Reality to legacy media: Drop dead.

Newt Gingrich recently announced he was running to be the Republican candidate for the presidency in 2012. What are his odds? That’s hard to say, as elections can be unpredictable. Obama was widely written off in favor of the unstoppable Clinton, and history knows how that turned out. So where did Gingrich go to make this sort of announcement? Some local paper would surely be too small, so perhaps he went to a national paper. Maybe the New York Times, for example? No, print media is too quaint. Surely he made his announcement first on some cable news channel, say Fox News. He is that channel often enough that it would make sense. But he did not do it there, or on any other news channel.

No. Gingrich tweeted his announcement with a link to a video. A potential presidency launched in under 140 characters. Now while, yes, this might come across to some as an old man who simply told some staffers to “make sure we use that Internet thing” after it worked out so well for Obama, it is an acknowledgement that cannot be ignored. A potentially major figure has decided the place he wanted to break news in a way that would reach people was to use Twitter. And of course, using Twitter naturally means he chose not to use any of the other more traditional methods. Gingrich, like anyone serious about making a presidential bid, is likely surrounded by very intelligent staffers who would not have executed such a PR move on merely a whim. The judgement is in, and Twitter is rapidly becoming the stronger horse to bet on.

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