Monday, September 01, 2008

Don't Be a Dupe, Will!

It has been a while since Will has written anything to drive me nuts... he needs to blog more! Anyhow, today he wrote:

The stupidity from both sides has been amazing (the “she has foreign policy experience because she’s right next door to Russia” remark on the right and the “it really wasn’t her baby” watch on the left)...

First off, the foreign policy bit is the Republican party line on Palin, repeated on teevee by party leaders.

On the other hand, as you've probably noticed, I read liberal blogs, and I hadn't heard the fake pregnancy story until the McCain campaign pinned it on "liberal blogs." I've spent far too much time this evening looking through the archives of prominent liberal blogs from the past two days or so, and I can't find any big names promoting this story, except Andrew Sullivan, who is not a liberal. The whole thing traces back to an anonymous diarist on Daily Kos, ArcXIX, who had posted one diary in three years prior to this weekend. Yes, the reaction on DailyKos was a bit like sharks to chum, but a good chunk of the discussion was about whether or not the diary should be summarily deleted as a "conspiracy theory" under the site's rules. A few other bloggers picked up on it, but none that I'd heard of.

Here's what really happened:

A senior McCain campaign official said the McCain camp was appalled that these rumors had not only been spread around liberal blog sites and partisan Democrats, but also were the subject of heightened interest from mainstream news media.

For example, The Anchorage Daily News. This was the Drudge workflow, except it didn't even require Drudge, random person posts diary entry on Kos, gets some on-site buzz, gets the attention of the press, who start asking questions, now the liberal bloggers are on a witch hunt. But it was the MSM who escalated the rumor, not bloggers.

Also, given the Republican's history of dirty tricks, there is no reason to think that they don't have people with DailyKos accounts ready to plant stories and act as online agents provocateur.

Will continues:

If you listen to C-SPAN in the mornings like I do, you can’t help but agree with Bill Maher when he says the country is getting stupider and stupider. If you watch FOX or MSNBC, listen to Rush or Hannity or Ed Schultz, read the red and blue blogs, you quickly find yourself in a huge virtual, asynchronous shouting match that regardless of your political leanings will make you both tired and frustrated and longing for the one page briefing memo with just the “facts” if there still are such beasts.

Here's what you do, Will -- read good blogs and skip the rest of that crap. That's your briefing. You don't have to read the red and blue shouting match, at least not forever. Here's the thing: time passes. Will and I have both been reading political blogs daily for, what, six, eight years? We've been reading some of these people nearly every day in that period. It should be pretty clear who has gotten things right and who hasn't. Isn't that what all this "personal learning network" crap is about?

Here's how you teach your children to evaluate any news on the television that is not on Comedy Central:

RUN! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!

Vivian prefers to read Harper's during meals, which doesn't require constant interruptions for fact-checking, although some help with letter identification is sometimes necessary:

She's done this pretty much every day since May (when that was filmed).

1 comment:

Will said...

Surprises me, Tom, that you didn't take me to task for the really problematic omission in my post. If I'd linked to all of that stuff I cited, I probably would have done much of the same work you had to do to write this. But I was tired and lazy.

I'll blog more now to make you happy.