Sunday, September 24, 2006

Check it out.

Note the following sentence: "Check it out for yourselves, and if you feel like it, let me know what you think."

It's from Greg Sargent at The Horse's Mouth blog, urging readers to look further into a story, think about it, and get back to him with any thoughts.

In some form or other, I frequently read this type of suggestion with an invitation for feedback at many liberal/progressive blogs (Kevin Drum, Josh Marshall, and Steve Benen to name a few more). I find it refreshing in that they believe the item is important and worth pointing out, but 1) they're not always certain, and 2) they may be missing something (a sanity check request), and 3) they wish to hear pro/con commentary from others.

Compare this tendency with the right-wing blogs I peruse (yes, I do), where I hardly ever read this kind of prompting. Instead, the tone is more authoritative and dictatorial (hmm, who does that sound like?), with opinions stated about story "X" completely absent of any provocation for readers to check it out and perhaps disagree, much less let the writer know about it.

It's more of this attitude of patronizing certainty, that here's what I think so don't bother looking into anything -- trust me, I have it right. Go with my opinions and don't dare think for yourself.

The obvious reasons for why this lack of encouraging independent thought and ideas are: 1) their audience may quickly discover the real truth(s), and all the lies and deception being used, and 2) they realize their audience really has no interest in learning about the truth and therefore you can tell them anything -- making sure to use a confident, cocky delivery. Their audience just wants to be force-fed pre-digested "talking points" that already agree / confirm their existing partisan bias. Sadly, it's just easier.

Are there other reasons? Think about it and get back to me (comments section).

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