Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Tone, Truth and Blogging

Senator Barack Obama offers some thoughts on Tone, Truth, and the Democratic Party. In this statement, characteristically diplomatic, Obama is replying to criticisms made by Armando at the Daily Kos, but he is also addressing the left side of the blogosphere, and perhaps he also has a message for the wider community of bloggers.

Bloggers ask, "What's the place of blogs in the grand scheme of things?" Blogs are evidently mediating in our national discourse. Can that be done without a place in the grand scheme? Is being on the fly a place? Isn't it counterintuitive to demand that mediators be given permanent seats at the table?

More and more I see blogs setting the tone of national debates. Does this reflect a fascination on the part of Old News, the fact that reporters spend hours poring over the blogs, or is a genuine integration of old and new media underway? A little of both, perhaps.

How exactly does one take responsibility for an attitude? Journalistic standards have provided a sorry model. And on Capitol Hill, according to Obama's impressions, things ain't quite what they used to be. It's relatively easy to correct a false statement. It's much more difficult to correct a bad attitude.

Is it easy to lie? For a serious person, it's much easier to be wrong than it is to lie. (Not counting "little white lies"--and what kind of misrepresentation is it to consider lying apart from telling little white lies?) It seems like it ought to be relatively easy to have a bad attitude, but then why do some people work so hard at it? And why is a bad attitude so difficult to correct? Do we see an attitude as a true expression of a person's character? A greater truth than any knowledge they share with us? Would that be because we are closely attached to our own attitudes, or are we closely attached to our attitudes because that's how others judge us?

Has the internet engendered a profusion of others? Has there been a concomitant shift in the paradigm of the attitude, a closer identification with attitude on the part of netizens?

I have ruminated. Now I'm ready to reread Brandon's post on Weblogs and the conversible world.

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posted by Fido the Yak at 10:19 PM.


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