TIME.com followed several members of the "elite Twitterati" as they attended the White House Correspondents' Dinner in the ballroom of the Washington Hilton on Saturday. They followed the tweets of Meghan McCain, Newt Gingrich, Ashton Kutcher, Demi Moore, and -- to my astonishment -- John McCain's presidential campaign advisor Marty Eisenstadt.
Marty Eisenstadt, former McCain camp adviser (4 p.m.)
Ran into Val Kilmer, still on couch at Haddad's house. We're splitting cab to #nerdprom when he stands up. Could be a while.
Marty Eisenstadt (6:50 p.m.)
@carr2n We gave Kilmer smelling salts this PM. He should be OK for dinner. Hope I get vomit stains off tux. #nerdprom
Marty Eisenstadt (7:05 p.m.)
@rachelsklar #nerdprom. Three teenagers died because of this "Captain" and his reckless behavior. Will ask him how that makes him feel.
Marty Eisenstadt (10 p.m.)
#nerdprom Todd Palin just gave me unsolicited back rub. I think he's drunk. Beer in Alaska must be lower %. And where exactly is Sarah?
Wait....isn't Martin Eisenstadt the fictitious and satirical character created by Dan Mirvish and Eitan Gorlin, two California filmmakers who have been having lots of laughs demonstrating how woefully gullible the mainstream media is?
If you're keeping score: MSNBC, the LA Times, and the New Republic got suckered into the hoax last fall when "Eisenstadt" took credit for spilling the beans that Sarah Palin didn't know Africa is a continent. MSNBC apologized on air for their sloppy reporting. Now it's TIME magazine's turn to wipe the egg off its interface.
An easy mistake? It could happen to anyone? No, not really. All a reporter has to do is Google "Martin Eisenstadt" to find the New York Times tell-all on the elaborate high jinks. It's the third entry on the first page. The first page!
I'm being a party-pooper? You're right, journalism is a lot more fun when facts don't matter, so I phoned Marty Eisenstadt for the ultimate insider's peek at the hullabaloo known around Washington D.C. as nerd prom --
Marty, you're not a White House reporter. How did you snag an invitation to the Correspondents Dinner?
Martin Eisenstadt: My good friends at FoxNews invited me. I'm a valuable source to them, and they rewarded me with a seat at their table. Next to Todd Palin no less.
You and I worked together several months ago on an investigative story. Frankly, I think you're too cool to attend an event nicknamed nerd prom. Why'd you go?
For me it was work. As a pundit in this town, sometimes it's more important to be seen than to be heard.
I saw a photo of you at the event. It looks like you couldn't get a date, much less a tuxedo.
My assistant, Danny, neglected to tell me the Correspondents' Dinner was black tie. Yes, a little embarrassing, but no more than losing my date, pundit Marnie Vander Helsing in the melee. I last spotted her leaving the after-party with Val Kilmer.
How do you know Kilmer?
Val Kilmer is thinking about running for governor of New Mexico. He's retained me as a campaign consultant. As New Mexico has both Indian casinos and military bases, my experience lobbying for Casinos in the Green Zone will come in handy.
TIME.com says you're one of the elite Twitterati.
They listed me as the #8 fleeting celebrity of last year, so it's only natural that they'd refer to me as one of the elite Twitterati.
What did you think of Pres. Obama's speech? I heard it was pretty funny.
Regrettably I left the ballroom for a second, and the Secret Service wouldn't let me back in. Fortunately, the bar was still open and I had a chance to bum some khat from the Captain who got those three Somali teenagers killed.
Do you think Wanda Sykes wrote Obama's speech?
Who's Wanda Sykes?
You tweeted "Wolf is definitely Blitzered." Was Howie Kurtz also at the party?
I have nothing but good things to say about Wolf Blitzer. In fact, I tweeted from the CNN seder on the second night of Passover just last month. Still a little bitter that Howie had those two charlatans, Mirvish and Gorlin, on his show claiming to be me. But Howie and I go way back and I'll always love the guy.
Public opinion of the mainstream media is at an all-time low. How do you respond?
As a proud member of the mainstream media, I don't think we should look too closely at the polls. And whether the public loves us or hates us, we just need to make sure they keep watching us and buying our books. For example, my book, My Name is Martin Eisenstadt, One's Man's Adventures with the Last Republicans comes out on October 12.
Even Facebook says I don't exist. But I Twitter therefore I am.