I didn’t realize until now how Twitter has changed things in the news business. I probably should have, considering how often professional athletes’ Twitter accounts are quoted on ESPN’s SportsCenter, but pro athletes are actually reasonably accessible to journalists.
If I wanted to know what David Ortiz thinks about one thing or another — especially during baseball season, when press credentials to the Boston Red Sox locker room are a phone call away — I could probably finagle a way to find out.
But in the rest of the world, Twitter provides a more direct line of communication with top celebrities, authors and pundits than was previously possible. Take, for example, the feedback we can observe through Twitter on Christine Rousselle.
Last week, I wrote about Christine Rousselle, a Scarborough woman attending Providence College. Rousselle had just penned a column for the website The College Conservative about what she described as welfare abuses as viewed from the position of cashier at Walmart — where she worked for two years as a teenager in southern Maine.
She wrote about customers at the store using government subsidies to buy $60 of lobster, as well as a hot dog stand operator who she says supplied his business using food stamps. The column went viral, was passed around on Facebook more than lolcats, and shot up past 400,000 clicks in about two days.
But outside of the BDN, even outside of Maine, Rousselle’s stock as an up-and-coming conservative pundit has skyrocketed. In my story about her experiences since her column went viral, Rousselle said she’d received five marriage proposals and that her “dream job is to be Ann Coulter.”
Well, what does Ann Coulter think about that assertion? Let’s check the Twitterverse.
Ann Coulter’s official Tweet (that’s what the kids are calling the 140-character blasts allowed through Twitter), beyond relaying the initial BDN “dream job” comment, to Rousselle was: “UR perfect 4 it.”
So when Rousselle says she wants to be the next Ann Coulter, she now was the official endorsement of the current Ann Coulter.
That’s not the only line of support coming from on high. National conservative superstars such as Howie Carr and Mark Levin have read the column over the broadcast airwaves, Rousselle has tweeted, and Michelle Malkin flipped her followers a link as well.
She’s already done a handful of interviews, on Portland’s WCSH 6 with Sarah Delage, as well as radio spots on broadcasts in Tulsa, Okla., and her college town of Providence, R.I.
Rousselle and her increasing number of Twitter followers (she tweeted that she’s tripled her followers in the last week — she’s at 913 as I write this) are now trumpeting that the rising conservative star is due to appear on NBC’s Today Show on Jan. 9.
As the varied responses to her column have indicated, not everybody agrees with her. But she’s becoming harder and harder to miss.