When we were talking about whether or not convocation attendees should be able to have their computers with them, the point was brought up that many of those people are likely doing something else and not paying attention at all to the speaker or the performance in front of them. Apparently that point transfers over to the US Congress, because a number of congressmen were glued to their cell phones and wireless devices Twittering like mad last night during Obama’s address to Congress. It was mentioned on The Colbert Report tonight (check this post tomorrow, I’ll link the segment when the show gets put online), in a Guardian blog and in various other places (The Sydney Morning Herald equates them to “bored schoolchildren,” ouch).
The best one of all has got to be the now deleted comment by Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), “Aggie basketball game is about to start on espn2 for those of you that aren’t going to bother watching pelosi smirk for the next hour,” which he immediately backtracked and blamed on an aide. Others ranged from the typically disgusted to crazed cheerleading to the completely banal. When you look at all of them, I can’t help but wonder if these posts were really worth blatantly ignoring the speech to fool around on the internet.
An article on the SourceWatch wiki has a listing of all known congressional Twitterers, although there are some holes.