Clint Eastwood meme: People photograph themselves pointing at chairs


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 is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

  Slate Plus
Plus Roundups
May 21 2015 2:34 PM What We Like Right Now Our favorite picks for the week of May 18, curated by Slate writers and editors. 
  Health & Science
May 22 2015 3:45 AM Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning In 10 percent of drownings, adults are nearby but have no idea the victim is dying. Here’s what to look for.