The Great American Tweet-Off

Howard Kurtz, media critic, vs. Roland Hedley, "Doonesbury" character

Can you tell the real reporter from the fictional character, based only on the messages they send on Twitter?

The real person:

Name: Howard Kurtz

Title on Twitter: Media Guy, Washington Post

Followers include: Roland Hedley

Twitter ID: HowardKurtz

The fictional character:

Name: Roland Burton Hedley III

Title on Twitter: Senior Tweeter, Fox News; insider; player; game-changer

Followers include: Howard Kurtz

Twitter ID: Roland_Hedley

Below, twenty-four tweets—half from Kurtz, half from Hedley. All were posted between May 11 and June 19. Can you match the tweet with the tweeter?

1. Leaving for black-tie Radio/TV journo dinner to show off 3Gs. New app called iHero tells me I look great.

2. Suited up for #nerdprom2 Why does tux makes grownups feel like they’re playing dress-up

3. Much better food than #nerdprom2 at MSNBC party. plus candy and free keychain!

4. Amazing how easy it was to dine out on going to WH journo dinner, but how hard it is to dine out on having been. So over.

5. As a branding exercise, this whole Iran thing has got to be worth, what, a billion dollars to Twitter? Old CW: Net toy. New: Indispensable.

6. The Revolution will be tweeted. Cynics: Show me the business model. Me: Done. [ADVT: Stand w/ Free Iran. Mousavi for Prez]

7. To give updates meaning, unfollow everyone but besties, me. Serious. If you’re not reading this, you’re proving my point.

8. OK, think we’ve established I didn’t WRITE Atlantic’s top 30 DC tweeters, even tho I shamelessly posted it. No jump in followers yet. Hello?

9. Sen. Ensign admits affair w/ex-staffer whose husband also worked for him. Can’t these guys go outside their inner circle? They that lazy?

10. Economy claims another victim. Nevada Sen. John Ensign busts self over year-old affair b/c can’t afford blackmail.

11. Lakers cheerleaders. in tight Terminator T-shirts, doing some serious T and A

12. Met @ Dulles by Chloë, who’s aging in reverse. More beautiful now than when we met in April. Fingers crossed for July.

13. At gym, watching CNN’s Sanchez “get it” w. tweets, posts, calls, polls, honks. Viewers as news. New paradigm? Will bing.

14. Just did terrific interview in LA with @marielhemingway, on location as they say out here.

15. Per Fox: 1. Torture’s legal, saved lives. 2. Pelosi evil for supporting. Note: Do NOT try to make both points @ same time.

16. My escalator at #nerdprom2 just stopped with us on it. Metaphor for news business.

17. Norah O’Donnell talking up her forthcoming baby food cookbook. Probably better than my grub; her husband’s a chef.

18. Point of Boehner tan: To look good. Effect of Boehner tan: To be widely mocked. Does the man even HAVE a staff?

19. Breaking. Steamed Trump delays presser because of “lame” NTSB hearing on Buffalo plane crash. Suspense building.

20. Happy the space shuttle landing was postponed; it was going to interrupt my show! (Self-absorbed, I know. Wishing the astronauts the best.)

21. When buying shoes, my feet never seem 2 be the right size. Salesman said they might be swollen bec it was late in the day. Who knew?

22. Wife to announce overhaul of family finances 6PM EST. Fear closer scrutiny of stakeholders like Victoria’s Secret.

23. Tricky staying on East Coast time in LA. Sit Room at 1? O’Reilly at 5? Then I start wondering why I haven’t eaten dinner yet.

24. Before I open my eyes in a.m., I like to guess where I am. I usually get it wrong, but it’s a little game I like to play.

Extra credit assignment: Follow both and see who is first to comment on this article.


HEDLEY: 1, 4, 6, 7, 10, 12, 13, 15, 18, 19, 22, 24

KURTZ: 2, 3, 5, 8, 9, 11, 14, 16, 17, 20, 21, 23

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Richard Wexler , a former journalist, claims he joined Twitter only to raise the profile of his non-profit child advocacy organization. He tweets from