CBS White House correspondent Major Garrett seemed legitimately angry this morning when he wrote, to more than 80,000 followers, “The fuck I am. That is shirty business what you did. Fix it. I’m not fucking kidding.” Like many fallen Twitter soldiers before him, Garrett probably meant the tweet as a direct message, because it was promptly deleted, but his attempt to play it off as an inside joke with a colleague makes no sense.
Garrett followed up with a cryptic tweet directed at Jim O’Sullivan, the White House reporter for the National Journal, where Garrett has a column: “Monday before SOTU is always slow. Pity. I was speaking to @JOSreports. He knows why. I hear S#%* is REALLY hitting the fan in Damascus.” (Moments before the initial F-bombs, O’Sullivan wrote, “Someone, @MajorCBS, left a thing of Cover Girl on the WH press men’s room sink.”) Garrett then deleted the O’Sullivan message, and a few minutes later, posted the same thing again.
Leaving aside the matter of the bizarre deletion and “shirty” (typo for “shitty” or British slang?), Garrett’s “The fuck I am” is not at all a proper or logical response to the claim he left his makeup in the bathroom. O’Sullivan played along anyway: “Confirmed: makeup contraband in WH men’s room does NOT belong to @MajorCBS. Will investigate further.” But we can’t help but wonder if something else had him rankled. (CBS has not responded to a request for comment.)
The only other mention of Garrett online this morning before the initial outburst, to which he might have been referring, was appropriately about another Twitter screw-up from during the 2010 State of the Union address. “When then-Fox News’ Major Garrett attempted to send followers a link to his blog about the address, he instead tweeted a link that led to an erotic website,” reads the ABC News report, which still applies three years later: “Garrett blamed the bit.ly service, but the damage had been done. Members of the media had already had a good laugh at the correspondent’s expense. And of course the mistake will live on in the annals of the Internet.”