In her post-Right Online 2010 wrap-up podcast, my buddy Jenny Erikson recounted one of the conference’s most noteworthy aspects. To wit, having now met and become acquainted with a number of Twitter friends in person for the first time, they were, without exception, exactly the type of people she expected they would be. Each person possessed the demeanor and outlook that their Twitter persona seemed to suggest.
This sentiment springs to mind when I think of my good friend, Kevin Eder. CONFESSION: I don’t do #FollowFriday every week. But I used to do so religiously, and in an even more retrospectively shocking development, I actually paid heed to the Follow Friday advocacy of others, which was a net positive, because that was how I began following Kevin sometime around Thanksgiving 2009. (Though, sadly, I can’t remember who to credit for recommending him.)
I soon discovered that Kevin enjoyed Tweeting. Actually, let me back up and try that again: Kevin lived and breathed Twitter. He reveled in it. He started conversations, elongated them and picked them back up again when they were dragging. And he had a blast engaging in it all.
I met Kevin in person at CPAC 2010, where he was manning the Media Research Center booth in the Marriott exhibit hall. It took all of about 5 minutes to determine that he brought the same energy level to personal contact that he did to Twitter relationships. And just as it had seemed for the previous several months, Kevin was ebullient, outgoing and always game for conversation.
I had lunch at Hard Times Café in DC a month later, on Sunday, March 21, with Kevin and his lovely fiancée, Molly Barackman (to whom he is now married). Our meal marked a bright spot on what was otherwise a bitterly horrendous day; the Obama health care bill cleared the House of Representatives that night. My oldest daughter, Carli (then 6) was with us and my heart was warmed as I watched Kevin help her with the word search on her paper children’s menu while Molly and I chatted and got better acquainted. That’s my friend, Kevin Eder.
Kevin has 3363 loyal followers and that number is constantly growing because Kevin knows how to use Twitter to make connections that count! His Twitter handle is @keder; if you don’t follow him, do it now and if you’re new to Twitter, Kevin is a great place to start if you want to familiarize yourself with it.
So come along and learn more about Kevin…and no matter how long you have followed him, there are some answers here that will surprise you!
10 Questions for Kevin Eder
1) You are a constant Twitter presence, if there ever was one! But how did you first find out about Twitter and do you remember what your first Tweet said?
I officially joined Twitter in November 2008, when my boss at the time was just entertaining the idea of using social media for work. I looked at it for about ten minutes and tried to figure out what in the world it was. I didn’t have the slightest idea, so I gave up. I did tweet once, however; I tweeted that I was working on a big blog list for work, because I was just answering Twitter’s question!
I came back to it in April of 2009 after my boss had quit, to see if I could make use out of it for CNSNews.com. I started tweeting out news links and began to understand how the system worked after I got some followers from that account and began following people myself. After I understood how it worked for business, I started tweeting from my own account. I soon reached 100 followers, then 200… and my life has been all downhill from there. :)
2) Give us a brief Kevin Eder bio.
I grew up in leftist-dominated Ann Arbor, Michigan. I studied economics and political science at Western Michigan University and then moved to DC for my girlfriend (now my wife) a few months after graduation. My three year anniversary of living in the DC area is coming up in less than one month. I can’t believe how quickly it’s flown by!
3) What does being a conservative mean to you?
To me, conservatism is the belief that, generally speaking, individuals are responsible and can be trusted, within a well-defined set of rules, to lead their own lives as they see fit. I support a social safety net that empowers people instead of sucking up their will to live productively. I prefer leaders who are modest and self-spoken, yet firm and willing to take a stand. I despise shameless pandering. I believe in working hard, playing hard, being charitable, always living within your means and understanding that I’m not always going to be able to get what I want, when I want it.
4) Brent Bozell and the Media Research Center are renowned throughout the conservative movement. Tell us what your specific role is within the organization and what a given week might involve.
My job title is technically that of Online Marketing Coordinator. I just got that title within the last month, because I hadn’t had one for the past year! I run the Facebook and Twitter pages for the MRC, NewsBusters.org, and CNSNews.com, and I play a role in running Brent Bozell’s social media sites. I also assist in designing, implementing, and measuring our promotions (for example, the I DON’T BELIEVE THE LIBERAL MEDIA! bumper sticker campaign). I also am responsible for various other marketing tasks.
5) You experienced a fairly significant life change, the last weekend in June! Tell us about Molly Barackman-Eder.
