by Scoobie Davis
The Right-Wing Blogosphere's Moral Failing
Yesterday's post on the Robert Greenwald appearance in Santa Monica came to mind when I woke up early this morning with Fox News on. The program that was on was Heartland with John Kascich (disclosure: I was a volunteer for Kascich's opponent Cynthia Ruccia in 1996). Kascich had on the Beltway Boys, Fred Barnes and Morton Kondracke. The discussion was the Swift Boat Liars for Bush.
Barnes went on to say that the discredited Swift Boat Veterans for Truth had proven that 1) Kerry wasn't under enemy fire when he saved Jim Rassmann's life; and that 2) Kerry didn't earn his first Purple Heart. Both of Barnes' claims are categorically false (click here for the facts on the Rassmann rescue and click here for the facts about Kerry's first Purple Heart). Both Kascich and Kondracke sat there and said nothing while Barnes repeated Swift Vet lies. (Click here to tell Morton Kondracke about it; and write John Kascich at Heartland@foxnews.com Tell Kascich that he is wrong for not having someone to address Barnes' lies). Quick note: Barnes was part of the Drudge-generated lie about Ken Lay staying in the Lincoln Bedroom when Bill Clinton was president.
Two things that Barnes was right about were the influence of two media sources for fanning the flames regarding the Swift Vets' phony claims: right-wing talk radio and the right-wing blogosphere. To no big surprise, Rush is leading the charge from hate radio. Quick links that put this in perspective: Click here for the conversation Limbaugh had with someone who had no patience for fools; Click here for a transcript of Limbaugh smearing another Vietnam War veteran).
The work by members of the right-wing blogosphere is more troubling. The blogosphere was set up to monitor the media and do the mainstream media's job when the mainstream media doesn't do its job. Two good examples of this were when blogs took on the false statements and inaccuracies in Ann Coulter's book Slander (click here and here) when much of the mainstream media was not scrutinizing it (e.g., Slander received positive reviews from The New York Times, The Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times). Also, the blogosphere got the mainstream media to do its job about Trent Lott's racist and neo-Confederate statements and ties.
The blogosphere is not there for people to spread disinformation. What a pity.