I follow both David Gibson, a reporter for Religion News Service, and Mollie Hemingway, a writer for the Federalist, on Twitter. Like many of those who do, I have noticed a pattern in which Hemingway sends out a tweet that is not addressed to Gibson to which he nonetheless replies—not to offer further information, a query, or a correction (which would be unremarkable enough) but instead with a statement of dismissal.
Hemingway is an opinionated writer, one with whom I don’t always agree but from whom I always have something to learn. Gibson’s sustained twitter campaign seems to reflect a belief that there is something especially deserving of scrutiny, and perhaps of contempt, in Hemingway’s tweets. I think that there instead may be something deserving of scrutiny in Gibson’s replies. He seems to think it somehow telling to single out her tweets. I’m happy to do the same for his. As ever, let the reader decide.
Matthew Schmitz is deputy editor of First Things.