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Larry King is no fan of social media networks, his 1.8 million Twitter fans aside


Despite his 1.8 million Twitter followers, Larry King is no fan of social-media networks.

The 50-year veteran of radio and TV broadcasting who is to air his last CNN show in December, said recently of his Twitter account:  “My producers do it.  My wife is a Twitter freak. She’s sick. But I understand it. I think the movie [“The Social Network”] about Facebook was great."

Speaking at a charity event in Nevada last week reported by the Las Vegas Sun, King....

... told the audience: “I love newspapers. I like the feel of print. I like talking on the phone. I don’t text.”

He said news distilled through social media was an inevitable product of technology.  “It’s like owning a grocery store when AM/PM started. Or having a horse and buggy when cars came out.

“You can’t do anything about it. It’s so spread out, and I’m not sure if the journalism is better. There’s more of it, and everybody’s a journalist now. But it forges more rumors, more heresy, and everybody’s a blogger.”

Such social-media phobias don’t stop CNN from embracing Twitter. Last week, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone revealed to Wolf Blitzer that he didn’t follow many politicians on his personal feed, even though his site can with some justification claim to have influenced politics from Iran to North Korea to Russia. He does, however, follow Russian premier Dmitry Medvedev, which may be a surprise to Ticket readers.

King's @kingthings is one of more than 500 CNN-related Twitter feeds, and he largely uses it to publicize interviews with newsmakers and celebrities.

King’s last CNN show is Dec. 16, when he’ll be 77.  Former British newspaper editor Piers Morgan will take over the host’s chair.  On bowing out before adopting the new technologies, King said: “You can’t fight it. Don’t bother trying, either.”

-- Craig Howie

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Photo: King soon will retire from his long-running CNN talk show. Credit: CNN

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Obviously a well-respected newscaster and interviewer, Mr. King would not be expected to take part in a social media revolution that is only a few years on. Neither can be blamed for their different approaches in seeking information from journalists and news agencies. I suspect there will always be a little of both in the world, for both camps.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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