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The Social Network Twitter Is Becoming Something of a Hangout for High-Profile TV Anchors

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But the online chatter isn't all about journalism. "With my wife and oldest son skiing, I'm home with my twins watching Willy Wonka. Solid," Gregory reported. And where else could you glean this information about MSNBC's Rachel Maddow: "Spending the weekend in a bikini, riding a crayfish, listening to Boozoo Chavis!"

The Twitter world may be self-involved and incestuous, but its adherents are true believers. "The people we're trying to attract," Sanchez says, "love the Internet and pretty much live there."

Hitching a Ride

Kathleen Parker was "a little mystified" when the White House invited her to accompany President Obama on an Air Force One flight to Chicago. The right-leaning columnist for the Washington Post Writers Group recently called his brief tenure "a study in amateurism."

Yet there she was, interviewing Obama along with such liberal columnists as Clarence Page of the Chicago Tribune, Bob Herbert of the New York Times and The Post's E.J. Dionne. The result was an upbeat column and a posting on the Daily Beast in which Parker said she was struck by Michelle Obama's "warmth," her "adorable" children and her husband's "immense calm."

Parker says in an interview that Obama came across as "an extremely thoughtful, deliberate person," but she is not about to change her views. "I don't think any of us are likely to be seduced by an airplane ride and a book of Air Force One matches," she says. "I also doubt the president had any such illusions when he invited us."

During the campaign, Parker received 12,000 hostile e-mails after sharply criticizing Sarah Palin on National Review Online. Conservative blogger Michelle Malkin called Parker's latest column an "obsequious, embarrassing paean to Barack Obama."

Parker expected the counterattack: "Conservatives are saying, 'Aha, you sucked up, you bashed Palin so you could ride on Air Force One.' I don't care if I ride on Air Force One. Big deal." What was useful, says Parker, is getting "a better sense of how he thinks and approaches issues."

Howard Kurtz hosts CNN's weekly media program, "Reliable Sources."

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