Monday, July 6, 2009
FBI Shouldn't Favorite: Palin vs. Bloggers
Jodie Foster carrying FBI ID
The FBI inexplicably came out this morning saying,
"We are not investigating her," FBI spokesman Eric Gonzalez said on Sunday. "Normally we don't confirm or deny those kind of allegations out there, but by not doing so it just casts her in a very bad light. There is just no truth to those rumors out there in the blogosphere."....
Anchorage Daily News
The FBI shouldn't have come out with comments about "the blogosphere" condemning individual rumors wholesale (of which I have passed none). There is no need to deny any "allegations", which are just media rumors. There is no need to officially take a side at all and get involved.
The powerful reason is that freedom of speech rests on individual effort. Writing takes effort and not everyone is interested in making their own views known in a blog.
Might I assert that the world of journalists is changing in this age of Twitter, Facebook and blogs. Palin herself is now using Twitter and Facebook for her own communications. The old method of waiting around for radio reports and paper print for news is not where a lot of people these days are getting their information. They're going online.
With the need to get telephone numbers from the internet because there aren't as many phone books being handed out, why is the FBI making value judgements about "the blogosphere" without also taking on rumors in Facebook and Twitter? Doesn't make sense for them to single out bloggers.
Why aren't they applauding the individual efforts of bloggers trying to balance the old and sometimes stale news that is peddled by large news outlets. Historically news outlets have had all the power. Whatever they say is usually taken as the "Word from God" and believed by a large segment of the population.
Of course, what's in news reports has to be taken with a grain of salt some of the time and sources must be considered. But at the same time, that's all anyone has to go on. Journalists learn from other journalists as they conduct independent research.
What's the better alternative for bloggers, to keep quiet when the need to speak up is obvious and doable? It would be remiss of the population, especially those who know and who may be experts, not to pour out ideas as they happen when it's possible to do so.
Bloggers aren't necessarily journalists, but they should know what their own point of view is.
In other words, it's good to blog, and the FBI shouldn't somewhat automatically take the side of a suspiciously rogue soon-to-be-ex-Governor who twitters and uses Facebook with impunity. That to me smacks of high-handed police intervention in a democratic process.