Tuesday, February 22, 2005

I Need A Fact Check On 3 Please

There has been several occasions in the last year where the blog world scored some major credibility victories at the expense of the main stream media. I don't need to bring up the specifics, if you are reading here you already know what I am talking about.

We here at the Institute are quite pleased that the MSM now has to be a little more careful, knowing that people are watching what they are doing and can call B.S. when necessary. One of the sites on my blog roll (Argghhh-The Home of Two of Jonah's Military Guys) even boasts that they can fact check your ass without ever getting dressed. True enough, but who fact checks blogs?

One of the great things about a blog is that readers can have instant feedback through the comments, and a blog can lose credibility with its readers if it provides false or misleading information. Of course many of the big blogs for a host of reasons that I have no intention of criticizing, do not allow comments at their sites. Who fact checks them? The MSM? Probably not, but other blogs can and should.

One of the drawbacks to this is too many bloggers focus too much on their sitemeter and if you are critical of another large blog you burn the link bridge and it can adversely affect your traffic.

Which brings me to this. Dan at Riehl World View has taken Wizbang to task for a post they did on the New York Times coverage of the post-tsunami Baby 81 story in Sri Lanka. I don't want to get into the specifics of the story or Dan's criticism. If you want to, you can read the original Wizbang post here, and Dan's response here, here and here. And the Wizbang followed up here.

For the record, I like both of these sites and they both appear on my blog roll for a reason.

My point in bringing this up is not to get into the argument but to point out that it is basically healthy for blogs to keep an eye on each other and to fact check each other. Of course no blog is obliged to respond to all criticism, sometimes the best response might be just to ignore it. Wizbang's response to Dan, looks like a text book example of how not to respond to criticism. Dan made some very reasonable well thought out points about the Wizbang post, and here are some of the responses he got....

So, I've read your rant, it made no sense and you were demonstrably clueless. Now if you have a point, I'll entertain it, but so far all I've heard you do is whine because I'm conservative.

Odd response considering Dan is probably as conservative as they are, and just because you are conservative doesn't mean you are going to get every story right. There is more from this post....

Lunatics on the right

Well, I finally found one. It will be a great cause for celebration among my moonbat commenters but I finally found a lunatic on the right.. Or that's why I assume. His behavior is so bizzare, there are only two conclusions.

1) It is loony.

2) He is completely rational and it picking a fight hoping for a Wizbanging. From his pathetic stats, this might be the case. Whatever the case I'll link the insanity if for no other reason then to get him to quit whining.

They went on to call Dan a goofball, and brain dead boy finishing with this....

Whatever his motivation, insanity or traffic-whoring. Here are your links. Now go play in traffic and quit emailing me.

And in the comments of the above post there is this....

How people as stupid as you can still breath just amazes me.

The comments about the pathetic stats smack of the dismissive arrogance I have seen from the MSM regarding blogs in general. Whatever, if you want traffic the way to go about it is to suck up to larger blogs in hopes of getting links, not to take them to task for what you perceive to be inaccuracies.

If blogs are going to make a name for themselves by finding flaws in the MSM, then it is only fair that from time to time blogs get challenged themselves. I am not going to say that there is one right way to respond to all criticism, but being insulting, condescending and never addressing the substance of the charge does not seem to me to be the right way to go about it.

But that is just me.