New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd does not like Twitter. You are probably already aware of this fact. They have probably already tweeted the fuck out of it over in the Twitterverse. The jokes, as they say, write themselves, even at a maximum of 140 characters.
But so what? I mean, why should Maureen Dowd have to like Twitter? Maureen Dowd is a columnist at the New York Times, and given how long they let William Safire ramble about on that page, it’s pretty clear that it’s a tenure situation. Twenty years from now Dowd will still be making the same superficial observations about significant political and cultural events, only this time she’ll be working in references to her nursing home and the indignities of being offered senior movie tickets. She’s a Pulitzer Prize winner with a lifetime sinecure on the op-ed page of the world’s most important paper (N.B.: This whole train of thought assumes that there will still be a Times twenty years from now, so let’s just pretend that there will.); there is absolutely no reason for her to be tapping out “AT AMAZING SALE AT CUSP W/ @WIESELTIER” in her spare moments. She’s already built her brand.
And that’s exactly the point. Remember how when blogging started to get attention the whole gang of print journalists would snort derisively about how it wasn’t “really writing”? And then, a couple of years later, when their papers were dying off and ownership was so desperate for anything to staunch the flow of red ink that it forced them all to start blogging, and they were like, “Holy shit, blogging is hard!” Well, there was a certain protected class of columnists and reporters who, because they were so established, were not made to sully themselves by coding HTML and searching for pooping dog videos. You don’t make a Maureen Dowd blog, particularly when Jennifer 8. Lee will do it five hundred times a day and happily twitpimp the results.
So don’t worry if Maureen Dowd doesn’t like Twitter; it’s not for her. There are plenty of other journalists who desperately need it (and some who definitely need to be weaned from it-David Carr, you are FILLING UP MY DASHBOARD, YOU HAVE TO CHILL). Let the Dowds bury their Dowds; the rest of us are stuck slapping up the minutiae out of fear that we will otherwise become invisible. Which is, of course, the worst thing of all.
Alex Balk (@AlexBalk) hates Twitter.