Terry Thompson, a local Democratic political consultant, the man behind TR Strategies, pretty much doesn’t know blogs. During a recent discussion on Inside Olympia on TVW (God bless podcasts), Thompson morphs from a lesson on the differences between the political generations to a discussion on why blogs are spreading untruths. And, that no on ever challenges anything on blogs.
Not that blogs are really just everyone challenging everyone else. Or some kind of conversation.
According to Thompson, blogs are:
encouraging the polarization of politics in this country. Right wing blogs talk to right wing people, left wing blogs talk to left wing people. There is no fact checking. When a statement is made, it is accepted as fact, when there is no evidence of it what so ever. And there is no one challenging this stuff.
If you get in a political discussion, sitting down in a cafe somewhere, and you’re arguing back and forth, and someone in the next table would overhear you and say “excuse me, I couldn’t help but overhear, that’s not true.” That doesn’t even happen, on these blogs it is fact.
Which, of course, isn’t fact.
Thompson’s analogy about overhearing a conversation in a cafe and someone butting in to disagree is much less realistic that someone coming onto a blog and doing the same thing. This is especially in Washington State, where people are much too polite to disagree with strangers in public.
Good blogs foster conversation. In his example, he’s tells how a young activist being confused about the length of the Vietnam War after learning about it wrongly on a blog. Well, if it was a decent blog, someone would have come along and posted a comment, explaining how wrong they were.
You can post a comment here to tell me how wrong I am. That’s how it works.