December 26, 2019

"So I haven’t posted a tweet in nine months... Over the previous 10 years, I had written 180,000 tweets.... That’s 18,000 a year, 1,500 a month."

"I was putting out an average of 50 tweets a day — while holding down a full-time job editing a magazine, with two firm writing deadlines every week, and raising three children with a wife who works full-time... Over the course of this decade, my follower count rose from near zero to 141,000 people. The tweets helped garner audience for my writing and for articles in Commentary, the magazine I edit.... When I tweeted with my emotions engaged, especially when I responded to something out of anger, I could feel the dopamine rush. The tweet would resolve the emotion and bring me momentary and blessed relief.... I decided to quit Twitter this year after tweeting a joke about neutron-bombing a journalism school.... Nine months later, I still read Twitter.... If I could find a way to participate simply by tweeting out articles and gnomish would-be witticisms, I would. But... [Twitter] ­rewards bad rhetorical behavior, it privileges outrage of any sort over reason of all sorts, and it encourages us to misunderstand each other."

Writes John Podhoretz in "Why I quit Twitter — and you should, too" (NY Post).

First... "garner."

Second, his reason for quitting was not that he was writing 50 tweets a day, but that there was a danger of writing something every once in a while that got him in trouble.

Third, I don't see why I should quit Twitter too just because Podhoretz and others lose their mind and write something they regret every so often. But then, I hardly ever write on Twitter. I can see that it's a game where you try to score by racking up your numbers, and to play you have to play hard. Trying and trying 50 times a day on a website that doesn't pay you anything seems like a bad use of energy, and writing something crazy or nasty to grab for attention is a lowly business. In any case, I have my blog, and I've always done it in a way that fits my personal moods and interests and gives me a flow of intrinsic reward — whether other people link to me or get excited about me or not.

Fourth, it's interesting that he doesn't mention Trump. Trump seems to attract the most prescriptions for quitting Twitter. (I can't keep track of Podhoretz's position on Trump. I see that last April, he went from anti- to anti-anti- and I'm too bored to do any more research on the ultra-dull topic.) [CORRECTION: There are 2 Podhoretzes, and that article from last April is from the other Podhoretz.]

80 comments:

Bay Area Guy said...

Podhoretz is one of those "smart" conservatives who is still confused about Trump. Sad!

Trump has a lotta fun with Twitter, and maybe some of these geniuses should learn from him.

Jon Ericson said...

Yes, I believe you have found the correct path for yourself and the thousands who read or comment here every day.
Keep on keepin' on.

rehajm said...

Twitter is effective if you can't afford your own cable network and you're attractive and like to share or have a traditional gig that's complemented by real time commentary. Otherwise it's a bus station bathroom.

Shane said...

Thanks as always for everything you post and your analysis thereof.

narciso said...

he must be such a disappointment to norman, who does occasionally comment, the last time in the Clairmont review, six or eight months ago,

narciso said...

https://claremontreviewofbooks.com/digital/an-interview-with-norman-podhoretz/

robother said...

The Mistress of Cruel Neutrality garners her share of followers, including a number with bruised egos who keep coming back for more.

Temujin said...

I signed up and then deleted myself off of Twitter in the early days of it. I could see where that would be taking my time and emotions. I would need both of those to read and take part in Althouse on a daily basis. Where else can I get commentary on men in shorts?

Dave Begley said...

I was told to get on Twitter in order to sell my script, "Bride of Frankenstein."

So, I got back on Twitter.

Rabel said...

John Podhoretz is a foul, disgusting liar and a stain on American public life. The stench of his deceit and his views pollutes his Father, his Magazine, his Religion, and the United States.

Lucid-Ideas said...

Eating Christmas Dinner yesterday my fiancée and her family made several dishes that were extremely well-garnished. It's a tradition for them. The parsley, sage, rosemary, and etc.

Garner vs. Garnish. One supposedly means to gather or obtain, the other means decorating with a sprig of mint...or whatever.

I shall from here on out substitute garnish for garner:

"Bernie wasn't the frontrunner but is beginning to garnish support"

"Jennifer Garnish Garnishes more fans"

"Beto garnished more media attention than one-by-a-bunch, until he tanked like a lead-Zeppelin"

Garnishment. Like a garn-ish-mint. A sprig of parsley. A bit of sage. They seem to have garnised my attention.

Michael K said...

Never interested in Twitter. I have been blogging and commenting since 2003. Blogging since 2007.

Larry J said...

Twitter has been compared to a sewer but that’s unfair. Sewers perform a vital public function by transporting noxious wastes away from us. Twitter pumps sewage towards us.

traditionalguy said...

