Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Aug. 31 2012 8:23 AM


TREASURE ISLAND, Fla. -- I muse/lecture/whine pretty often about which news will really reach people and which is a distraction. The Twitter track and the reality track. Clint Eastwood's neutron bomb of an RNC speech didn't necessarily distract from the rest of Mitt Romney's evening. The front pages of newspapers here and everywhere portray Romney, some ticker tape, and maybe some members of the GOP ticket's family.

But more people are googling to learn about the Eastwood speech than to refresh on Romney. Marco Rubio's lifetime-in-the-making speech is getting searched around one-sixth as frequenty as Eastwood's. This is the risk when you put a celebrity onstage. Media coverage is naturally going to move towards the famous person. Keep the event limited to politicians, and there's the potential for one of them to break out. That's far more difficult if a shiny object distracts everybody.

And I mean everybody.

Screen shot 2012-08-31 at 11.48.53 AM

The president (or to be more honest, his meme-ready staff) stepped into a Twitter game that, as far as I can tell, is still occuring. Search "Eastwooding" and you'll see hundreds of photos of people pointing at chairs.

Screen shot 2012-08-31 at 11.57.58 AM

Screen shot 2012-08-31 at 11.58.44 AM

And so on. Members of the two big political teams continue talking past each other.

David Weigel, a former Slate politics reporter, is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics


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