Matt Lewis

David Brooks and Hugh Hewitt talk about Twitter

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Matt K. Lewis
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      Matt K. Lewis

      Matt K. Lewis is a senior contributor to The Daily Caller, and a contributing editor for The Week. He is a respected commentator on politics and cultural issues, and has been cited by major publications such as The Washington Post and The New York Times. Matt is from Myersville, MD and currently resides in Alexandria, VA. Follow Matt K. Lewis on Twitter <a>@mattklewis</a>.

My recent column, “Why I hate Twitter,” has sparked a lot of conversation.

Last night, Hugh Hewitt asked David Brooks about it on Hewitt’s radio show. The conversation ended up being more about why conservatives attack Brooks – but the New York Times columnist’s theory on that probably has some merit, as well.

Here’s an excerpt:

HH: David Brooks, today Matt Lewis put out a column, a very perceptive writer, about how Twitter had become a dark place. And he’s talking about sort of the casual endless abuse that occurs, and just the level of acrimony that invades the space. And I knew you were on the agenda to talk today, so I started to think about you. It’s interesting, as a conservative who works at the most visible liberal media institution in the United States, you would think that no matter what you thought, conservatives would support you. But I was thinking about you in the context of Twitter. I doubt there are many conservatives who take as much abuse as you do from conservatives, as opposed to support. Is that in fact true?


DB: Well, I don’t know if I want to compare myself to others. I take a fair bit of abuse, I think, for two reasons. One is you know, on some issue, I’m more moderate than a lot of other conservatives. I think I have a pedigree. I worked for the National Review…


HH: The Weekly Standard.


DB: Wall Street Journal editorial page, Washington Times, Weekly Standard. But I’m more of a Hamiltonian conservative instead of a Jeffersonian, so I love capitalism, but I think government can do a little more than some others to help people get into the capitalist race. So I understand that. The second thing is you know, my audience is pretty liberal, and I’m trying to persuade. And sometimes, I get frustrated with people who are living within the conservative world and who are pure, and I understand that. It’s kind of easy to be pure within the conservative world. But if you’re out there with an audience that’s 98% liberal trying to persuade, well, you try and do it in a way that’ll be persuasive and sensitive to your audience. And so when people accuse me of sort of selling out or wimping out, I get a little frustrated with that, because I’m actually out there in the wider world taking it, believe me, taking a lot of abuse from the left, because to a lot of my readers, I’m as far right as anybody they’ve ever heard.

They go on to talk more about Twitter, and while I found that interesting, the part I bolded was even more thought provoking.