Right-wing bomb-thrower Rush Limbaugh was caught off guard on his radio show today after a caller asked him why he wasn't on Twitter. "Given a man who can say more in one sentence than some people can say in their entire lifetimes," gushed the caller, "I wanted to know why are you not on Twitter?"
The radio host blinked. "Hmm... Why am I not on Twitter. [pause]. I'm trying to figure out what to say to this."
After a series of pauses and mutterings, Limbaugh punted the question, saying Twitter is for "followers" and people with a "herd" mentality: “I don’t like anything that everyone else does.” But eventually, he got around to an answer that sounded authentic:
Why tweet what I think and cannibalize my own radio show? I want you to come here to find out what I think. Not go to Tweeter places and stuff like that.
Cannibalization is an interesting fear. Would people stop tuning into Limbaugh's show, a destination he can place advertisements against, if they could simply visit his Twitter account? Obviously it would depend on how often he tweeted and if his opinions on the micro-blogging service were duplicated on his show. But in reality, the conservative shock jock probably shouldn't fear the Twitterverse. According to a 2009 Vanity Fair profile, conservative talk radio has an audience that is about 67-years-old. According to Pew study of the same year, Limbaugh's audience is heavily male (72 percent). What we know about Twitter users is, these audience do not overlap very much. According to the web hosting company Pingdom, the average Twitter users is 39 and predominantly female. So for the most part, the conservative firebrand has only audience to gain by bringing his truculent attitude to the Twitterverse. Still scared, Rush?