Summary:

Fake Twitter accounts for Nate Silver, Diane Sawyer and Mitt Romney offered humorous moments on election night — but one day they may also be important sources for political historians.

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Drunk Diane Sawyer will take a place beside Big Bird and Clint Eastwood’s chair among the Twitter spoofs that offered a lighter touch to the 2012 election coverage. After the real NBC anchor began slurring her words and twitching at the news desk, this showed up on the microblog:

While tiredness rather than tippling likely caused Sawyer’s condition, the Twitter account provided a fun way to record a micro-meme that sprung up on election night. Sawyer wasn’t the only source of fun. Nate Silver, whose 538 blog overshadowed his employer The New York Times on election night, became a target too. Here’s how a satirist cleverly mocked the pollster’s portentousness and the public’s sudden fixation with data driven reporting:

Drunk Diane and fake Nate are fleeting by their nature — they cause a chuckle and then vanish in days or months. But one day they may also carry historical significance in the same way that newspaper cartoons serve as a vital tool for political scholars. Consider how well these spoof tweets sum up a central narrative of the 2012 election — the Republicans lost because they couldn’t broaden their demographic base:

(Image by  jbor via Shutterstock)

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