Usually so astute on Twitter in his commentary on the phone-hacking saga, Labour MP Tom Watson was hoist by his own digital petard today after leaving himself logged on while he was at a meeting.
In an act that seems more like the work of an embittered, last-day employee in a fit of demob-happy pique, Watson’s intern – a new entrant to the job market, folks! – decided to make an extra-special impression by tweeting at 12:07: “I should log out of my twitter so that my intern doesn’t twit-rape me…”
At 12:22, suddenly stunned by her own impulsiveness, the intern updated Mr Watson’s feed with: “My boss is in a meeting, I’ve made a terrible mistake, im very sorry everyone, it wasn’t meant to be offensive! logging him off now! sorry!” [sic]
Because, you know, that makes everything all hunky-dory again.
Save the intern, save the world
When 12:41 rolled around, Watson was back at his desk and tweeting in person: “I sincerely apologise for the recent tweet. A lesson learned for a young intern. She’s also very sorry. I will deal with the matter offline.” Did you sense the odd wisp of anger lurking between the lines there? Hmm – thought so.
By then, the piranha tank of the Twittersphere had gone into a full-on feeding frenzy, spawning a hashtag – #SaveTheIntern – that briefly trended worldwide as users sought to lodge their support for the hapless and yet badly mistaken budding political apparatchik.
It’s not inconceivable that Watson could emerge from this looking fair and level headed – depending on how he decides to handle this schoolgirl error, perpetrated by a young, inexperienced and – lest we forget – unpaid worker. One thing’s for sure, the incident hasn’t done his Twitter presence any harm: by 14:40 he had added around 700 new followers.
Perhaps he’ll just see the gaffe as a case of misplaced creativity?
If the intern was bored in the run-up to lunchtime, we at PM are pretty sure that she isn’t bored right now…
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