Ben Wittes, a journalist and editor of the Lawfare Blog, got roundly owned on Sunday.
“PSA: I’m off Twitter until further notice. I’ll use it only for booms and for things I want to say. I’ll use it as a news source. I’m not going to read any mentions. I’m not going to respond to anyone,” Wittes said.
PSA: I’m off Twitter until further notice.
I’ll use it only for booms and for things I want to say. I’ll use it as a news source. I’m not going to read any mentions. I’m not going to respond to anyone.
— Benjamin Wittes (@benjaminwittes) September 9, 2018
But plenty of Twitter users had no idea what the hell Wittes was talking about.
Fellow journalist Glenn Greenwald, though, knew exactly what the booms are, and he wasn’t here for it: “Thankfully, he confirmed he will continue to use Twitter for his ‘booms.’ Those .gif cannons have been such an elevating, profund and illuminating contribution to the discourse – of the kind only DC think tank ‘scholars’ are capable – that it would be unbearable to lose those.”
Thankfully, he confirmed he will continue to use Twitter for his "booms." Those .gif cannons have been such an elevating, profund and illuminating contribution to the discourse – of the kind only DC think tank "scholars" are capable – that it would be unbearable to lose those. https://t.co/HgxTWY0BVO
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) September 9, 2018
The “booms” Wittes is talking about is the “baby cannon” he’s tried to make into a meme, which he references often on the Rational Security podcast. It’s used when major news related to the Russia/collusion scandal breaks and referenced often on the podcast.
Wittes’ decision to leave Twitter comes after communication between Wittes and Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh from 2003 became public during last week’s Senate hearings. Wittes has defended Kavanaugh’s claim that he wasn’t directly involved in the vetting of Bill Pryor, a nominee for a judicial appointment in the 11th Circuit. Communication between Wittes and Kavanaugh seems to dispute, or at least complicate, that claim.
Pryor is a conservative judge on the Court of Appeals who disagrees with Roe v. Wade and Lawrence v. Texas, which struck down state anti-sodomy laws.
From: Ben Wittes
To: Brett Kavanaugh
Subject: : Pryor pic.twitter.com/i8z8uhIPQD
— southpaw (@nycsouthpaw) September 8, 2018
I'm no longer managing editor at @ATLblog (just a contributor), so I'm going to use tweets to respond to this "perjury" argument of @ElieNYC (also raised by @WashingtonPost reporting & @nycsouthpaw, among others.) #SCOTUS #KavanaughHearings https://t.co/zcx6OBESK4
— David Lat (@DavidLat) September 6, 2018
After the confidential communication was released, Wittes faced enough criticism to force him to step back a bit. As he and others pointed out, though, he’ll still be using Twitter like most of us do—just without engaging in any criticism.
This reminds me of when I promised to stop looking at porn.
— Mark (@mark_melbin) September 9, 2018
But rest assured, we’ll always have the booms.