Eureka. Scientists have just discovered that you can scroll read Twitter tweets but never tweet on Twitter.

R C Belaire said...

Ann -- do not change your format/approach. It's excellent the way it is. I don't always agree with you, but at least you have principles and a (generally) good argument to make.

Birches said...

I knew why you'd blogged this when I saw "Garner." JPod was definitely a Twitter addict. He really should have mentioned all the times he rage quit Twitter and deactivated his account only to show up a few days later again because he was so addicted. He was a giant jerk on Twitter. He's probably better off without it. But you're right, not everyone is a jerk. That was JPod's superpower.

Francisco D said...

The only good thing about public figures on Twitter is that Trump's impulsive tweets bring out even more impulsive tweets from enemies who find his tweets "distasteful."

I have never been on Twitter or Facebook, but my wife lets me know about anything important on FB. I am not missing much. I get more than my fill of trolls here.

Imagine dealing with twittering Chucks, Ingas and Ritmos.

Automatic_Wing said...

I kind of get where he's coming from. It's easy to get carried away on political Twitter and habitually check your account for likes, retweets replies to the point that it becomes a problem in real life.

That said, he's a professional political pundit, so it seems like he ought to be able to use Twitter as part of his job without completely screwing his life up.

Birches said...

And since someone just mentioned Men in Shorts I will mention that I decided yesterday that I have a strong aversion to men in tank tops. Saw a picture of a guy in his forties in a tank top as a normal shirt. It made me ill. Tank tops are fine for the beach and for working out. But not as normal everyday wear, especially when you're a middle aged, doughy man.

Ipso Fatso said...

I like twitter. I follow some interesting people. I have few followers as I am not that interesting. It is a good source of information if you separate the wheat from the Plaff. The one thing I wish they wouldn't do is censor folks with controversial views. There are probably 6 or 8 people who no longer post, who I followed, that have left twitter that were good contributors, mostly right wing, but not all. That is all our loss in my view.

Bob Smith said...

Whuts uh twitter?

Leland said...

It's like the former heavy drinker that got a DWI one evening driving home from work with an open container that warns you to control your one or two a week social drinking. Great advice that you figured out and implemented from the beginning, but now here's this slow learner acting like it is something profound and hard to grasp.

Char Char Binks, Esq. said...

I got kicked off Twitter, but I don't care, and I don't miss it. I don't even remember saying anything bad. Oh well, good riddance to all that!

J. Farmer said...

John Podhoretz, like the other hereditary conservative "thinker" Bill Kristol, needs to find a nice condo in Boca and retire. Whatever the relative merits of Norman Podhoretz and Irving Kristol, their progeny are far less impressive and far less necessary. Neocon thinking reached its apotheosis under the George W Bush presidency, and I think most (sane) conservatives agree that the results were not impressive. They still consider Trump a mere aberration and are hoping to get back to business-as-usual once he's gone. Neoconservatism has never gotten over the end of the Cold War. Hence the predictable Russophobia from their camp. They were really hoping after 9/11 that the "Global War on Terror' would become the new Soviet Union in Cold War 2.0.

JZ said...

I looked for John Podhoretz movie reviews in the Weekly Standard for a decade or more, before I knew much about him. I noticed that he sort of lost his mind on Twitter for awhile. I hope for the best for him in whatever he does next. BTW, I also looked for everything by Bill Kristol when I was a Weekly Standard subscriber -- and Charles Krauthamer and Matt Labash. Kristol also lost his equilibrium when Trump won. Funny how Althouse took it in stride!

Denton Romans said...

Wrong Podhoretz. The link at the bottom about being anti-anti-Trump is about Norman, not Jon.

But I would be interested in your exploring the anti-anti-Trump phenomenon in general...

Dave Begley said...

JZ:

I was the same. His movie reviews were very good. I only look to the WSJ guy for movie reviews these days.

Dave Begley said...

Joe Morgenstern is the WSJ's movie reviewer's name.

narciso said...

as a long time reader of commentary, I think the problem is with neocons, is they resorted to military intervention as the first option, instead of say one of many tools, but the podlet like max boot has become one note and uninteresting, and that's what you can't afford to be on twitter,

Bay Area Guy said...

Damn, Farmer is making sense above.

It's a Festivus Miracle!

Achilles said...

Twitter and Facebook are not the problem.

The early implementations and usage were excellent.

The problem is leftists that use it and leftists that run it. They cannot have civil discussions or deal with opposing positions without resorting to some form of violence.

The mob can ruin anything.

Don said...

