Do not trust a single thing you read on the political blogs. Really. We can’t be trusted. Some of us simply aren’t all that bright. Some of us are propagandists, or out-and-out liars. And some of us are just plain nuts.
But stupid, lying, or crazy, most all of us have an agenda, and it influences nearly everything we write.
Take for example, Jim Miller of (un)Sound Politics, who proudly claims to have coined the phrase distributed vote fraud. Based on the core assumption that “Cheaters are more likely to be Democrats than Republicans,” it is this offensive (and ultimately self-defeating) theory that some of the more self-righteous and non-introspective Republicans rely upon to explain away their long history of electoral failure in Washington state.
(Could it be that the majority of voters prefer Democrats? Naaah… they cheated!)
In his latest contribution to (u)SP’s ouvre of partisan paranoia, Jim shows that his inherent mistrust of the other extends well beyond his own unscientific musings.
One of the minor mysteries of the election is why the Seattle Times endorsed Dino Rossi. I don’t take their own explanation at face value, and I suspect I am not alone in my cynicism. My guess is that some on the editorial board went along with the endorsement because they thought he had no chance to win. They could pose as nonpartisan without cost. It is, when you think about it, rather extraordinary how little support the Times has given to “their” candidate since the election.
Forget for a moment the obvious reason why the Times endorsed Dino Rossi (um… Frank Blethen told them to?) or Jim’s absurd notion that the board might appear “nonpartisan” by endorsing the Republican. It is his final sentence that is truly revealing, for it clues us in on Jim’s view of the primary role of the media, mainstream or otherwise: supporting their candidate.
Jim finds it downright suspicious that the Times would endorse Rossi, and then not overtly use its enormous power of the press to undermine Christine Gregoire’s legitimacy. Because the Times is not reporting all the paranoid propaganda being foisted as news on (u)SP, Jim attacks it for not investigating at all. But what he’s really attacking is not the Times’ failure to investigate the election, but its failure to support his conclusion that it was stolen.
In his mind, if the Times really supported Rossi, it would be working harder to undermine and overturn this election, journalistic ethics be damned. If that is the role that he expects of our state’s largest newspaper, imagine the low journalistic standards he demands from mere bloggers like himself.
Unlike his fellow (un)Sounder, Stefan, who frequently lets his inner demons seize hold of his thesaurus, Jim tends to write in a more measured, detached style, that a less critical reader might attribute to dispassioned thoughtfulness. But the truth is, he is a partisan propagandist, pure and simple.
I myself have long admitted that there is a propagandistic element to much of what I write, starting with the subjects on which I choose to editorialize. And I have also had more than my fair share of fun taking shots at the Seattle Times… including my months-long obsession with dipping Collin Levey’s journalistic ponytail in my digital inkwell. (I think I love you, Collin!)
So this is definitely a case of the pot calling the kettle black. But then, I’ve never pretended to be all shiny and polished.
The point is… don’t uncritically trust the blogs! Read between the lines, scribble in the margins, hold us up to the light, in front of a mirror, and under a microscope… and then spin us backwards on an old turntable if that’s what it takes to reveal our subliminal message.
Don’t fool yourself… we’re no better than the mainstream media. We’re just different.