I believe there is a truth in any situation, which can be found through investigation.
This should not be controversial. But Ive learned that it is.
I joined the Media Bloggers Association some months ago, believing (from its name) that it would stand for something. What I found is many people, perhaps most people, in that group would rather stand for nothing.
Of course when you stand for nothing youll stand for anything. For some I think this is the point.
We live at a time when liars can get away with it by shouting down or intimidating their opponents. Reporters whove done the work of the powerful for years are going to jail. Others are refusing to publish important stories for fear of prosecution.
That this should be happening in America should alarm everyone in the blogosphere. That it doesnt tells me truth has enemies here, many enemies, powerful enemies, enemies we need to confront.
Its said that a lie can get halfway around the world while the truth is getting its boots on, but if truth is shackled to the bed lies can destroy even the greatest country. That is one of the important lessons of the 20th century. Truth will win out. Truth won out over Stalin, it won out over Hitler, and if liars tell you it was arms that won those struggles respond that without truth there is no call to arms.
The most dramatic example of the power of lies came in our own hemisphere, in Argentina. Many look at Evita as just a bad musical, or a Madonna movie. The fact is that before Juan Peron, Argentina was one of this hemisphere's richest countries. Peron systematically looted it, prevented the people from learning the truth of his depradations, and Argentina has never recovered. It is still a Third World country.
Its possible to go from wealth to poverty simply by believing lies. Thats why it is vital, absolutely vital, that we in the blogosphere uphold truth, meaning the search for truth, the process for discovering truth, and the responsibility of everyone to respond to truth.
Truth isnt a candidate or a position. Truth is a process. Its a process based on objectivity regarding evidence and fairness, a willingness to change your mind based on the evidence.
When I have proposed this standard to the MBA, in various forms, Ive been put down for it. As one wise head put it, We'd lose far more than we'd gain from a backlash against a self-appointed board of bloggers passing judgment on other bloggers. His fear is that bloggers without a standard for truth will walk away if such a standard were even proposed.
I say that without objective criteria for judging someones work, and a transparent process for collecting that information, liars will destroy you and everything you try to do.
There are bloggers working today who are dedicated to lying. They defend every lie of this Administation. They tell lies about any critic. They believe that by destroying critics they destroy truth.
This is a bubble mentality. As a business reporter Ive seen it many times. I saw it in Houston during the 1970s, among the Wall Street LBO crowd in the 1980s, in Silicon Valley in the 1990s. Its the myth that by ignoring hard truths they will go away. And it always ends in disaster.
Right now were in the last stage of what history will call the Conservative Bubble. This false belief now infects the media, it infects the Administration, and it infects the American people.
Fighting such bubbles is my job, and the job of journalists everywhere. Telling truth to power is what we do. Many of us risk our lives to do this. Many journalists will die this year, in the Middle East, in Asia, in Africa and in Latin America, for daring to try and speak truth to power. This doesnt just kill the journalists, but their message, and it prevents progress from occurring. It keeps people in bondage.
No blogger group worth its name should throw its lot in with such people. There is such a thing as truth. There are such things as lies. There is a way to tell the difference. Its not just up to the market (which is so easy to manipulate in the short run) to tell that difference. If bloggers will support liars they deserve no protection, and they will get none from me.
If you dont stand up for truth, and the search for truth, I dont want to be a part of your little gang.