Obama’s Remarks on Blogs

“I am concerned that if the direction of the news is all blogosphere, all opinions, with no serious fact-checking, no serious attempts to put stories in context, that what you will end up getting is people shouting at each other across the void but not a lot of mutual understanding.”

President Obama

It seems an exaggeration to imply that the entire blogosphere is all opinion, with no serious fact-checking and no serious attempts to put stories into context.  Indeed, some blogs, like Glenn Greenwald’s blog,  Dean Baker’s blog, or Hume’s Ghost’s blog,  seem to get their facts straight at least as often as some traditional media outlets.   I think the President might be painting with too broad a brush on this one.

12 thoughts on “Obama’s Remarks on Blogs”

  1. Ok, news are news and should report facts, but we must consider that the blogosphere is not just news but something wider which includes ranting, creative writing, diaries etc. where not only facts but opinions ramblings and feelings are important.


  2. One issue is what people read. If more people read the opinion shouting than read the factual reporting, we’re still in trouble, even if factual reporting still exists.

    I’ve been watching foreign news bureaus for 40 years. They’re in a quickening spiral of decline. What blog carries to us the news from Micronesia on attempted coups there? Myanmar? Uzbekistan? Switzerland?

    Knowledge will forever govern ignorance, Madison said. But — was it Kin Hubbard’s observation? — it’s not what we don’t know that gets us into trouble; it’s what we know that ain’t so.


  3. Very simple. Doesn’t matter what side of politics they are on, they do not like media they can’t control and will say whatever pops into their heads to dis it.


  4. @ Man of Roma: That’s a good point. Blogs are a lot of things to a lot of people — I don’t think there is yet a definitive blog.

    @ Ed: I suspect blogs are not going to replace traditional media. But given what’s been happening to traditional media, that might not be such a good thing. I wonder where the decline of the traditional media will end?


  5. @ Paul: I was actually wondering about that earlier. The thought crossed my mind that folks in power don’t like blogs because they have yet to co-opt them. Then I wondered whether I was being too cynical.


  6. @ Paul Sunstone: I don’t think you’re being too cynical. Looks to me like a blatant power grab. Let’s see how it works out.


  7. I really don’t think a lot of people understand this situation. People are pissed at their shi**y news from the 5 corporations we get it, so we created a system to solve the problem. One that is generated by users with content that said users are interested in. That also has a feedback loop for error correction and allows for open dialogue. Sure there are trolls, but even the “real” media has those.

    NPR and PBS are really the only sources of quality news left, after that I can read about the rest online. And there are still plenty of stories NPR and PBS don’t cover.


  8. Paul: I have seen Democracy Now and I what I have seen I have appreciated. I don’t know if this is because of my own personal biases or because they really do quality journalism. I certainly was impressed with the way they handled their forum on 9/11 conspiracy theories.

    To me one big way to tell if a source is a quality source is: 1) Do they use opinions? 2) Do they cover stories that challenge what you believe and know and make you question these beliefs or ideas? 3) Who funds them or what constituents do they have to appease (if any)?


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