I gotta say it’s been pretty awful to see so many of my favorite blogs getting swept up in blah blah about the Pope or about this Bolton character or about the latest dribblings about DeLay or Gannon or what-have-you. Look kids, just because it’s the story-of-the-day doesn’t mean you have to tell us how you feel about it.
The thing I least like about the “Mainstream Media” is that they are professional blab-deliverers without any expertise outside of this specialty to give them any claim to my respect of their opinion on the many topics they are called upon to wax opinionated about.
If a professional pontificator gives me his or her opinion on whatever happens to be the daily special in the important issues smorgasbord, this opinion is only at best the cleverest rhetoric that the professional pontificator class can bring to bear on the subject — I have no reason to expect an opinion more informed or enlightening than any other semi-articulate schmoe’s.
I’ve found that almost without fail, when I read an editorial or listen to a talking-head or scan a magazine exposé, the less I know about the subject from actual first-hand experience or hard-earned expertise, the more plausible and sensible the item will seem. If I know a great deal about the subject, or if I were a witness to it, it will seem misleading to the point of being anti- more than merely mis-informative.
One of the delights of blog-land is to find a blog written by someone who is an expert in a particular subject and who writes about that subject almost exclusively (of course it’s especially delightful if it happens to be a subject you give a damn about). Such people cannot survive as professional squawkers, unless they are willing to also say stupid things in public about topics they know nothing about.
But then you occasionally find a nice blog that gets a little readership and then the pressure comes on to come up with something witty and smart every day, or the ego grows and the blogger suddenly finds that more of his or her opinions are rising to the “I bet my readers will want to know how I feel about this” threshold.
I had my own brush with this back when I was trying to cover the U.S. torture policy story. At the beginning of the story, I thought the amount of information that would leak would be small and I worried that without a lot of yelps from a lot of people the story might vanish. I was wrong on both counts — the information came in a flood, and the story got plenty of attention (but got swept under the rug anyway).
So, less miscellany and more tax resistance news at The Picket Line.