Twitter: A “Gateway Drug to Full-Blown Media Narcissism”?

The NYTimes’ Alessandra Stanley writes about the recent explosion of Twitter users among TV news correspondents and anchors. (And it includes an awesome illustration with Norah O’Donnell in big fuzzy slippers; footwear we’re sure she’s never donned). “It’s tempting to dismiss Twitter fever as a passing fad,” Stanley writes, “the Pokemon of the blogosphere. But it’s beginning to look more like yet another gateway drug to full-blown media narcissism.”

Stanley, who has not joined narcissist class herself, concludes the Twitter “tic” is most noticeable “in television personalities, especially cable news stars who are already on the screen and the Web around the clock. The camera forces vanity on even the most modest correspondents, and vanity, once fueled, is almost impossible to extinguish.”

Among those cited, Rick Sanchez (59,7000 followers), David Gregory (103,067) and Norah O’Donnell (2,296 followers).

Then there are the holdouts, like Brian Williams who told Jon Stewart the other night, “It’s just not my game.” And CNBC’s Rick Santelli whose call for a Chicago Tea Party made him an instant cult hero. No worries. Fans created an account (163 followers) for Santelli. It’s ready when he is:

“Just to let everyone know. This is NOT Rick’s account, but it is a place holder for him as soon as WE can convince him to join Twitter. 🙂

(Illustration by Stephen Kroninger)