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The mixer

This week we just can’t ignore the most dis­cussed new ger­man twit­ter user: It’s the Sec­re­tary-Gen­eral of the ger­man party SPD, Huber­tus Heil. He used twit­ter dur­ing his visit in the United States, where he attended the Obama show in Den­ver. There are quite inter­est­ing neg­a­tive and pos­i­tive reac­tions to this new hobby of Mr. Heil. You can find these reac­tions in twit­ter and in an arti­cle of the ger­man lifestyle mag­a­zine
Der Spiegel.

It’s a cor­rect esti­ma­tion to say that some­times you’ll be crit­i­cized imme­di­ately if you do some­thing for get­ting pub­lic­ity. You can see the arti­cle in Der Spiegel quite easy­ily as that of kind of crit­i­cism. But not every crit­i­cism that comes up quickly is intrin­si­cally wrong.

We don’t mind politi­cians doing things that nor­mal cit­i­zens do as well. We do mind if they’re just pre­tend­ing to do so. It’s one char­ac­ter­is­tic of the polit­i­cal strat­egy of Obama, Heil’s idol and rea­son to come to Den­ver, to make clear he’s not that kind of faker. Believe it or not. In Amer­ica the media don’t believe that com­pletely and there­for they’re talk­ing about play­ing cards.

One thing that is crys­tal clear is that Heil’s show­ing up on twit­ter was planned as a part of his polit­i­cal actions. You can see that in one of the deleted tweets of his account:

Most irri­tat­ing this plan did not result in pre­sent­ing any own polit­i­cal idea. It also sounds like this whole action wasn’t his own idea. And though twit­ter is much about pre­tend­ing and the idea that there is no non­con­for­mity of tweets, because these belong to the sub­jec­tive man­ner to describe real­ity, Heil is def­i­nitely a can­di­date for TMI to us.

This is so because Heil con­tin­u­ously mixes pri­vate, jour­nal­is­tic and polit­cal stuff in his tweets. It’s not clear if he wants to be on twit­ter as a pri­vate man, a politi­cian or a jour­nal­ist. Actu­ally there are enough jour­nal­ists and Heil’s pri­vate life does not attract many peo­ple.

In this week’s tweet this mix­ing is inher­ent:

Heil tells us that the mem­bers of the ger­man Bun­destag Rolf Mützenich and Niels Annen bought a skate­board and shoes dur­ing their visit and that they now can get back to work all together.

Is this a polit­i­cal infor­ma­tion or a pri­vate one? We do think it deals with pri­vate mat­ters of Mützenich and Annen. And for sure there will be jour­nal­ists to see this in a polit­i­cal con­text. Any­how, Heil does not make clear what rel­e­vance his tweets have and how they should be seen as.

Per­haps we should read Heil’s state­ments as the fol­low­ing tweet should be read, where he tells us how Obama should call his wife:

Bull­shit. [1]

So finally it turns out that the twit­ter ques­tion to Mr. Heil has to be posed more exactly: “What the fuck are you doing?”


[1] fol­low­ing Harry Frank­furt On bull­shit, Prince­ton Uni­ver­sity Press, 2005

Keine Kommentare zu „The mixer“

  • Das stimmt schon irgend­wie. Aber ander­er­seits hat er die Latte für twit­ternde Poli­tiker in Deutsch­land schon mal etwas ange­hoben. Wenn ich mir da so die Jungs von der FDP ansehe, da kommt ja gar nichts rüber.

    Patrick - 01.09.2008 um 10:56 Uhr - Antworten

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