Saturday, February 8, 2014
ON EXAGGERATION AND MISINFORMATION
When I read the daily newspaper, I am usually reading things about which I have no personal knowledge. About twenty times in my life, however, I have had firsthand knowledge of the subject, sometimes from having been myself involved. EVERY TIME when this has been the case, the newspapers have unfailingly got one, two or more significant facts wrong.
If this is their track record on things I know about firsthand, I wonder how good their reporting is on all the other things I don’t know about? By extrapolation I expect it’s appalling. This makes me extremely distrustful of the daily news. The weekly news reports do a little better, I think.
Now I turn to the “other blog,” where charges fly left and right, and all kinds of things are set forth as “facts” about Dave Israel, Ed Black, Bob Marshall, et al. Where backroom deals, mismanaging the money, and other nefarious activities are presented as “researched” and “the final word” by those who have every reason to not be truly neutral or intellectually honest. And what do I find? I find some things said about myself: I am Dave's campaign manager, for example—laughable to me, but a thing I have personal knowledge about and know to be wrong (to be, in fact, complete hogwash).
I know how take my cue, just as in whether to give total credence to the daily newspapers. If on the other blog they are that wrong about me (whom I know about), they are surely wrong about a whole lot else! Whether they are purposely lying, I will not judge. But it surely seems to me they are guessing—wildly guessing in some instances—perhaps hoping some of their guesses hit the mark, but caring only that people believe their irresponsible, reckless charges. “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing” has seldom been more applicable.