No, a NYT Reporter Didn't Give the Obama White House Twitter Advice

This may be the silliest backwater of the entire debt crisis. The Daily Caller alleges that NYT social media reporter Jen Preston (no known relation to yours truly) handed White House twitter dude Jesse Lee advice to use a hashtag to tweet attack the GOP. The frivolity of using twitter, rather than having an actual frickin’ plan to deal with the debt, is its own separate and much larger issue. This White House is simply a joke.


But having looked at the twitter stream in question, I don’t find enough evidence to convict Preston. Far be it from me to side with both the NYT and the Washington Post, but I don’t think Preston was “suggesting” a hashtag as the Daily Caller alleges. She was asking if there was one at all, and if I were in her place, I would have asked similar if not identical questions until I got an answer.

Here’s the stream in question, oldest tweets at the bottom.

NYT_JenPreston RT @macon44: People responding to POTUS shld use #compromise. As he said, it is “time for #compromise on behalf of the American people”

NYT_JenPreston @jesseclee44 Hi Jesse, what’s the hashtag that you guys are urging people to use in their tweets to Congress re: debtceiling?

NYT_JenPreston @macon44 Hi there. I heard the President ask the people to tweet re: debt ceiling. Are you guys using specific hashtag?

NYT_JenPreston President Obama asked the people to tweet to their members of Congress about debt ceiling. What hashtag?

The Daily Caller has run a story about nothing, or rather, they missed the real story here. Preston asks a reasonable question, on her public twitter feed, more than once because the White House’s tweeters didn’t answer, and then macon44 finally gets around to coming up with a hashtag. The story here isn’t what Preston did; the story is the ineptitude of the White House’s tweet dudes. They’re amateurs if they don’t think ahead far enough to think of a hashtag before launching their stupid twitter war. Hastags are what makes twitter tick. This White House is supposed to be a social media beast? Hardly.



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