Aug. 31: If the young lady was guilty of twagerism, the gentleman was really tweet about it.
Wall Street Journal columnist Sadanand Dhume has retracted his accusation of twagerism against a beauty pageant contestant, who had lifted whole sentences from his tweets, after Vasuki Sunkavalli claimed she was new to twitterverse and didnt know the correct use of the retweet button.
I wouldnt read too much into this minor incident, Dhume said in response to queries from The Telegraph. Ms. Sunkavalli has clarified the circumstances behind it and Im happy to take her word. Chapter closed, as far as Im concerned.
Dhumes gesture came less than two months after a 168-year-old British tabloid was forced to close down following a phone-hacking scandal.
Sunkavalli, Indias hopeful for the Miss Universe title, tells her followers she is a lawyer, model, Miss Universe India, nerd and until yesterday her Twitter account did, indeed, suggest that she had a varied range of interests.
Her arrival in Brazil for the international finale of the beauty contest was marked with tweets about hair and make-up sessions before the big day.
The Hyderabad girls more politically aware followers were assured that she was thinking deeply, too, about the significance of the fast by Anna Hazare. Seven years of Manmohan Singh in politics proves one thing — a glittering resume is no substitute for basic leadership skills, she wrote on August 18.
The contestant had already offered a wry summary of the shortcomings of Hazares proposed anti-corruption ombudsman. Only in India can you lead a movement to add an extra layer of unweildy (sic) regulation to fix a problem caused by too much unweildy (sic) regulation.
Yesterday, she issued a warning to Indias MPs who started parliamentary proceedings against a civil society activist who called them illiterates. And then disaster struck.
Idly browsing the Internet, Dhume came across words that seemed familiar: Memo to Indian MPs: only banana republics go after private citizens for saying rude things about politicians.
Dhumes recognition was not so surprising: he had written the same sentence himself an hour earlier.
Further investigation revealed that seven of Sunkavallis 29 tweets bore a strong resemblance to those first posted by the columnist.
His accusation of twagerism caused uproar and brought a hot denial from Sunkavalli. It wasnt (sic) accidental. cant possibly cut copy AND paste accidentally now can I? just dint (sic) know the technical know how of retweeting, she tweeted.
Sunkavalli was unavailable for comment till the time of writing. As of yesterday, her last tweet read: Loooong day.. And an early start tom. Exhaustion is hitting me.
Thanks to Dhume, she has been spared further embarrassment too.
The columnist even conceded that Sunkavalli almost certainly looked better than he did in a swimsuit.