Alarming News: I like Morgan Freeberg. A lot.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: We were following a trackback and thinking "hmmm... this is a bloody excellent post!", and then we realized that it was just part III of, well, three...Damn. I wish I'd written those.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: ...I just remembered that I found a new blog a short while ago, House of Eratosthenes, that I really like. I like his common sense approach and his curiosity when it comes to why people believe what they believe rather than just what they believe.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is an intriguing guy...[he] asks great questions and answers others with style, flair, reason and wit. On the blogroll he goes. Make him a part of your regular blogospheric reading. I certainly will.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is brilliant.
Common Sense Junction: Misha @ Anti-Idiotarian never ceases to amaze me. He keeps finding other good blogs. I went over to A.I. this morning for my daily Misha fix and he had found this guy named Morgan Freeberg in Fair Oaks, California, that has a blog, House of Eratosthenes. Freeberg says its "The Blog That Nobody Reads" but it may now become the blog that everybody reads.
Jaded Haven: Good God, Morgan, you cover a topic from front to back with a screwy thoroughness I find mind boggling. I'm in awe of your thought proccesses, my friend, you're an exceptional talent. You start by throwing in the kitchen sink, tie in someone's syphilitic uncle, bend around a rip tide of brilliance and bring it all home in a neat, diamond dripping package of an exceptionally readable moment of damn fine wordsmithing. I love reading you.
Mein Blogovault: Make "the Blog that No One Reads" one of your daily reads.
Philmon: When Morgan meanders, stick with him - he's got a point and it'll be worth it in the end. He's not a hit-and-run snarky quip kind of guy. The pieces all fall into place like tumblers in a lock and bang! He's opened a cognative door for you.
Rightlinx: Morgan at House of Eratosthenes is one of the best writers out there. I read him nearly every day because he manages to provide an interesting perspective, even though I don't always agree.
Poetic Justice: Cletus! Ah gots a laiv one fer yew...
PolitiFact has been receiving some blowback from progressive bloggers. It’s happening because they named, as the lie of the year, a democrat party lie which is, of course, not something that is supposed to be happening. For writing about this backlash they are now receiving some more.
File this one under “It feels like abuse when the ass-kissing stops.”
Ezra Klein, founder of Journolist, the cyber-star-chamber in which lefty journalists could conspire with each other to massage the news for the benefit of the all-important lefty agenda, opined that the fact-checker model is probably unsustainable over the long term. I agree with him, but not for the reasons he offers.
The problem that has been consistently encountered, is with the sensible concern. In 2009, Sarah Palin had a sensible concern about “death panels” and that ended up being the Lie of the Year back then. Turned out, she was right. Ah, but PolitiFact could claim they were in the right as well — and they did: “There is no panel in any version of the health care bills in Congress that judges a person’s ‘level of productivity in society’ to determine whether they are ‘worthy’ of health care.”
See, that’s the problem: A so-called “fact checker” can — as part of his mission statement — turn a blind eye to anything that is a worrisome, even likely, near-future development, which would of course capture the the attention of an interested stakeholder who thinks these things through logically, but in a human-like way. There is a sensible concern that you’ll start a fire if you smoke while pumping gas in your car, even though we can’t find anecdotal evidence of this actually happening. There is a sensible concern that talking on your cell phone will screw up the controls of the passenger jet in which you’re seated, although it could be characterized as a “myth” because, again, it hasn’t happened. Come to think of it, our post-9/11 procedures for boarding that jet in the first place, are based on sensible concerns (although this is debatable) that have yet to stop any mid-air act of terrorism, or any other debacle, one single time.
Washington Post has named it one of the biggest lies of the year, that President Obama has “apologized for America.” It rates four Pinnochios. And yet, does it really make sense to dismiss the claim? Can an observer do just that, and claim the “facts” are on his side, confident that something hasn’t gone sailing over his head? Hasn’t an apologetic stance been an established overtone, intentionally infused with and consistently associated with the Obama brand, since the campaign trail?
And yet on Planet Fact Checker, this is jettisoned as a loathed urban myth. It never happened.
So yes, the fact-checker model cannot survive long, just as you’ll not be very long driving a car that lacks any suspension. The fact checkers skate on by, liberated from any fact-checking by anybody else that actually counts for something, so long as they can claim a competitively tall soapbox…so long as they issue their verdicts in such a way that they’re liked by whoever might have a taller soapbox. But on the rare occasions like this one, when they must go the other way, they get picked apart. And then, whether their “fact checking” stands up to logical scrutiny or not, an ugly truth is bound to come out: That fact checkers are human, possessing all the frailties and weaknesses of humans, including gullibility and prejudice. The motion is a jostling one, and like the jostling car without the suspension, it’s bound to fall apart sooner or later.
It’s a temporary way of getting a taller soapbox. A flash in the pan fad, like Rubik’s cubes and poodle skirts. The desires on the part of the readers to get hold of some solid, unbiased information is much more timeless and permanent. The same cannot be said for today’s way of providing it, since, as the lefty bloggers have so aptly demonstrated, the fact checker only retains his credibility when he tells his readers what they want to hear.
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