Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Half-Life of Twitter Spin

At 8:30 this morning, the Department of Commerce issued a press release announcing that real gross domestic product shrank by one-tenth of one percent (.1%) in the 4th quarter of 2012. While the media digested this information, Twitter began lighting up. A snarky tweet by National Review writer Jim Geraghty (@jimgeraghty) attempted to frame the message at 8:31 A.M.:

Economy shrank? Back in recession? Two reactions: "Bqhatevwr" and "What difference does it make?"
3 minutes later, Joe Pounder (@Pounderfile), the Republican National Committee’s research director tweeted this bon mot:

SHOT: Obama on Jan. 21 in inaugural address: "And economic recovery has begun." CHASER: Q4 GDP drops to -0.1%

But Geraghty and Pounder’s attempt to spin the number began to be debunked almost as quickly as they had tweeted. Within 12 minutes, Joe Wiesenthal (@thestalwart) had a response:

So military spending decline. That's a good thing. And there was less of an inventory build. Also fine.
And within 44 minutes of Geraghty’s initial tweet, Wiesenthal had a link[1] to a Business Insider article explaining the modest reduction in GDP was entirely due to a dramatic reduction in federal spending (something, ironically, Geraghty, Pounder and their ilk claim is needed to balance our books).

By 11:19, D.C.’s resident “wonk,” Ezra Klein (@ezraklein), had a full take down of the report[2] and thus, another skirmish in the never ending battle between truth and spin had been won. If speed kills, Twitter is the Terminator. On steroids. Dosing with deer antler extract.


1 comment:

  1. That's not the reduction in spending the Right is looking for. They want to increase Military Spending because the $$$ ends up in the hands of the Filthy Rich War Mongers and cut Government spending which puts money into the hands of Moochers (like disabled Vets, grandmothers, and poor children)