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Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Iain MacWhirter, of Glasgow's upmarket paper has written, in relation to Damien McBride's Labour online smear campaign, about how bloggers, unlike fine upstanding newspaper journalists, are a "new frontier of hackery is not subject to the same standards of accuracy, taste, style and legality that newspapers like The Herald are subject to. It is fashionable to condemn the "dead tree press" for being unreliable and sensationalist, but we are like academic research journals compared to the stuff on the web.

For reasons no-one has been able to fully explain, the political right has been adept at this new kind of journalism, led by Guido Fawkes and Iain Dale's Diary."

Actually many people have been able to explain that because blogging is an individual activity it largely works for individualists (discussion groups on the other hand have a definite corporatist trend). Individualism is not the same as being "right wing", it is merely traditional liberalism but I can see why he doesn't get such nuances. What Ian really means is that nobody whose views he agrees with have been able to explain it. This doesn't prove the explanation is correct but it is certainly the front runner.

He also says bloggers are "opinionated nerds" & should be opposed "because political journalism is entering a new age, the age of the blog - an ugly word for an ugly trade". Since newspapers are visibly in a state of collapse everywhere because of blogging & the net Iain's tantrum is understandable but not reasonable.

My experience is that bloggers average much better on standards of accuracy than the press. "Taste, style & legality" may be a different matter but how much those should restrain accuracy is certainly arguable. The reasons blogs are more accurate are (1) because they don't have a monopoly & (2) because anybody can give links to verify claimed facts & someone who doesn't is likely to be treated with suspicion & (3) because blogging is a 2 way process in which comments are almost always published & incorrect facts disproven.

Newspapers, even when they allow online comments tend to prevent comments from those who produce inconvenient facts & do so even more strongly when choosing letters for publication. Like Henry Ford, newspapers will report any fact as long as its one they want - hence my numerous unpublished letters on the genocide in Yugoslavia.

As a scientific test I sent the Herald this letter which they did not publish:
Iain MacWhirter says that bloggers are "opinionated nerds" & the blogsphere is "an ugly trade," though, unlike him, most of us don't get paid. The latin derivation of "amateur" is someone who does it for love not money.
Perhaps he would be better employed reporting on such things as the public admission, over a year ago, by Carla del Ponte the Yugoslav War crimes prosecutor that she has known for years that our NATO police (as the KLA became when we occupied the place) had been dissecting hundreds, perhaps thousands, of living Serbs to sell their body organs. Perhaps he should report on the faking of newspaper photographs in reporting of the Tibetan riots, the Georgian war & of course, any war involving Israel. Perhaps he should report that, contrary to well publicised assertions by the "green" lobby that 99.9% of scientists support the global warming claim, the largest single collection of scientists' opinions is the 31,000 who signed the Oregon Petition, not only saying it is no problem but that increased CO2 is beneficial. Perhaps he should report that so many of the charities, whose press releases, calling for ever more government regulation & spending, form a staple in so much of the mainstream media & who buy stands at party conventions, are often largely funded by government money.
Some of the facts reported across the blogsphere but sadly unavailable to newspaper readers.
As expected it was not published. I also put the central paragraph on Iain Dale's & Alex Massie's neither of whom have a record of opposing genocide in Kosovo but neither of whom censored it. I will also be putting in on Iain MacWhirter's blog :-) where strangely enough he complains about people getting publicity by being rude.

I think that proves beyond reasonable doubt that blogs are far freer & more trustworthy source than the MSM.
And in another part of the MSM, Tuesday's Morning phone in show was about the WWF Scotland call for criminalising not putting up enough insulation in your home.
No really.

So anyway I rang in & said that if these "environmentalists" really believed in CO2 caused global warming they would support building more nuclear which can produce electricity at 1.4p a unit. I also estimated this would cost about £700 million [it was said there are 3/4 million houses needing such attention - so at £500 a shot plus all the bureaucracy everything needs come to about that]. Gary said it would save money overall & I disagreed since any saving would not likely match the initial cost & that anyway having electricity at 1/4 the cost & lower taxes would save more. At which point he moved on to the next caller.

I must admit the way almost every single thought of the day is on what new regulations & government spending we should all be welcoming really gets my goat. This nonsense is particularly egregious since (A) global warming is not a problem (B) this is not a solution (C) if this actually were cost effective it wouldn't need subsidy & the police (D) freedom is actually something worth having (F) with 80% of our economy being government spending & half the rest being spending to satisfy regulation the last thing we need is more of both.

Unfortunately WWF Scotland's website doesn't say how they are funded but we are finding that many charities & most of the more political ones are fakecharities i.e. ones getting most of their money from government. Such "charities" clearly cannot be impartial when saying whether or not there should be more government spending & the BBC should, as an absolute minimum, announce when their guest is from an independent body or a government quango. Of course the BBC is a government quango as well.

I put the last 2 paragraphs on Graham's blog & to my surprise because they usually haven't in the past, they published it.

Perhaps he should report on the faking of newspaper photographs in reporting of the Tibetan riots, the Georgian war & of course, any war involving Israel.

I hadn't heard of that one, do you have a link?
This is Georgia
This is Israel
I can't find Tibet but I rmember seeing it.
You don't have a link on Israel.
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