WaPo‘s Chris Cillizza on Twittering the WH Briefings: ‘You Have to Recognize the Ridiculous in Order to Also See the Sublime’
Welcome to the Internet Presidency where Barack Obama gets to keep his Blackberry and journalists Twitter White House briefings. During the campaign, which among other things completely transformed how politicians will use the online world going forward, Obama talked a lot about how he intended to bring a level of transparency to this administration by making as much information as possible available to the public via the Web. His radio addresses, which are simultaneously posted on YouTube, are early evidence of this, as are many of the proposed changes on WhiteHouse.gov. However! Thus far (two weeks in) it looks as though it is those journalists covering the administration who are the ones truly forging ahead.
Behold Chris Cillizza of The Washington Post who has been twittering Robert Gibbs‘ daily briefings at TheHyperFix since they began. “The old days of journalism where we simply put out the paper and assume people will find it and read it are over,” he tell us. No kidding. For the political junkies in the audience it’s a great peek behind the curtain into the very small, and previously very elite, White House press room. Also Cillizza, who demonstrates a near encyclopedic knowledge of who’s who in the room, where they sit, and their journalism background (also, from time to time, fashion choices), makes for a great tour guide. It’s a bit like a pool report but in 140 characters doses.
We caught up with Cillizza, who likens his twitter feed to a political version of Mystery Science 3000, to ask him what it’s like to be leading the 2.0 charge in the hallowed halls of the White House briefing room, whether Gibbs is actually controlling the Dow, and why he says there is no “right” way to cover the White House.