Sunday, February 20, 2005

What Hath Blogs Wrought?

While commenting over at I suddenly had an epiphany.

I agree with many bloggers that one day a blogosphere lynch mob will take down the wrong person or unduly taint someone’s reputation. Like any mob rule, eventually they hang the wrong man. When this happens the blogoshpere will be reduced to something less than that into which it appears to be developing, and the MSM can say, “I told you so.” Columnist and established journalist will lambaste and chastise blogs to no end. Perhaps the blogoshpere will go the way of talk radio instead of the way to a new world order in journalism. My comment that blogging is the best thing to happen to journalism since the First Amendment would be proven false.

My epiphanic moment was the realization that the blogoshpere will self police. Imagine my surprise when I discovered Peggy Noonan had listed this as item six in her The Blogs Must Be Crazy epistle. While I don’t have the rabid aversion to the MSM that the right wing bloggers do, I do feel there is much that is wrong with MSM. One being its inability to self regulate. News organizations rarely if ever call foul on another news organization.

But blogs do. Something akin to that occurred with the Easton Jordan affair. Many bloggers did not believe that Jordan should have resigned, and that the video from the Devo meeting should be reviewed to determine what Jordan said and when did he say it before any calls for resignation can be made. There were a lot of postings calling for the tape. If the footage don’t fit you can’t commit.

There were a lot of right wing accusations of the liberal, anti-America, anti-Bush MSM, and today many journalists believe that this mob carried the day. But I think not. If Jordan had been just a bottom feeder reporter or the head of group having a special interest, he would have an undeniable right to express his opinion however right or wrong it may be and continue in the role he had prior to his statement. But Jordan is the head of an especially large world-wide news organization that is supposed to be objective. His slur against the American military is no better than if he had been blind to any of its abuses – much as the right wing bloggers are, but they are not the head of a major news organization.

I am certainly no friend of the fascist on the right, but agree that Jordan should have resigned. After the blogosphere began to heat up, I googled and found a list of journalist killed in Iraq and the circumstances around their death did not seem out right targeting. I’m not going to assume the worse of the U.S. military as some do because it fits their expectation to do so. Is there a major story on targeting of journalist that should receive an airing on CNN? If not, shut up. Fireman should not yell fire. Policeman should not pretend to shoot someone. Doctors should not diagnose what’s not there. And journalist should not make idle accusations.

So, did the blogogshpere hang an innocent man or did the MSM receive the correcting influence it sorely needed? I believe the latter to be the case for the reasons I’ve just given. Do the brown shirted bloggers on the right attempt kristallnacht in the blogoshpere? Yes, we must be ever vigilant to the attack on freedom by these fascist who claim to be defending democracy by closing it down. Are the too political correct bloggers on the left missing the point? Yes, we must fight for our hard won freedoms. There is a place for conservatives in the liberal world, but there is no place for liberals in the conservative world.

I will continue my struggle here and in comments at other blogs against the right wing campaign of painting MSM as liberal. Its problems are nothing so noble as partisan politics. But when the right is right, I will agree, and I hope there are enough reasonable people on the right, that when the left is right, they will agree also. If so, journalism and the blogosphere are in for an exciting ride. Just think, the printed word is making a come back. At this day and age, who would have thought?
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