Andrew Breitbart, the pugilistic blogger who passed away this morning at the age of 43, may have been the first figure to truly realize the power of social media to shape political discourse.
More often than not, Breitbart took his fights—and he had a lot of them—to Twitter, where he was able to target specific journalists with the directness of a fistfight and the publicity of a cable news show. Twitter allows a user to tag another by including their handle, a form of direct address visible to all, and Breitbart used this process to an unprecedented degree, calling out his enemies in pointed, antagonistic tweets. When Breitbart honed in on a rival journalist, he cornered them in front of the whole world. By ignoring Breitbart, you looked weak; by answering him, you were drawn into his fight…Read More
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