Twitter is awesome for so many reasons. It’s great because you get real time interaction with people who you respect and who you think are smart or funny or interesting for some other reason. People are witty and informative and you get the sense you are part of a community. You can literally watch the spread of information. I can’t tell you how much I enjoy it.
It does have a flaw, however. The problem is that when you follow someone they can direct message you but you can’t direct message them back. This takes the interactive democracy of twitter and turns it into a hierarchy where the person you follow can send you private messages but you can’t respond in kind. You have to speak in public while they are speaking in private. That isn’t really fair: it’s not right for a person to take the low road while publicly pretending to take the high one or at least pretending not to be on the road at all. It doesn’t have to be abused, but it can be. Enter Frank Isola.
I might be violating some kind of code here but I’ve never cared much for omerta so I don’t care. Last night on twitter, Frank Isola of the New York Daily News and I had a “talk” that was, to me, nothing short of mean spirited and petty. Don’t get me wrong, I was involved and eagerly participated. I’m not a huge Isola fan but I don’t - didn’t - have any bone to pick with him either. Some - and he did - might accuse me of using him to make myself famous or something. Just so you know, I have accepted the fact that I will not be famous because of anything that happens on the internet (at least not for anything good). I just don’t want to be picked on. Fuck that. If you pick on me via social media I will respond via social media. That seems fair to me. If Isola wants to respond to me via the Daily News, he can feel free (ha).
When I read Mr. Isola’s column about the Knicks yesterday, I thought it was a little vague as to whether the Knicks turned down a Nuggets offer of Anthony and Billups for Gallo, Curry, Felton, a number one and an unnamed starter or whether that was their asking price. I said as much to another Knicks blogger, Mr. @tommydeetkb. Now maybe I should not have included @fisolanydn in what I said to Tommy Dee, but to me talking about someone on twitter without @mentioning them is akin to talking behind their back. That I don’t do (I will send this link to Mr. Isola as soon as I post it).
Here’s what I said: “@tommydeetkb I get that, I’m just saying that @fisolanydn was a little fast and loose with that lead Everyone is talking like the Knicks said no”
Enter Isola. He sent me a direct message, that only I can see and that cannot be retweeted, that said: “if that story says the Knicks said “no”, you failed reading comprehension.”
I replied by saying “@fisolanydn why don’t you tweet that petty response to me instead of doing it via DM. No one is above criticism.”
Isola: “Educated criticism, yes. I’ve been doing this for 16 years. I’m not some guy writing a blog based on what others write. I’m there everyday”
Isola: “Also, if you were being fair, I would tweet the response. Otherwise, I won’t allow you to use me to draw attention to yourself. Good luck”
Note: so much for that I guess.
Isola, again, for three in a row: “also lighten up it was meant as a joke.”
I responded: “maybe the 16 years is what’s making you stale and cranky. I’m just a Knicks lifer who grew up reading you. You just lost a fan.”
Isola: “Hopefully, I can survive without you. (Just what the world needs another blogger and aspiring attorney). Talk about stale”
Note: is aspiring attorney/blogger a thing? How fast is the internet moving?
Isola: Not exactly sure what Knicks lifer means.
Note: oh come on. I only get 140 characters and I was trying to make you feel really guilty.
Me: I think I get it now. Thanks. Good luck to you too.
Note: I admit, that was passive aggressive.
That’s where it ends. I’m not without blame. I’m certainly giving it back. And god knows I know what it is when anger and neuroses come together to wreak havoc on some unsuspecting actor. But I don’t think it’s fair for Isola to act like such an asshole to me in private while I can only respond in public. And I think he was being a jerk. To me, my job and his job are different, neither better than the other. Sure, my blog (which isn’t my job by the way) isn’t anything other than a blog but it doesn’t deserve to be treated with such derision. As far as Mr. Isola surviving - and no doubt he will - it has to mean something that hundreds of blogs throw links around all day long - today that link was Isola’s - driving page views for newspapers that are hanging on for their dear lives. Are blogs and traditional media outlets still at war? Isn’t everyone on the same team? I don’t know. I thought we were in a new era of online media.
I’m ok. I’m not ten and one of my idols didn’t refuse to sign an autograph. But people don’t have to be so nasty, do they?