Huffpost Media
The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Ted Johnson, Maegan Carberry, Teresa Valdez Klein Headshot

Twitter Wars: The Conservative Empire Strikes Back!

Posted: Updated:

With Ted away, the Tweeters -- @maegancarberry and @tetesagehen -- come out to play... Maegan and Teresa devote pretty much the entire show to Twitter, and have David All (@davidall), whom Wired magazine once called "an unusual animal" and is a conservative new media adviser, along for the ride.

We first tackle the new site, Tweetprogress.us, a directory of liberal tweeters, and why it is that conservatives seem to be winning the war over Twitter. A number of liberals have admitted as much, and David has a couple of interesting explanations for it. First, it's all about timing. Liberals organized online in the Bush years around the anti-Bush message, and now conservatives have a similar rallying cry with anti-Obama. And these aren't all social media folks -- for many, this is their first experience with social media, an interesting factoid by itself.

Second, David believes the medium is largely responsible: "Twitter is a place where you have something to say, while Facebook is a place to hang out with your friends." Facebook isn't such a political tool; its newsfeed has been slightly ruined from all the clutter. But the culture of Twitter -- where you don't have to follow everyone that follows you, competition is important, and you must have something to say -- makes it more natural as a political tool for conservatives. David jokes (not really!) that winning Twitter is the most important thing ever because it will be something conservatives CAN win.

The Twitter sisters -- that's my new name for the two -- talk how Twitter possibly helped push the new movie, Inglourious Basterds, into being tops at the box office this week. Good word of mouth means a lot, but when Brad Pitt says this movie puts a cap on all WWII movies, is he overplaying his million-dollar charisma? That's arrogance, Pitt old boy, and you better reign it back a bit. We also take on the Governator's Twitter-inspired plan to sell various government-owned products, signed by him, on eBay. Weird. But if he wasn't a celebrity, California couldn't do this.

Finally, we must touch on today's biggest news: the death of Senator Ted Kennedy. Fascinating how the different generations are mourning and even finding out about the news. Emails, texts, Facebook status updates, tweets, cable news... he also means such different things to different generations. He is lionized in the Senate, but is overshadowed by his two assassinated and more prominent brothers. Many people speak of his privilege and his accomplishments in the Senate, but others concentrate on the indefensible death of Mary Jo Kopechne. Is there any chance of a political dynasty like the Kennedys again? Will the next dynasty instead emerge from Twitter? (How would that happen? I don't even want to contemplate it.)

Listen to the show here, subscribe to the iTunes podcast, or use the Blog Talk Radio player:

Wilshire & Washington, the weekly Blog Talk Radio program that explores the intersection of politics, entertainment, and new media, features co-hosts Ted Johnson, Managing Editor of Variety; conservative blogger Teresa Valdez Klein (www.teresacentric.com), and liberal blogger Maegan Carberry (www.maegancarberry.com). The show airs every Wednesday at 7:30am PST on BlogTalkRadio.com.