Molly Barackman-Eder is a dream come true for me. She has kept me on my toes since we first started dating! She’s sharp, witty, unpredictable, unconventional and has a wide range of interests, hobbies, and dreams and goals. She has gotten me to do things (pack up and move my stuff to DC, try Indian food, be interested in Judaism, read Persepolis and so much more!) that I never would have considered, were it not for her insistence and gentle encouragement. She has made me tremendously proud by her commitment to convert to Judaism, even though she’s doing it over my initial objections. Oh, and she’s third-person verifiably hot!
6) Name some of your favorites: Books, movies, musical artists, vacation spots, holidays and a couple miscellaneous items of your choice.
My favorite books (surprise!) are mostly political: they include Atlas Shrugged, The Road to Serfdom, Basic Economics by Thomas Sowell, and The Forgotten Man by Amity Shlaes.
I’m not much of a movie person. Generally, I enjoy comedies (and by comedies, I mean stupid Adam Sandler movies.) Recent movies that made me and Molly happy: Up and Garden State.
I listen mostly to country music. My favorite artist is George Strait, but I also enjoy Blake Shelton, Alan Jackson, Josh Turner, Tracy Byrd and even a little Kenny Chesney. I also listen to pop music, which includes some rap and R&B. There are no particular artists I like enough to list here, although there’s a running joke on Twitter that I’m a Justin Bieber fan – not true!
My favorite kind of vacation is a cruise and I’ll be going on one with my new wife in February 2011. Molly and I have recently taken up hiking and we will start taking overnight hiking trips in the fall! We hope to one day hike the Appalachian Trail.
I am not a big fan of holidays – in fact, I find them to be somewhat silly and superfluous. However, Molly LOVES them and her favorites include Halloween, the 4th of July and New Years. She will soon learn to celebrate Jewish holidays, along with these secular ones.
7) Who are 3 of your heroes/role models and why and who are 3 public figures who drive you nuts and why?
Role model 1: My obvious role model/hero is my Dad, the soft-spoken family man who’s also a dentist, golfer and runner. Even though both my parents deserve credit in making me who I am today, my dad reminds me of myself so much, it’s scary.
Role model 2: Another role model of mine is Thomas Sowell, whose articles never cease to anger, inspire and astound me. His life story is incredible and the level of accomplishment he has achieved, given his starting point, is nothing short of amazing.
Role model 3: A third and somewhat unconventional role model for me is former world chess champion Garry Kasparov. After topping the chess world and becoming possibly the greatest player of all time, he decided to directly take on the issue of human rights in Russia. Some of the work he has done in speaking out against Communism and human rights abuses there is noteworthy.
Drive me nuts 1: Joseph Farah. This man is basically responsible for the continuation of the birther movement, which should have died in August 2008 when President Obama released his birth certificate. I go to his website every day and count all of his ridiculous articles that make demonstrably false claims. His work does nothing but undermine the legitimate work that conservative organizations are doing by focusing media attention on crazy conspiracy theories.
Drive me nuts 2: Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and the rest of the Race™ industry. These people exist for no other reason than to get on MSNBC and spout off nonsense. They literally benefit from racism, so they have to make it up, even when it’s not real.
Drive me nuts 3: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – this one is somewhat obvious. I’m not even sure he means some of the nonsense he spouts, but people believe it and apologize for it on a regular basis. It’s infuriating.
#8) Some of our friends who live in the DC area don’t really enjoy it that much. You are definitely not numbered in that group! What do you enjoy about living in the nation’s capital?
Before I lived in DC, I had never really lived in a city before, so this is a very new experience for me. Things I love in DC include city water, walking in beautiful weather, the monuments, museums, and variety of events that take place here. Another thing I love is that DC is a destination, so it’s really easy to meet people from all over the country that you come across on Twitter.
9) Your #jooclass Tweets kept us in stitches for several months, earlier this year. In all seriousness, though, what has your experience been as a member of a relatively rare sector of the American populace, being both Jewish and conservative?
It can be interesting to be a Jew and belong to a political party dominated by Christians. Sometimes, news items that get some people jazzed have little to no effect on me, so I have to keep that in mind when posting news links to the Facebook pages I operate. On the other hand, conservatives don’t play identity politics, so it’s never been a serious issue for me. I feel plenty welcome in the GOP, where people don’t pander to me and don’t bend over backward to try to avoid talking about religious topics and other liberal tendencies of that sort. I’m treated as an individual and that’s how I think I deserve to be treated.
10) Name three lifetime goals that would be on your “Bucket List.”
- Raise a happy, healthy family
- Run for office
- Hike the Appalachian Trail