Here are some of Chris Cillizza's tweets from the White House press briefing, where he represents the Washington Post. What is wrong with him, and why won't he stop?
Cillizza covered Capitol Hill for Roll Call, and has freelanced for the Atlantic Monthly and Slate. It's not like he's some random internet spaz off the street.
Maybe the "Fix" blogger had too much coffee. More likely, his bosses at WashingtonPost.com, now in the process of being integrated into the newsroom, asked him to write something that would sound at home and "native" on Twitter. You know: chatty, personal and utterly without redeeming value.
Eric Spiegelman summarized Cillizza's work "for those who prefer to keep their brain cells intact: the reporter is hungry, he offers up fashion tips, and he thinks China is totally hott."
More highlights below.
Sometimes, newspapers let their hair down and it works. It's a wonderful thing. Witness the videos made for the New York Times by writer David Pogue on computer topics, or by David Carr on the Oscars. Or dating columnist Carolyn Hax's live chats for WaPo.
And far be it from us to criticize some well-placed snark.
But this is the White House press briefing. For God's sake, pay some respect to the context. There's no need to offer the American public further proof that the Washington press corps cares more about being chummy and trivial with the powers-that-be than about asking tough questions. Likewise, there's no reason to offer your readers such a clear indication your paper is having a severe identity crisis.
Besides this whole obliterating-the-last-vestiges-of-WaPos-dignity thing is totally Dana Milbank's turf, BACK OFF Cillizza, if you know what's good for you and your rumbling tummy.