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October 9, 2016

CHRISTIAN TOTO: ARE STARS BRAVE FOR QUITTING TWITTER … OR JUST THIN-SKINNED?

The distressing part of it all? Too many stars admit they can’t handle cyber criticism. Now, most of us can’t imagine the negative feedback some stars receive. People can be cruel, particularly when they’re anonymously smiting celebrities from the comfort of their home.

Yet Teigen says she isn’t “strong enough.” Not strong enough to ignore nasty tweets? I bet she’s plenty tough in real life. Teigen is a mom. What’s tougher than being a parent?

So why not use a similar strength to ward off cruel comments?

There’s another side to the story.

Celebrities often dwell in a land where they hear “yes” far more than “no.” They give interviews where they’re rarely pressed on their pet causes. They give speeches at award galas knowing no one will cross-examine them.

On Twitter, any Joe or Jane Sixpack can do just that. It’s likely that’s not very appealing to some thinner skinned stars.

In 2013, when Nick Gillespie had a column titled “Alec Baldwin and the End of the Red Carpet,” Gillespie wrote, “Remember the good old days, not just when there were only three national TV networks and one or two national newspapers, but when Hollywood studios could virtually completely control the image surrounding their contract players like halos on a saint’s shoulders? Those days are over, Baby Jane.”

As I asked in response, who’s forcing Alec Baldwin onto Twitter and other social media?

Doesn’t Baldwin have a manager, an agent, a PR person — a wife — who can say to him, “Maybe the instantaneous nature of Twitter isn’t for you, Alec?” Despite its recent ratings woes, NBC, where Baldwin’s low-rated 30 Rock seemed to run for a decade to a tiny audience of Baldwin’s fellow coastal arch-leftists is certainly a solid platform for publicity, via the Today and Tonight Shows. (Though even on that circuit Baldwin’s raging inner fascist emerges from time to time.) I’m sure Baldwin’s manager can demand to see a puff-piece before it runs in Time-Warner-CNN-HBO’s People magazine, or Jann Wenner’s Us. Or hire a ghost Tweeter.

It’s like something out of Lost Weekend or Michael Keaton’s Clean and Sober movie: What exactly is the narcotic power of Twitter that makes Baldwin return again and again to a medium that has so badly damaged his reputation?

The same applies to the celebrities that Toto quotes in his article today. Who’s forcing them on there, and why stay on a medium that you no longer enjoy?

Earlier: Gillespie talks with Glenn Reynolds in a half-hour podcast on his Twitter suspension and why he effectively left that medium, with the exception of automated links back to Instapundit.com.