The McCain ‘Twitterview’

THE MCCAIN ‘TWITTERVIEW’…. I’m not at all anti-Twitter, though I’m not sure what the value there is in a Twitter-only interview between a senator and a major media figure. From ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos:

Today, I tried something new.

I interviewed Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., via Twitter, the micro-blogging website. I received a lot of questions for the senator from the online community — thanks for those.

McCain and I discussed the AIG bailout and bonuses; whether he agrees with former Vice President Dick Cheney that President Obama has put nation at risk of a new terror attack; which nation worries him more: Iran or Pakistan; and his reaction to his daughter’s recent feud with radio talkshow host Laura Ingraham and Ann Coulter.

Well, “discussed” is probably a strong word. We saw McCain say he “would have never bailed out AIG,” despite the fact that he supported the AIG bailout. We saw McCain say that the challenges in dealing with Pakistan and Iran are “different but both significant.” Asked if he agreed with Dick Cheney’s attacks on the president, McCain said, “too early to draw that conclusion.”

In other words, the only thing we learned from the “Twitterview” is that John McCain doesn’t remember his own policy position on AIG from September.

I’m all for innovative new media, but for an interview with a newsmaker to be valuable, I’m afraid the questions and answers may need to exceed 140 characters. I’ve complained about plenty of political interviews over the years, but it’s never occurred to me to say, “If only the questions and answers were much, much shorter, I’d get more out of this.”