A Funny Thing Happened on The Way to the Blogosphere
Truth had to get out and hitchhike.
Especially when it came to topics about which the blogger harbored a pre-existing animus. Nowhere is this more exemplified than in the case of the Governor of Alaska. A search on this blog hosting site using the key word “Sarah Palin” will come up with more hits than you can shake a stick at. What’s more is the little blurbs attached to each hit in many instances gives a clear indication that the blogger is either insulting, deriding or in other ways, mean, small and perverted, attacking Mrs. Palin. This from people who know nothing except what is asserted in the media and by other bloggers — and we know how credible those sources can be. The common attack method appears to be claiming that the Governor is a liar. (This mind you from people who probably don’t think there are absolute truths, that there is no morality other than what is right for you, and generally hold that you can’t judge people.) It used to be that calling someone a liar meant you had proof of not only the facts about which the prevaricating statement was made, but that the statement itself was made by the alleged liar, and that the person making the statement knew it to be contrary to the truth at the time the speaker or writer made the statement. None of that is true in the blogosphere of Sarahaters. Witness the so-called list of odd lies by Andrew Sullivan which is replicated on blogs like a bad virus. The author cannot even come close to satisfying what used to be the requirements for showing someone lied. But the blogosphere puts normal human relationships and communications in a complete vacuum. We don’t have to look at the person in the eye, we don’t have to physically confront the person with the accusation. The detachment ends up causing the blogger to enter a fantasyland where a lie is under every rock and behind every moose. The Sullivan list of “lies” for example includes when the Governor responded to Katie Couric’s question about what she read with a non-answer along the lines of “it’s not like Alaska is not part of the U.S” — how can this possibly be considered a lie when there was no answer to the question!
There seems to be some awakening though among self-respecting reporters and members of the media. Carl Cannon writes a piece in Politics Daily where he examines whether there has been media bias against the Governor. Here is just one of the main stream media hoaxes he exposes:
Remember her callous decision as governor to cut Alaska’s special education budget by 62 percent? After receiving emails to that effect, CNN’s Soledad O’Brien cited the figure on-air. Oops. Palin actually tripled the state’s spending on special needs kids.
Cannon is fair-handed in his evaluation of the Governor, identifying various gaffes she made for sure (though none as ridiculous as Candidate Obama’s 57 state gaffe), but he writes from his heart as a journalist first and that the rage against the Governor and what she stands for injured journalism itself:
As the truncated 2008 general election campaign raced by, Palin’s critics in the Fourth Estate maintained that they were simply doing their job in ferreting out the qualifications, experience, temperament, and knowledge base that Sarah Palin would bring to national office. I’m not a Republican or a conservative; I’m a lifelong journalist who was born and raised in this profession and normally I’d defend the media in this argument. In this instance I cannot.
Cannon’s article is here: http://www.politicsdaily.com/2009/07/08/sarah-barracuda-palin-and-the-piranhas-of-the-press.
The damage is already done to the media. And they have enabled politically minded bloggers who wake up every morning hoping with a little green gleam in their eyes that maybe just maybe their little snide clever hypothesis of a story will get picked up one of the big bloggers and from there to CNN or MSNBC. Oh, they just shake with anticipation at that day.
But victory will never be theirs because they eschew charity. It is the furthest thing from them to actually doubt any negative thing that is said about the Governor. And by eschewing charity they give up on the truth. And without the truth, they are so much chaff in the wind.