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Claire Mccaskill, For The Twitter Defense

Via Matt Yglesias, I see Sen. McCaskill has responded to Matt Bai's charge that she epitomizes the problem with Twitter. Most of it is pretty unpersuasive (to wit: "[I]t’s fun. Trust me when I tell you that part of the problem in Washington is that folks there take themselves way too seriously..."), but this is probably her least unpersuasive point:

I use Twitter because no one can edit me. In a media world driven by an edited sound bite, and a Capitol Hill culture that parses, obfuscates, and works hard at saying nothing, we shouldn’t look down our noses at a few short declarative sentences. While this method of direct communication makes my staff nervous – they think it makes me look less “senatorial” — it is me. I’m a Midwesterner, and this short simple way of speaking is my native tongue.

I'll just note in response that McCaskill took to a blog to mount her defense, which weighed in at an epic 2,092 characters. If Twitter's so great, why didn't she just tweet it? It would only have required 15 separate tweets...

More broadly, I noticed that McCaskill blithely conflates blogs and Twitter in her post. But the case against Twitter is that, unlike blogs, the information it's capable of conveying is of really limited utility. Using the two terms interchangeably is like defending professional wrestling against charges of mindlessness by explaining why you like both professional wrestling and ballet. We're not criticzing the ballet part. Just the professional wrestling...

--Noam Scheiber