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Posted at 11:20 AM ET, 10/16/2009

Twitter Trouble: Meghan McCain and Scott Baio on Deck

By Liz Kelly

McCain's troublesome twitpic. (Photo courtesy Twitpic)

Twitter is the Jon and Kate Gosselin of the Internet -- we can't go a day without hearing or reading the words "Twitter" or "tweet." Some profess to despise the service and everything it stands for, but we can't seem to look away. Numbers don't lie and Miley Cyrus's 2 million-plus disappointed Twitter followers (she quit tweeting last week) gives one the impression that this thing isn't going to go the way of the Rubik's cube anytime soon.

Earlier this week, we debated whether or not Twitter is a problem for celebs who -- despite their glam lives -- employ high-paid publicists for a reason. And the story seems to be the same over and over -- a bizarre or shocking celeb tweet is followed by a clarification, a backpedal and, in some cases, a hasty retreat from Twitter.

I asked social networking expert Peter Shankman, who summed it up as a learning curve:

"Much like a kid who's given freedom for the first time, they might love it," said Shankman via e-mail. "But after falling off the slide and breaking their arm because they weren't ready, some celebs are happy to go back into the safe clutches of mom -- in this case, prepared statements."

And today we have not one, but two celebs lulled into complacency by Twitter, only to find themselves the stars of the uproar du jour:

1. Meghan McCain's twitpic -- McCain caused an uproar when she posted a busty self-snapped pic to her account on Thursday. In a piece posted this morning at The Daily Beast, McCain blames the media for -- I think this is the gist of it -- punishing her for being amply endowed:

For years I have struggled to accept the fact that the way I look in a tank top comes off more “sexual” than a flat-chested woman. And once again I was reassured by the media that someone with my cup size should always be covered up.

Interesting considering a piece McCain penned in September to defend the privacy of politicians' children: a 13- to 14-year-old I used to dress up like Baby Spice, complete with the pigtails and wedge boots. I am sure had I had my picture taken with the president and first lady at the time, I would have had some kind of Spice Girl scrutiny for the way I looked. But I was a young adolescent, and I didn’t know better.

So, you understand, the tank top pic is the result of Meghan's lessons learned.

2. Scott Baio's Righty Rant -- What do you get when you combine a washed up child star and unimpeded access to a computer keyboard? Apparently, in the case of Scott Baio -- one-time "Happy Days" and "Charles in Charge" heartthrob -- the result is a stream of vitriolic statements about "liberals" and a flame war with some random person.

Baio, an admitted conservative, posted a series of now-deleted statements that got a few folks riled. A sampling:

"Someone said that the best thing about the cash for clunkers is, now most of the obama stickers are GONE!!!!! YES YES YES!!!!!!!"

Then, in response to a protest that Obama is "still our pres," Baio replied:

"yeah and Michael Vick still plays football. What's ur point? They both are losers."

Baio defended himself later in an interview with Glen Beck. And despite an assertion that he can roll with the punches ("it's the kind of game I'm in"), Baio has since converted his Twitter page to an approved access-only account.

One of the biggest reasons for Twitter's exponential popularity growth is the draw of not only reading Lindsay Lohan's unvarnished thoughts, but getting the chance to actually interact with Kirstie Alley or 50 Cent or John Mayer. So where is this all going? Will celebs drop Twitter en masse and, if so, will #followfriday be enough to keep us entertained?

By Liz Kelly  | October 16, 2009; 11:20 AM ET
Categories:  Celebrities  
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My only knowledge of that second guy is the episode of South Park in which Cartman claims that Scott Baio gave him pinkeye. /shrug Looks like I wasn't missing much.

Posted by: Bawlmer51 | October 16, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Thanks to Meghan McCain and Scott Baio, I can now cross "Get Liz Kelly to show me three boobs" off my to-do list.

Oh, Happy Friday!

Posted by: byoolin1 | October 16, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Someone should point out to Mr. Baio that both Michael Vik and the President still have careers.

I feel bad for Meghan McCain, she really got attacked over absolutely nothing.

By the way this is one of her best tweets: "no, I don't watch Glenn Beck, grown men crying makes me uncomfortable"

Posted by: DorkusMaximus1 | October 16, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Chachi is a right wing nut job? What would Joanie say about that?

