Archive for February, 2010

Twitter is Iron(ing) Man Food

Another day, another slip from Tony Abbott. Rudd’s ETS will raise the cost of electricity for housewives who iron. Clearly he believes women are the only ones who iron! That’s not what he said, but as Tony Abbott, he didn’t have to. It feeds easily into the established picture of Abbott in the media.

Abbott’s slips don’t help him, but they don’t seem to hurt much, either. Most of the disquiet seems to be coming from the political junkies. One of the few articles I’ve seen that attempts to find a layperson’s view is from the ABC, but that was interviewing Helen McCabe, host of Sky News’ Playing Politics.

Political junkies are quick to make indignant comments in the media and on Twitter, but the wider electorate seems less interested in jumping on poor choices of words (especially in exchange for a straight-talking opposite number to the Prime Minister).

Twitter in general is the perfect medium for judging slips of the tongue. As soon as a public figure makes a mistake, in the glare of the spotlight and the heat of the hotseat before a live television audience, those in the gallery above or the armchair at home can race each other to mock them or smugly admonish them in real-time.

Well, not quite real-time; Twitter is fast but it isn’t instant, and there’s time to check your tweet before you hit Submit. I know this because I do it, too, and it’s great fun. I imagine it’s even better if you’re a girl, once you’ve finished the ironing.

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