March 06, 2014

Missing the Forest for the Tweets

From the Guardian: Cameron's 'on-the-phone-to-Obama' selfie tweet parodied by celebrities

To get everyone on the same page:

1. David Cameron exhibited some social media tone-deafness yesterday.
2. Lots of people on social media made fun of David Cameron about said tone-deafness today, including comedian Rob Delaney and actor Patrick Stewart.

And just to remind everyone of a few of the pages before that, too:

-1. Russia invaded the Crimea.
0. Nobody seems to be able to convince Russia to stop invading the Crimea.

Now, I get it: David Cameron's tweet was dumb, and it's pretty funny seeing people use things as phones that don't actually look like phones. (To wit.) And maybe this is just some kind of mass psychological coping mechanism for dealing with the frankly pretty horrific reality of politics in the former soviet bloc. I would be okay with that. Heck, I even giggled at the whole thing myself.

But why is this being covered in the Guardian? In the Independent? In USA Today? It's not news that comedians make jokes. It's not even news that David Cameron is figuratively tone-deaf, in social media or otherwise. It is news that Britain is accusing Russia of violating international law. Jesus. The Triple Entente is crumbling, guys!

And yeah, okay, I'm sure all those newspapers also carried serious pieces covering the recent developments in the actual story (well... maybe not USA Today). But why can't we just leave Twitter to the tweeters? If you care enough about Twitter to care about this story, you already knew about it before the Guardian came along, so why waste time/money/etc. "reporting" it to an audience who actually wants news? Bookending this kind of serious political story with "look at this guy talking into some toothpaste" trivialises journalism and it trivialises the awful shit going on in the Crimea right now.

Again, not to say people shouldn't let off steam on Twitter, or that I didn't find it funny. But non-overlapping magisteria, you know?

1 comment:

Joe said...

Dammit, Andrew, clicking on the burger phone link messed up my Amazon recommendations. Now it thinks all I want to buy are food phones...AND IT'S RIGHT.

Post a Comment