Having been permanently banned for a tweet I made when responding to a picture of Obama and Holder I don’t missed it at all. Much too time consuming.

gadfly said...

So if the T-Rump tweets are ultra-dull - the reason you researched Podhoretz's position on the president was because the Commentary writer is really a conservative and Donald is really a NY liberal?

Where is Roy Cohn when you need him to fix things - like making gangsters politically popular despite Trump refusals to rent to "colored" people back in the days?

narciso said...


the ouroboros at work,

http://acecomments.mu.nu/?post=384978

narciso said...

didn't you embarrass yourself, (redacted) the prc, the other week,

narciso said...

almost every major reporter, at the times, the post the journal, all vetted their copy, to john podesta, I short handed it as the Haberman Rizzo tray team, this overlapped with the iran deal echo chamber and the journalist, concentric diagrams,

rhhardin said...

I write horrible things all the time but don't seem to get in trouble.

narciso said...


https://twitter.com/alimhaider/status/1210322655192211457

narciso said...

so we pretend that al queda isn't hiding in plain sight, in idlib,



https://twitter.com/LindseySnell/status/1210294286228631552

rcocean said...

wow, first Michael Moore and now J-Pod, is this fat-jerk city or Althouse? Anyway I hate guys like J-Pod. Notice he blames TWITTER for his behavior! He's likes some fat fuck who's 75 lbs overweight, but who's to blame? The Doughnut industry.

His real problem was not only anger issues, but an out-of-control ego, and he thought he had the right, and the power, to drum people out of polite society and/or the conservative movement for disagreeing with him.

He was a drama queen. And not a particularly smart one. Like Kristol, you wonder how far he'd have gotten if he'd been Joe Smith from Omaha - and not the son of a famous Writer from NYC.

wild chicken said...

Trump refusals to rent to "colored" people

Old Man Trump wouldn't rent to them because he'd lose all his Jewish tenants.
Which is exactly what happened.

Fancy that.

narciso said...


and he still teaches at the naval war college, scary huh,

https://twitter.com/julie_kelly2/status/1210320615489576961

whitney said...

You know I read things that you don't even blog about that have the word garner in them and I just get stuck now. Soon as I read garner I can't keep going. I don't even remember why you don't like this word but you are the one that has made it take up more space than any other word on the page. I'm pretty sure I'll never use it again in my life

Drago said...

"The Poor Man's LLR-lefty Chuck" gadfly continues to fail to impress.

Did you know that a few years back gadfly was attempting to piggyback onto Althouseblog to pimp his/her/xer own blogsite?

That effort failed rather immediately and spectacularly and when one reads the cut and paste regurgitations from the usual suspects that gadfly vomits up here at Althouse as novel and insightful "original" commentary, well, I don't think its an inexplicable result at all.

William said...

"Gnomish" is not the word that springs to mind when describing Podhoretz. Better than pixiesh, but not the right word. I'm thinking of something more along the lines of lard ass, but that's not quite the right word either. He's not in Michael Moore territory. Maybe the kind of hybrid that would happen if a troll and an ogre mated during the Bush I inaugural ball.

AllenS said...

narciso said...
as a long time reader of commentary, I think the problem is with neocons

Bingo.

rhhardin said...

Garner his its place. A certain level of reward for effort that's adequate but towards the minimal end. You could go all-out for whatever you got but garner would be used with ironic humor.

Get has no such range, and so no place for use of irony.

rhhardin said...

To have ideas is to garner flowers; to think is to weave them into garlands.

wild chicken said...

JPod really showed his ass on Twitter that night. I remember.

Kinda miss the entertainment now. Guys you take this stuff too seriously!

Ralph L said...

a troll and an ogre mated during the Bush I inaugural ball.

His book Hell of a Ride on the inside of the 41 WH was interesting and not flattering.

narciso said...

as I was saying knowing when to subordinate military intervention, to proxy support, propaganda et al, I notice they give a book contract to any hack, a second one to abzorbaloff rick Wilson, I guess the qataris are paying for it, out of their 700 million dollar lobbying budget,

narciso said...

before twitter I remember a piece by Edward Hoagland who was vicious to one particular necon marian margin (sic) because of her support for Israel,

because some like kristol wehner Gerson, couldn't distinguish between east bloc and say north Africa, they were taken in by the bogus 'arab spring' now when there is a real one, against shia oligarchs in Iraq and Lebanon, they are awol,

Marcus Bressler said...

