I woke up this morning with a bad case of heartburn¹ and I decided that while I was up I might as well get in some writing. While searching for a topic to blab about for a few paragraphs, I thought that I should go back and do an update of one of my Tinseltown Talk pieces where I add my two-cents to all the craziness that flies out of Hollywood like airplanes out of O’Hare. Those posts are always among the most popular I post and usually get me a few links and mentions on other blogs². I checked out my normal sources when I start one of these articles, usually starting with eonline.com. I searched through a few pages for content to which I could add my brand of witty sarcasm when I noticed something; every single news item had a quote from someone’s Twitter account telling us what they thought about that piece of information. I’m not talking about comments at the bottom of the page. These Tweets are reported as part of the article. When the Effingham, Illinois³ did Twitter become a reputable news source!?!
I understand that quotes have been a part of journalism ever since Noah said, “I told them so,” in the Ark Democrat-Gazette, but the person quoted usually had some kind of expert opinion on the subject matter. Now, we just grab whatever semi-celeb’s tweet and publish it as if it were fact. I’m sure she is a smart and competent lady and she is hot as asphalt in August, but I don’t give a flying Effingham, Illinois what Kate Mara thinks about Jamie Dornan as the new Christian Grey in the upcoming Fifty Shades of Grey movie. Oh, by the way, Jamie Dornan is in talks to play Christian Grey in the upcoming Fifty Shades of Grey movie. I might should’ve thrown out a BREAKING NEWS alert before that. Oh, well…
The phenomenon has not invaded only the print media, but it is all over this airwaves, too. I can’t watch ESPN anymore without having to hear how @BamaBeerGutRedneck1 thinks the Tide are going to crush Tennessee on Saturday. Unless @BamaBeerGutRedneck1 is the Twitter handle for Coach Saban or a reporter for the Tuscaloosa News, I really don’t give an Effingham, Illinois what he has to say about the Alabama football program. And really, what kind of reporting is that anyway!?! Getting an opinion from an Alabama fan about Bama football is like asking President Obama about Obamacare. You are not going to get an impartial thought. It’s just plain lazy reporting.
I think @SeleneHilary said it best when she tweeted, “we on can with for when it at to get find find one in in one not if for me is not it I this I they your get its is that a in I.” And Wil Wheaton (@wilw) summed it up when he said “Well, shit.”
¹ I have to learn that Taco Bell is no longer a viable late night food option for me at age 38.
² We writers are narcissists of the highest order. But, in our defense, good self-promotion is a key to being a great writer as much as good grammar.
³This is my new phrase to use in place of the F-word. I discovered this town on the way to Indianapolis and I fell in love with the name. Feel free to use it in your daily lives. Trust me, it’s going to be a thing.