Imagine my surprise when a friend called Friday and said, "You were on Jon Stewart last night." Immediately after that I saw a tweet go by with a link to the Daily Show video clip and my @laurenashburn Twitter handle. Uh oh. My friend Andrea wrote on my Facebook page that she saw the same clip on MSNBC's Morning Joe.
I clicked on the link and -- quick sigh of relief -- he wasn't making fun of me!
A couple of weeks ago on Wolf Blitzer's Situation Room, I mentioned that President Obama was the king of social media starting with his 2008 campaign. Stewart opened the segment with my comments and then proceeded to rip the so-called king for sending out informal fundraising e-mails with subject lines like, "Hey."
The funny factor increased exponentially as he cooked up a whole scenario where he invited the president over for dinner and then gets an email saying, "Don't tell Michelle."
As is the case in a lot of his ribbing, he's right. When you are leader of the free world, no matter how hard you are trying to capture the vote of the hip social media world, the subject line should say: "From the president."
I've been following Stewart's career since we first met in Philadelphia at the 2000 Republican convention, where I was a television reporter for USA Today (and sneaking out to pump breast milk) and he was following around Karl Rove as he made the rounds in the press room. The comedian's popularity trajectory was in its infancy and Rove, in his snakeskin boots, drew more of a crowd than he did.
A decade later he's funnier and more gray. I'm not breast feeding and making cameos on shows like his and Bill O'Reilly's -- in that instance talking about how Al Sharpton's civil rights activism in the Trayvon Martin case puts him in a position of covering himself on his MSNBC show.
Maybe it's time for the two of us to meet again. Face to face. Mano a mano. We've come a long way, baby.
The piece is crossposted at: www.daily-download.com