Saturday, December 10, 2011

Live-tweeting office antics gets congressional aides canned

By Helen A.S. Popkin

A congressional aide working in the Washington, D.C. office of Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Wash., should've listened to his mother in September, when she told him to cool it on Twitter. Instead, he and two of his co-workers carried on into December, upping their office antics with tweets about drinking at work, watching Nirvana videos on YouTube and slamming their boss — Stevens — all on that slammed boss's dime.a

Since mom's words went unheeded, however, lucky us! We now have the tweeted evidence of the allegedly alcohol-fueled tweets of legislative assistants Seth Burroughs (@therocketship1) and Elizabeth Robblee (@betsybites) and legislative correspondent Ben Byers (@Byers_Remorse).a

"The Capitol Hill staff culture has always resembled a fraternity party for the just out of college professionals who dominate the offices," Politico reports. "In this case, staffers clearly crossed the line, Larsen’s office says."a

I'll say!a

Here's just a few of the tweets sent during work hours from the personal Twitter accounts of the three now-fired aids chronicling "December to Remember," (hashtag #D2R) a phrase "coined by the trio of staffers to define their attempt to spend the final month of the year in a state of perpetual debauchery," as first reported by Northwest Daily Marker.a

@TheRocketship1: @Byers_Remorse I destroyed my work blackberry. Twitter will have to suffice as our mode of communication. D2R is making its marka

@TheRocketship1: My D2D teasm showed up this morning at 9:00am with shots of Jack. What a glorious and frightening way to kick off the month.a

@betsybites: @TheRocketship1 were you just drinking jack and coffee during your meeting?a

@TheRocketship1: Dear taxpayers - I hope you don't mind that I'm watching YouTube clips of Nirvana at my government job. Thanks, you're the best.a

@TheRocketship1: @betsysbites It was a nice touch when you referred to the boss as a p****y at the end of the day #ilikethenewbetsya

@TheRocketship1: I really like DC, but I could have used another day away. The silver lining is that I don't have to see my idiot boss. #smallvictorya

While the staffers were fired eight days into #D2R, the ill-advised tweets revealing bad behavior during office hours dated back to the summer. Perhaps their jobs could've been saved, if @Rocketship1 heeded his mothers words of warning, which he tweeted in September:a

@Rocketship1: Mom just yelled at me, so I'm on Twitter probation until further notice.a

To be fair, Twitter and politics have had a stormy relationship from the beginning.a

It took another perturbed mom to point out to Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., that tweeting through the president’s first speech to Congress is simply rude.a

In 2009, Jeff Frederick, chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia, thwarted his own party’s coup with this tweet:a

Big news coming out of Senate: Apparently one dem is either switching or leaving the dem caucus. Negotiations for power sharing underway.a

And what's a few drunken tweets on the taxpayer's dime compared to compromising the security of a congressional delegation in Iraq via Twitter, as accomplished by Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-Mich., who tweeted this as-it-happens update regarding his group’s location and destination:a

"Moved into green zone by helicopter Iraqi flag now over palace. Headed to new US embassy Appears calmer less chaotic than previous herea

So all in all, recently fired congressional aids, this is going to look great on your resumes!a

More on the annoying way we live now:a

'Planking spree' ends in $303 fine, shame Why 'Community' is the only Internet crossover that matters Why PayPal's bad reputation is bigger than Regretsy Helen A.S. Popkin goes blah blah blah about the Internet. Tell her to get a real job on Twitter and/or Facebook. Also, Google+. a

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