Saturday, April 07, 2007

Blogging - Threat or Menace?

Wow! Here I thought that I was just giving my opinion on matters related to bicycling, but all this time I've really had a secret agenda - persuading all of you that everything you read here in CycleDog is the absolute truth. I'm so relieved at finally admitting that I really have been chased by chupacabras, venomous Oklahoma snow snakes, and those blood-sucking monkeys from West Mifflin, Pennsylvania. Would I lie? Of course not!

Here's a scoop. Dick Cheney is really Ann Coulter in a fat-guy suit! It's all done with lighting and makeup. Remember, you read it here first. I never lie and I'm always right.

And by the way, the First Amendment still applies to blogging. I'm free to express my opinion, just as you're free to express your own. But just like the newspapers and electronic media, we cannot spew lies. While I'm a firm believer in "lawyers, guns, and money" all I have are the guns.

One other thing - the piece below makes the assumption that the cherished 18-49 demographic is just too damn stupid to pick out the rumors, innuendo, half-truths, and outright lies they find in various blogs. I give my readers more credit than that, but I'll stand by the Ann-Coulter-in-a-Cheney-suit story.

Our View - Reader beware of the truthfulness in blogs
Missouri Valley Times-News Editorial 07/25/2005

Blogs definitely should come with the caveat, "Let the buyer beware." In this case, the reader should beware - of anything a blogger states as fact.

Every so often someone asks us why we didn't have a story on such-and-such. "It was all over town, and so-and-so said it was true. He heard it from that other guy, who got it from his aunt, who heard it at coffee in the cafe. Councilman Doe is having an affair with that waitress!"

...They don't make the page because we don't print rumors, innuendoes, or out-and-out lies as a matter of course. That is the problem today for our mainstream media. We're now expected to practice tabloid journalism, having no respect for facts or utilizing any of the formerly normal checks and balances to avoid libel and slander. Why? In a word: blogging.

Blogging is relatively new phenomenon of the World Wide Web, a mixture of "news," personal journaling, and just plain blather, often with no regard for the truth. Blogs definitely should come with the caveat, "Let the buyer beware." In this case, the reader should beware-of anything a blogger states as fact.

...While we work within the First Amendment rights to a free press, our feet are held to the fire by libel laws and the lawyers who rightly apply them to our work. Bloggers-so far-seem to be unfettered by such considerations.

The trouble is, among the Internet crowd, i.e. the demographic we mainstreamers have the most trouble reaching (18 to 49), blogs are accepted at face value, widely read and the so-called information they spew spread as fact, whether fact, indeed, really exists.



Blogger Paul Tay said...

So, WHO shot the Sheriff?

7:15 PM  

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