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Fri Aug 31, 2012, 02:49 PM

Eastwood, Empty Chair Hijack Republican Media Coverage [View all]

Source: Reuters

Eastwood, empty chair hijack Republican media coverage

LOS ANGELES | Fri Aug 31, 2012 2:34pm EDT

By Jill Serjeant and Piya Sinha-Roy

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Months of careful planning for the Republican National Convention were hijacked by actor Clint Eastwood as traditional and social media erupted in a frenzy of scratched heads and parodies that experts said largely overshadowed presidential contender Mitt Romney's moment in the spotlight.

Eastwood's rambling, unscripted address at Thursday's convention to an absent President Barack Obama in an empty chair inspired an instant satirical Twitter account, @InvisibleObama, that quickly went viral, demonstrating the power of social media to upset tightly scripted image control.

- snip -

I by Friday, it was "Dirty Harry" star Eastwood's performance that was capturing the popular attention. The Twitter hashtag #eastwooding - mostly pictures of empty chairs - was also one of the top-trending topics on the microblogging site on Friday morning.

Paul Levinson, professor of media and communication studies at Fordham University and author of the book "New New Media," thought Eastwood's performance was "the biggest story by far from the convention, including Romney's speechg

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSBRE87U10P20120831

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