I lost my original account on Twitter because I was responding vehemently to people. I began a second account under an assumed name and toned down my act. I still got suspended. When I appealed, they gave me my account back but told me the reason was I was retweeting Tweets that made it appear that I was a Bot. Give me a break. The most re-tweets were people calling out Jack for screwing with their accounts. Well, I learned my lesson. I like the instant news feature (that I used to get from Drudge but no longer) so I am just reading the tweets now.

THEOLDMAN

Merry Christmas!

Greg Hlatky said...

The decline of progeny:

Lucianne Goldberg to Jonah
Norman Podhoretz to Jon
Irving Kristol to Bill
William F. Buckley to Christopher

narciso said...

lets call the whole thing off then,

https://babalublog.com/2019/12/26/after-a-year-of-failure-in-removing-venezuelas-dictatorship-guaido-still-rejects-military-intervention/#comments

truth speaker said...

Fucking allah, Althouse, you’re a whiner/snowflake.

narciso said...

well she became a star through academic fraud,


https://dailycaller.com/2019/12/26/warren-blames-trump-for-migrant-child-death/

bagoh20 said...

I have had an account for years, but I have never tweeted a single thing. I've also never tried heroin. Sounds like a similar experience, but less fun.

bagoh20 said...

Similar to the effects of TDS in politics, it seems like Althouse's displeasure with the term "garner" only serves to garner more garners. I never noticed them before, and now they are popping up everywhere like Trump wins.

Michael K said...

Hunter Biden is not on the Biden family Christmas card. The dogs are but not Hunter.

And, of course, the new grand baby.

No Hunter.

Guildofcannonballs said...

Jpod ain't worthy and needs to stay away from: This ... a link.
It is too powerful, it cannot be contained anymore.

It will never be contained again.

God has spoken.





Narr said...

Coulda wore shorts today!

I've self-banned from the platforms of the simple folk in order to garner attention here.

Narr
I always read 'garner' as 'gamer' at first

Bay Area Guy said...

"Hunter Biden is not on the Biden family Christmas card."

There wasn't enough room for the Arkansas stripper Baby Mama.....

David Begley said...

Chris Buckley is funny.

Lurker21 said...

narciso said...
before twitter I remember a piece by Edward Hoagland who was vicious to one particular necon marian margin (sic) because of her support for Israel,


Marion Magid. They were married. They were the kind of people who never should have married. So different. She died decades ago, so he could write whatever he liked about her. He is still around, very old and with very bad teeth.

Lurker21 said...

Norman was a wiry guy, cigarette always dangling from his mouth in the old days, who thought he was a tough street guy, sort of like the other Brooklyn kid, Norman Mailer. John is overweight - very well padded - and seems like he has all kinds of impulse control problems. Eating, talking, and twittering may have balanced each other out. Cut out twittering, and one fears for his health.

narciso said...

Yes thats the one.

Buckley was kind of humorous till 2008, then he became a slimmer david frum

Narayanan said...

I see that last April, he went from anti- to anti-anti- and I'm too bored to do any more research on the ultra-dull topic.) [CORRECTION: There are 2 Podhoretzes, and that article from last April is from the other Podhoretz.]
______&&&&&&&--------
CRB interview not boring at all.
GreatGrandpa Norman Podhoretz sounds much like commenters here.

Narayanan said...

https://claremontreviewofbooks.com/digital/an-interview-with-norman-podhoretz/

dwshelf said...

Stick with us.

I don't often read Twitter.

But I read Althouse every day.

Tom Crippen said...

"Podhoretz is one of those 'smart' conservatives who is still confused about Trump. Sad!"

Dear Mr Non-Confused: When do we get the wall and when does Mexico pay for it?

Love the signoff.

Mark said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mark said...

All the people on Twitter amount to a relative handful. And because it is so ephemeral, here one moment and passed by the next, if you are not on it like a junkie on smack, you miss most of it.

And yet all the smart communications people think that it is key and central to everything and we must model all communications on it as if readers have a three sentence capacity for reading.

Earnest Prole said...

I weaponized tweets to garner audience for my writing . . .

Quaestor said...

twit ter (n.) A mechanism that produces twits.

Iman said...

Podhoretz’s late sister was a real mensch... Rachel, I think.

Iman said...

Bad Rachel, to be precise... https://www.commentarymagazine.com/articles/my-sister-rachel/

rehajm said...

it seems like Althouse's displeasure with the term "garner" only serves to garner more garners.

Streisand Effect.

tds said...

Podhoretz blocked me on Twitter for a mild joke about sorry state of US space program. There was lots of anger in this guy

Joe said...

Wow there. I actually deactivated my twitter last year because I felt that it was consuming too much of my time. I didn't go close to 180,000 tweets though. But I did reach the 50,000 tweet mark. Still quite crazy.

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