If you're interested in social media's influence on 21st century political reporting, a scholarly paper by CNN's Peter Hamby contains excellent insight.
Published in 2013, the 95-page report is titled "Did Twitter Kill the Boys on the Bus?: Searching for a better way to cover a campaign."
Among the issues Hamby explores: the incessant snark — in 140 characters or less — that characterized media coverage of the 2012 presidential campaign.
Speaking of snark, Political Wire publisher Taegan Goddard unloaded a big ole slab of cheese Tuesday on Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a potential Republican presidential candidate:
Click the Onion-esque link, and Goddard makes light of Walker's inability to provide “a copy/transcript of all communications with God, the Lord, Christ, Jesus or any other form of deity.”
Strangely, though, not everyone on Twitter shared Goddard's sense of humor:
Political Wire publisher Taegan Goddard caught a lot of flak on Twitter after mocking Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker for claiming he could discern God’s will, only to admit that he had no idea Christians believed they could communicate with God through prayer.
I laughed out loud at GetReligionista emeritus Mollie Hemingway's response:
Eventually, Goddard cried uncle:
This all started, of course, with that Washington Post interview over the weekend in which Walker was asked if he believes President Barack Obama is a Christian. GetReligion editor Terry Mattingly unraveled that coverage Sunday:
On Sunday, Walker tweeted:
The quote that caught Goddard's attention came Monday as Walker criticized the media's "gotcha moments."
Mr. Walker, who traveled to Iowa last month and plans to head to New Hampshire in March, said he hadn’t yet decided whether to run for president. In a 14-minute speech that touted his opposition to abortion and his commitment to traditional marriage Mr. Walker said he was waiting to hear from a higher power whether he should seek the presidency.
“I’m still trying to decipher if this is God’s calling,” Mr. Walker said. “You’ve got to be crazy to want to be president of the United States. You’ve got to be crazy. To look at what it does to a person and a family, you’ve got to be crazy. But you should only do it if you feel that God’s called you to get in there and make a difference. We’re still trying to decide, and we’re going to ask for your prayers in that regard.”
Walker's audience? The National Religious Broadcasters convention in Nashville, Tenn.
Here's betting that neither the religious broadcasters nor most folks in the heart of the Bible Belt needed Walker to explain what he was trying to say.
If Goddard wants to add to the public discourse, perhaps he should talk to some of them and educate himself a bit.