If celebs want to "twitter" they ought to stay away from discussing religion, politics, and the rest. Keep it neutral and maybe they won't be marginalizing a whole segment of their potential fanbase. I feel the same way about people on Facebook.

Posted by: kvs09 | October 16, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Thanks to Meghan McCain and Scott Baio, I can now cross "Get Liz Kelly to show me three boobs" off my to-do list.

Posted by: byoolin1

To quote a character in the movie "Everything You Wanted To Know About Sex, But Were Afraid To Ask.":

"Don't they usually come in pairs?"

Posted by: sasquatchbigfoot | October 16, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Sas, that character in "Everything" was played by Woody Allen, for whom the Woody Award is named. I think it is no coincidence that Liz referenced Meghan's picture twice!

It would be silly to punish Meghan for being amply endowed, when there are so many legitimate reasons to punish her. Since she brought it up (so to speak), I now see S-M overtones to that picture.

Posted by: reddragon1 | October 16, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like Scott Baio is still the same age as Chachi.

Posted by: dablues1 | October 16, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Meghan dearie, many women who are "amply endowed" do not push their girls up to their chin, force them to spill out over a tiny tank top, and pose like a porn star. Stop blaming others, despite your distinct lack of brain function you're a consenting adult and knew what you were doing.

Posted by: Californian11 | October 16, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Meghan McCain takes a picture of herself, posts it on Twitter and her followers say yowza. How is this the fault of "The Media"?
Unless the medium she's thinking of is Twitter ... ?
Girl, you've lost me.

Posted by: otherliz | October 16, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

It sounds like Meghan could use a hug.

Posted by: DorkusMaximus1 | October 16, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

I thought the controversy was the Andy Warhol book?

Those celebs - some are just better off if they would stick to the script, and do less ad-libbing. Then they could blame the writers (see Katherine Heigl)

Dorkus - great comment about having a career.....

Posted by: anonymouslurker | October 16, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

otherliz, I say, at the risk of punishing US for Meghan's troubles with "the media," that my point is that it is not just her followers who said yowza. I've been waiting years for her to do something I agree with, and then she changes her mind.

Posted by: reddragon1 | October 16, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Ditto Meghan. If my BFF wears a tank top, she looks sporty. If I wear one, I look overly sexy. There's just no winning. After many, many, many years I finally accepted the way I am- DD, and a size 8. Yep-- busty. Sooo, I don't even think that there's a problem with her picture, or the way she may have felt before.

Posted by: Guest1234 | October 16, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

is there no more decorum or taste in the world? has it all vanished? ms. mccain puts herself out there and then cries wah wah wah when people criticize or make fun of her. her parents have been noticeably quiet. knowing the short fuse her dad has, i'm sure he blew his top. her mother was probably heavily medicated and has no idea what transpired.

Posted by: frieda406 | October 16, 2009 6:40 PM | Report abuse

She's reading too much into this. The picture looks fantastic, she's sick like her father, and she has more brains and beauty than Palin and Bachmann will ever know.

Posted by: revbookburn | October 16, 2009 8:49 PM | Report abuse

So if I understand correctly, somebody actually was listening to Scott Baio twittering? That is shocking.

Posted by: msame | October 16, 2009 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately, Ms McCain continues to make herself a joke. Why can't she just slink into the background and live her life, hopefully happier than in the spotlight? She takes and posts that pic and wonders why she gets reactions? She wanted them, that's why. She's showing herself to be the spoiled brat I suspected a year ago. Just do what Palin should - go away.

Posted by: capone1 | October 17, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

I missed whatever negative/trashy/hurtful feedback Meghan got for her trouble. Because trouble it looks like to me, she worked pretty hard to push them up, out and in our face. In fact, it looks like it hurts. In my book (and I'm a 50+ straight woman, so what do I know?), she doesn't look sexy, natural or just-hanging-out-in-my-tank-and-jams, she looks needy, narcissistic and kind of sad. But I guess it's working, because she's getting plenty of attention for her balloon girl publicity stunt.

Posted by: KathleenHusseininMaine | October 17, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

I agree with previous writer. I too am a 50+ year old straight woman, and I know an artificial push up when I see one. Young people make a lot of mistakes: this one is that Meaghan looks like she wants to look very sexy, then gets criticized for it, and then she backpedals.
I for one am sick of people posing for that audience out there. But if you want to flaunt sexual attributes, do it and don't complain afterward.

Posted by: cococo | October 18, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

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