewhat later by the fact that Myspace came to be seen as sadly out of it. But I would have said the same thing about a Facebook page. I just saw it as something kids did.
That was the year — 2006 — that social media came into its own, when serious businesses started seeing that they had to be on FB and, a bit later, Twitter (Twitter wasn’t even launched until several months after I wrote that item). This was also, not coincidentally I think, about the time that the bottom sort of fell out of advertising revenues for newspapers. (The post was written June 7, 2006, and there was a precipitous drop in MSM advertising over the course of that summer.)
By the time I really became a Twitter fiend in 2009, I was pretty embarrassed for having seen social media as not for grownups.
But now… I’m starting to wonder whether maybe I had a point. Not about Twitter. Twitter is the best news-bulletin service I’ve ever seen, among other things. But beyond posting pictures I want to share with friends and family, I continue to harbor doubts about Facebook.
And our governor is the source of a lot of those doubts.
Nikki Haley has shown a marked preference for Facebook over communicating through the MSM. Like many lesser-known people, she sees it as empowering that she doesn’t have to go through editors to say what she’d like.
And yet, time and again, she has demonstrated why everybody needs an editor. A search of “Haley” and “Facebook” on this blog yields:
- An instance in which she pouted about being slapped down 110-0 on her veto of domestic violence legislation, prompting Joel Lourie to suggest she “stay off Facebook.”
- Her tantrum over a simple story about her daughter having a summer job with an agency that reports to her.
- Her post about how thrilled she was to get a gun for Christmas.
- The emotional outburst aimed at a local TV station.
- And now, the spat with Katrina Shealy over Lillian Koller.
The other day, Kathryn took exception to my use of the term “Girl Fight” to call attention to the Haley-Shealy contretemps. But did it not strike you as more girlish than womanly, as lacking in a certain dignity? It did me. But then, I’m the guy who made fun of Anton in 2006…