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.
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.
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Update: The National Journal’s blogometer has the round up.
Update III: Jon Swift links in with his usual conservative commentary.