Late evening, Dec. 8, 2013, when the political editor of the New York Times, Carolyn Ryan tweeted an excited tease, "There's a very unusual, groundbreaking NYT story coming 2nite. I can't say too much but it'll make u rethink- well, I should stop. Stay tuned," some of her followers took the bait. However, her tweets to promote the story quickly backfired.
If any of her near 8000 Twitter followers were holding their breath, they exhaled when Ryan announced, "Headsup: Now it sounds like it won't be up til after Homeland. Maybe not til a.m. I'm going home. All I'm saying is it's powerful. I like it." Along with Twitter mockery, headline news followed, "For The New York Times, A 'Groundbreaking' Story Can Wait Until After Homeland.
In hindsight, perhaps Ryan wishes she had let the story speak for itself. From the tweets which followed, if the story isn't earth shattering, Ryan may have embarrassed the paper and herself:
- Sean Agnew @seanagnew If it was 'that great', @carolynryan, it would be out. But, let's not lose sleep over it.
- Daniel Wright @carolynryan Twitter will remember.
- Steen @carolynryan @adamgoldmanwp You're over selling it.
- TwitchyTeam @TwitchyTeam New York Times teases 'groundbreaking' scoop; Snark-tastic #NYTGuesses takes off http://bit.ly/ILjrrl
Then again, there's an old adage that, "All publicity is good publicity, as long as they spell your name right." Bottom line: If this political story is viral tomorrow the New York Times will be happy. Whether it's "big" enough for Matt Drudge remains to be seen.