Live from Piers Morgan's disastrous Twitter show

Tweeting makes for a great distraction during CNN's social network-inspired program. I should know: I was there

By Drew Grant
Published March 30, 2011 2:01PM (EDT)

If you missed Piers Morgan's show last night about Twitter, don't worry, so did I. And I happened to be sitting in the audience. You see, before the show we were told that, in addition to such guests as Martha Stewart, Alyssa Milano, Twitter founders Jack Dorsey and Biz Stone, Newark Mayor Cory Booker, and Twitter entrepreneur and wine enthusiast Gary Vaynerchuk, we the audience would also be encouraged to tweet during the show.

Which meant, naturally, that I only caught about five minutes of looking at the actual stage, and spent the rest of the time tweeting about how ridiculous this entire concept was. Apparently I didn't miss much, either: Piers Morgan, in his typical celebrity ass-kissing way, spent the entire hour talking about how he was the inspiration for Charlie Sheen getting on Twitter (as if that's a positive thing?); for getting Martha Stewart to have her fans tweet her something about pierogis live on the air (technology!) while she spoke about the proper etiquette for shouting out into the Twittersphere (Martha uses Twitter the way a lot of celebrities do: not to interact with her fans but as a sort of message board for her thoughts of the day); and for talking to Alyssa Milano in a fascinating story about why she decided to tell everyone the sex of her baby on Twitter.

About five minutes of the show was dedicated to discussing what the application was doing internationally, and zero minutes were spent asking Biz or Jack anything of interest, like why their co-founder Evan Williams wasn't even mentioned during the entire hour. (My theory is that Ev is poised to become the next Eduardo Saverin of the tech world.)

At one point, Piers declared proudly to Alyssa, "We're all Twits!" and continually referenced how Biz and Jack's original idea was to have Twitter used for bursts of short, inconsequential ideas. Only two people managed to dispute that claim: Cory Booker (who used Twitter to help his city during the snowstorms this winter, and who joked off-camera that he was planning a flash-mob over to Mayor Bloomberg's place after the show), and Gary Vaynerchuk, who frankly called Martha out on her b.s.

"Twitter is about listening," not talking, said Gary, who used Twitter to help launch both his wine business on a grand scale, as well as his own Web show, "Wine Library TV." Piers, who wasn't really listening (you ever notice how the man never asks any follow-up questions?), turned to Biz and Jack and asked if they were worried that celebrities revealed too much about themselves on Twitter. If Biz and Jack had any concerns that night, creating the application that let us know Alyssa Milano will be having a baby boy was not one of them.

Piers spent most of the commercial breaks tweeting on his phone, not looking up when guests sat down at the table. I couldn't really blame him: I was doing the same thing.

Drew Grant

Drew Grant is a staff writer for Salon. Follow her on Twitter at @videodrew.

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