Think, type, post, voila! (oops)

Posted on Saturday 1 April 2006

Ya know, the new media has a lot of great things going for it: people can dialogue, network, call out crazies on the opposite side of their personal issue fences – it’s all good.

But there’s one heck of a downside: it’s instantaneous. Bloggers can have a thought and put it out there in all its gory glory within seconds. It makes the old days of irresponsible journalism look downright pokey. One touch of a button and your opinion – right, wrong, stupid or brilliant – is out there to either delight or enrage everyone on the planet who has a computer.

Every now and again, though, the blogosphere goes off the deep end altogether.

The latest and greatest example of jumping the gun and falling on one’s ass publicly is the release of Jill Carroll, the freelance Christian Science Monitor journalist. For those of you who’ve been in a cave for the last few days (or outside in the glorious weather), she was released unharmed late Wednesday to much initial rejoicing, but within hours, her captors distributed a video in which she made statements praising the insurgency.

Conservative bloggers pounced. They howled, they gashed, they sliced, they oozed venom all over her. Some were so vitriolic that Polimom thinks they might consider visiting a therapist.

But the next day, the news came to the world that the video was evidently propaganda; a required condition of Jill Carroll’s release.


Is it just my imagination, or are some conservatives just a smidge defensive about anything and everything to do with Iraq? (Can’t imagine why.)

Folks, everybody makes mistakes, and many bloggers have passed early judment to their chagrin – including me. It’s rare, though, to see a personal smear campaign on this scale, and it should remind all of us that responsibility comes along with public discourse – even in this “new” medium.

Polimom plans to remember those who proved (and continue to prove) their questionable credibility in this fiasco, but just as importantly – nods of respect are due to those bloggers who either reserved judgment, or have stepped up to the plate for their part in it. They don’t follow the herd – good for them.

* * * * *

Update: The National Journal’s blogometer has the round up.

Update II: RightWing Nuthouse says it better. (HT: The Moderate Voice, who also has an excellent post.)

Update III:  Jon Swift links in with his usual conservative commentary.

5 Comments for 'Think, type, post, voila! (oops)'

    April 2, 2006 | 2:57 am

    I do hope you keep an eye on me, Ms. Polimom. I also believe it’s my right to think she’s full of it. Untill I’m proven wrong, which I haven’t been, I well keep on thinking she is full of it.

    Thank you for stoping by my blog. More than welcome to come on by anytime.


    April 2, 2006 | 8:17 am

    [...] Polimom Says « Think, type, post, voila! (oops) And along those lines (the Duke incident) [...]

    April 2, 2006 | 12:01 pm

    Jill Carroll Hostage Case: A Black Eye To Blogging…

    Jill Carroll was twice a victim – once of jihadist terrorists who kidnapped her and once of a culture that sought to exploit her tragedy to sa……

    April 3, 2006 | 11:36 pm

    [...] Think, type, post, voila! (oops) Jumping To Conclusions Is Not Good Exercise Jill Carroll is Headed Home [...]

    April 19, 2006 | 8:01 am

    [...] Between one thing and another, we’ve seen a number of instances recently where people (read: bloggers) have been able to bring their readers into their own poisonous negativity. (My posts on this here, here, and here.) What has bothered Polimom the most about the entire phenomenon is how easily these angry flame-throwers can send others into an equally heated (or worse) attack mode; basically an internet mob mentality. [...]

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