News organizations promised Wednesday to look into why their Election Day exit polls showed an initial surge for John Kerry, but also blamed bloggers for spreading news that gave a misleading view of the presidential race. —Blogs Blamed for Exit Poll Fiasco (Wired | AP)
The headline is a bit incendiary, but the article makes a good point. Any blogger can post a knee-jerk reaction. I speculate that perhaps bloggers who don’t usually read or write about politics dipped their toe into that pool the other day, which means that the production and consumption of political blogging was skewed a little bit more towards newbies.
Thomas Jefferson said that if he had to choose between a nation without newspaeprs or a nation without government, he’d ditch the government and keep the newspapers — but only on the condition that every man receive a newspaper, and that every man know how to read.
I don’t suggest that blogs should or could replace government, but it does take a bit of practice to be able to “read” blogs as pointers towards official and credible information, rather than take every under-supported opinion or unsourced claim as if it were true.