Media Notes: Howard Kurtz on Garry Trudeau's satire about Twitter; Rush Limbaugh

WAR OF THE WORDS: Rush Limbaugh lobbed verbal grenades at the White House.
WAR OF THE WORDS: Rush Limbaugh lobbed verbal grenades at the White House. (Ron Edmonds/associated Press)
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Howard Kurtz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, November 2, 2009

Interviewing new mistress after the broadcast tonight. Send me your questions.

The most pompous television correspondent on the planet is on Twitter, dishing what passes for wisdom but is actually just self-absorbed blather.

Another hissy fit from my tweet feed producer, who seems to have forgotten I discovered her at Hooters.

He is Roland Hedley, the long-sideburned, helmet-wearing Fox phony who gloms onto the latest media trend with inane intensity.

I hate America. There, I just said in 15 characters what Frank Rich needed 9,982 characters to say in his column today.

Hedley, of course, is the creation of Garry Trudeau, a satiric "Doonesbury" character who began sharing his 140-character thoughts in March and has now come out with a greatest-tweets book: "My Shorts R Bunching. Thoughts?"

"It became a creative challenge unlike any I've ever set for myself," Trudeau says. "Kind of a comedy haiku. It's ridiculously short. The trick is to make it seem tossed-off. Roland rarely thinks about what he writes."

It began as a two-week burst of "performance art," Trudeau says, but an e-mail from ABC's Jake Tapper "taunted" him into having Hedley start an actual Twitter account. "I kind of got carried away with it. . . . It's the functional equivalent of going door to door, once you start answering queries from strangers."

Trudeau nails, among other things, the absurdities of journalism, the television star system, and a social-networking site where anyone can pop off about anything in real time.

Been working on my blog. Just posted an item reporting that I was about to tweet. Really good comments so far.

Hedley is a useful idiot, whose cringe-inducing behavior merely exaggerates the way some reporters embrace conventional wisdom and give voice to their biases. He tirelessly circles the globe, more concerned with creature comforts than matters of war and peace.

No good stories breaking in failed narco-state, so @ Kabul International Hotel pool enjoying well-deserved me day.

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