Regarding Phillip M. Bailey’s “Beware of blog” (LEO Weekly, Oct. 7): Ed Manassah’s dismissive comments regarding the blogosphere are unfortunate and, to borrow his own words, jaundiced. According to the former publisher of The Courier-Journal, you may not be seeing “reality” if you believe everything you read in the blog world because the writers write from their personal perspective and not that of an institution.
Indeed. It is precisely for that reason people should read blogs. While there are certainly bloggers who deliberately misrepresent facts, there are also many hard-working bloggers who are dedicated to finding the truth, and because we are not beholden to institutions like Rupert Murdoch’s empire or Gannett, we have no vested interest and are free to speak truth to power. The notion that mainstream media always gets it right and fact-checks what it presents as truth is delusional.
While the mainstream media was busy embedding reporters with the military in Iraq and reporting the Bush administration lies as fact, the blogosphere was asking the hard questions about why we were there in the first place, what connection Saddam Hussein had with the bombing of the World Trade Center, and where were the weapons of mass destruction. If we had paid heed to the blogosphere where questions were being asked about the incestuous relationship between Wall Street and the federal government, we would have seen the sub-prime mortgage crisis coming, because that information was being blogged several years before the economy went in the toilet. The list goes on.
When supporters of mainstream media insist on belittling the blogosphere, they only show their ignorance. Instead of trivializing the substantive work done by many dedicated people working on shoestring budgets, why not be supportive and share expertise and resources and embrace the potential of expanding the paradigm of how we become informed. Considering publications like the C-J have shrunk to the point that there is barely enough left to line a birdcage, Manassah might want to rethink his arrogant attitude about the blogosphere.