Since this isn't BuzzFeed, I can't illustrate the following Twitter exchange between a BuzzFeed reporter and a GOP flack with imgur.com pictures of cats scratching and clawing, but I assume that someone at BuzzFeed HQ in New York can. (Seriously BuzzFeeders, you should do this.)
I pass it along because it's entertaining and it says something about how utterly passive-aggressive politics and media criticism have become. It's absurd and addicting at the same time. It almost makes me want to join in.
So around 11:00 am in the east, we see a Tweet about the George W. Bush Presidential Library opening from Andrew Kaczynski of BuzzFeed (@buzzfeedandrew):
"The Bush Library opens about a week before the 10 year anniversary of "Mission Accomplished." pic.twitter.com/EgrjSFyo70"
To which Richard Grenell (@richardgrenell), a Republican foreign policy aide who worked a while for Mitt Romney and professional Twitter arguer, responded:
"@BuzzFeedAndrew saying today 'about a week' is lame & clearly agenda driven on the day the library is dedicated. Further ruins credibility."
Andrew: "@RichardGrenell You're right, how about this, it opens to public actually on the 10 year anniversary."
Another Republican, @noltenc, jumps in with the Twitter equivalent of a grunt: "Oh shut up."
Tweeted Grenell: "'About a week' is such a political spin. That's not journalism."
Then it turns personal. Or, not, actually, since the line between motivation and judgment has entirely been erased in modern D.C. discourse.
Grenell: "He isn't a journalist. He's desperate to be accepted by the DC elites"
Kaczynski might have stayed out of it, but he doesn't: "Thank you for the psychoanalysis Richard, it's sad you are such a bitter person."
This might be a reference to Grenell's departure from the Romney campaign, which apparently had something to do with social conservative opposition to Grenell's sexual orientation.
Grenell: "I tweet about your reporting. Don't take it personally. makes you seem young"
Grenell then retweeted the tweet about psychoanalysis and added: "Reporter cries about criticism of his 'reporting.'"
Then he links it with his spin on the news du jour — the decision not to treat the surviving Boston bomber as an enemy combatant:
"Eric holder fails to allow enough intel gathering but @BuzzFeedAndrew 'reporting' it's 'about a week' to anniversary of mission accomplished."
Nothing from the BuzzFeed reporter.
Then a little later, Grenell pokes again: "Buzzfeed 'reporter' @BuzzFeedAndrew needs to stay away from serious subjects and just RT on cats and pro-Obama dinner parties #TMZstyle"
(Kaczynski's Twitter profile mentions his love for cats.)
Kaczynski retweets the second poke.
Grenell's followers are speculating about how quickly Kaczynski would block Grenell — although one who follows both, @dtipson, weighs in with this: "Yep. @RichardGrenell's series of bitter tweets @BuzzFeedAndrew should definitely prove to everyone that he's not a bitter person."
If Grenell wants to go after me, I'm game to do so in person. A coffeeshop in Koreatown. You and me. (Grenell lives in L.A.) So the elite I'm desperate to be accepted by is the Hollywood one, just for reference.
For the record, I think Grenell's first point is fair: Ten years is an arbitrary time frame. Kaczynski could easily have Tweeted "Bush library opens, but Iraq happened" and it would make his point more clearly.
But Twitter is the technological Kim Jong Un of escalating tensions. So it never would have ended there.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Hey, bosses: Stop giving bonuses to your employees
- How academia's liberal bias is killing social science
- Why torture doesn't work: A definitive guide
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- Why the Sony hack changes everything
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- You should be furious about Hollywood's gutless retreat on The Interview
- Capitalism isn't a cure-all for Cuba
- Diagnosing the Home Alone burglars' injuries: A professional weighs in
- One girl's extraordinarily wild world
Subscribe to the Week