Twitter Trouble: Meghan McCain and Scott Baio on Deck
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:
...as 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?
| October 16, 2009; 11:20 AM ET
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