Blurt: Seven Days Staff Blog

NOTE: Blurt has been retired and is no longer updated regularly. For new content, follow these links:

OFF MESSAGE: Vermont News and Politics
BITE CLUB: Food and Drink Blog

« Alice Eats: Ahli Baba's Kabob Shop | Main | Mystery Solved: Vermont's Gov Was in Caribbean »

March 08, 2011

Jim Douglas on Twitter? Could He Possibly Be This Bland?

Picture 1 At first glance, everything about the Twitter account @JimDouglasVT looks plausible.

The official-looking photo. The Vermont state flag wallpaper. The just-the-facts-ma'am bio ("I just retired after four terms as Governor and am teaching at Middlebury College.") His list of followers (@ShayTotten, @WCAXnewsdesk).

Most convincingly, the tweets are every bit as bland as you'd expect from the recently retired gov. Check out this sampling of recent tweets:

Fmr Gov Jim Douglas
JimDouglasVT Fmr Gov Jim Douglas
Choc chip pancakes and real vt maple syrup? Breakfast for dinner is the best!

Fmr Gov Jim Douglas
JimDouglasVT Fmr Gov Jim Douglas
I can't handle this freezing and thawing every day. Pick a side, Vermont!
Fmr Gov Jim Douglas
JimDouglasVT Fmr Gov Jim Douglas
This office is like a sauna. I bet #MiddleburyCollege could close their deficit by just turning down the heat

And my personal favorite....

Fmr Gov Jim Douglas
JimDouglasVT Fmr Gov Jim Douglas
Finally heard that song #YesWeCan on uTube. . . surprisingly catchy.

Call me gullible, but I was totally ready to believe this was the real Douglas. I just figured that this is what happens when politicians start tweeting for themselves rather than having their relatively more tech-savvy aides do it for them.

But it's a fake. That's the word from Middlebury College spokeswoman Blair Kloman. No really, that's all she said: "It's a fake." No word from Middlebury on whether Douglas, or the college, intend to in any way respond to the impostor.

Twitter is full of fake accounts and politicians make especially ripe targets. My colleague, the aforementioned @ShayTotten, tipped me off to fake Rahm Emanuel, @MayorEmanuel ("Your next motherfucking mayor. Get used to it, assholes"), who tweets a stream of profanity-laced punchlines.

Rahm Emanuel
MayorEmanuel Rahm Emanuel
Jesus fucking christ. Time to start fucking drinking. Axelrod--beer me!
Rahm Emanuel
MayorEmanuel Rahm Emanuel
Axelrod and Hambone are standing outside the Civic, Hambone's taking a shit, Axelrod's checking exit polls. There's a fucking metaphor.

During last fall's gubernatorial race, someone spoofed Republican candidate Brian Dubie's aggressive campaign manager, Corry Bliss, using the account @fakecorrybliss (not even trying to pass it off as legit.)

Corry Bliss
fakecorrybliss Corry Bliss
Just got done writing a really long email. Man it's tough to type with hooves. #vtgov
Corry Bliss
fakecorrybliss Corry Bliss
The Attorney General is raiding our office at 10am tomorrow. I hope they bring donuts! #vtgov

Most of the @fakecorrybliss tweets were only sort of funny, and you needed a working knowledge of Vermont politics and campaign minutiae to get some of the jokes. But at least there was material to work with. Bliss was a brash, out-of-state hired gun who un-apologetically slashed his way through Vermont's polite political scene. His over-the-top style was an obvious match for a Twitter impostor.

But Douglas? Why would anyone set up a fake Twitter account for a public figure who's so dog-gone vanilla? I mean, what exactly would a funny Jim Douglas sound like? Maybe like a less ironic Stephen Wright?

I tried to reach the fake Douglas but Twitter apparently doesn't let you direct message someone unless they are following you, and fake Douglas is not following me (yet). He or she is following @ShayTotten, however, and my cohort apparently tried to reach out said impostor, without success.

I'm not saying there's nothing for Twitter impostors to mine in Vermont politics, but I'm not sure Douglas is really fertile ground.

Now a fake Tom Salmon — that would be funny! 

The @MayorEmanuel account is/was the greatest thing on Twitter. Not just a funny parody account, but a strange and elaborate form of real-time storytelling that only Twitter makes possible. Brilliant stuff!

Tell us how you really feel about Bliss....

Jeez, why is it people can't put two and two together. It was Shumlin's camp that put out the first negative ad, the Dubie campaign responded in kind.

Go back and look at Shummy's PRIMARY campaign ads, he was bashing Dubie before Dubie even started campaining.

Yup that mean old spirited out of stater !!! Also funny is the liberal dems that decry the use of "flatlander" but then took such offense to Bliss not being from VT. I'm for one and sick of the negtitivity surrounding campaigns. Here's wishing for a campaign based on issues and track records. Especially for the incumbents.

Can anyone tell me if either is the real Malcom Gladwell- followed by Followed by @PMGNicole, @JaneLindholm, @HuffPostPol; or Followed by @ejyoung67 ?

twitter is dead. Move on.

Haik, I'm not sure, but both of those feeds are pretty dormant, and after his "The Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted" piece for the New Yorker (link below), I get the feeling he's not much of a Twitter guy anyway.

I love how Shumlin has already started following the Obama vacation regimen.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Stuck in VT (VIDEOS)

Solid State (Music)

Mistress Maeve (Sex)

All Rights Reserved © Da Capo Publishing Inc. 1995-2012 | PO Box 1164, Burlington, VT 05402-1164 | 802-864-5684