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From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Michele Norris.


I'm Robert Siegel. And it's time now for All Tech Considered.

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SIEGEL: I wonder what people 50 years from now will think of the tweets that journalists are posting today on Twitter. Will they marvel at how they could hone such pithy observations down to a mere 140 characters or will the world-wise folks of the future chuckle at such wanton verbosity? Whatever their judgment of our texting contemporaries, I hope that they are appropriately baffled by the tweets of Roland Hedley. He is the fictional White House correspondent for FOX News. He is a character in Garry Trudeau's comic strip "Doonesbury." Trudeau has collected Hedley's musings in a new book called, "My Shorts R Bunching. Thoughts?: The Tweets of Roland Hedley."

Mr. GARRY TRUDEAU (Author, Cartoonist): The storyline in the strip about Roland tweeting had been rolling for about three or four days. When I heard from Jake Tapper, the White House correspondent for ABC News, who I don't really know that well, but seems to have a kind of childlike fascination for the shiny and new...

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. TRUDEAU: ...and he said to me, you have to do this with your character and have him tweet in real time as the strip rolls along.

SIEGEL: The other day, I checked out some of your man's real-life competition. Rick Sanchez of CNN told his followers first this: flying back to Atlanta, ATL, from La Guardia, this go-go thing is quite cool. And then four minutes later, he added this: it was rainy Thur(ph), but nice Friday. Worked all day, though slept in this morning on late flight with celebs, top White House guy and movie staff.

Mr. TRUDEAU: This is what I'm up against.


Mr. TRUDEAU: You - Roland has some pretty tough competition. Roland follows a few people himself. He's a devotee of Sam Champion's twit stream - tweet stream - the terminology...

SIEGEL: Got me.

Mr. TRUDEAU: flux, yeah. Champion first got his attention when he covered through tweets the removal of the cancerous lesion from his face, in real time. And Roland had nothing but scorn for this because he removes his cancerous -pre-cancerous lesions from his face with a cigarette lighter in the privacy of his own Porsche.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. TRUDEAU: He doesn't see why anyone would want to do that in public.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SIEGEL: Yes. One of my favorite sections here is Hedley tweeting from Saudi Arabia and then from Europe while covering President Obama's overseas trip. I wonder if you could...

(Soundbite of laughter)

SIEGEL: to us some of his observations there.

Mr. TRUDEAU: Sure. Riyadh: Having flashback to first visit as under-briefed cub reporter, wore veil to interview King Abdullah.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. TRUDEAU: Live and learn.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. TRUDEAU: Then he goes on to tweet: Economic downturn, even affecting kingdom, roadside littered with abandoned Mercedes, collecting hood ornaments for my kids.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. TRUDEAU: You know, writing this stuff is a new kind of challenge. I mean, it's - I'm used to writing on a - in a kind of economical form, but this is like comedy haiku. You drop some words into that little box and you edit and re-edit and re-edit, and the idea, of course, is to create the impression that it is completely unedited, that this stuff just flows directly from Roland's brainpan without any processing at all.

SIEGEL: But I would think that the length of a tweet is similar to what you can find in the balloon in a strip. And that, in effect, you've got here the cartoon without pictures.

Mr. TRUDEAU: I think that's right. I think that oddly I've been quite well prepared...

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. TRUDEAU: ...for a new career as a tweetist(ph).

SIEGEL: The result of all that is the book "My Shorts R�" - just the letter R -"...Bunching. Thoughts?: The Tweets of Roland Hedley." Garry Trudeau, thanks a lot for talking to us.

Mr. TRUDEAU: Thanks so much, Robert.

SIEGEL: And you can read more of Roland Hedley's ludicrous tweets at our Web site,

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