Thursday, February 17, 2005

Ted Hitler Weighs in on Propagannon and Blogracking

[via Crooks and Liars]Scroll down to "Gannon/Guckert on the Daily Show." So good and so good for you.


joshua hartsough said...

It seems as though something else is coming to the surface in media stew: truth and falsity within the information net. Legitimacy brings with it acceptance, which allows for a hand on the key to door of influance. If we look at the truth and falsity not as polarities but as kin, then the ability to grasp the differance becomes that much harder, for one cane not exist with out the knowledge of and recognition of the other. Is it a problem of differenciating the two as wholes or recognizing that they are the two heads of the same beast in which case which one is dominant?

Dale Carrico said...

I wonder about this a bit. For one thing, I would want to distinguish (even perhaps in a somewhat naive way) the question of truth and falsity from the question of telling the truth and lying, if it is possible to do such a thing.

We all know the old Chomskian chestnuts about the ways in which corporate conservative broadcast-network media (aka: M$M) "manufactures consent" and processes falsehoods, half-truths, and distractions like a spray of infotainment cheez-whiz.

Will blogracking and other indymediated forms of journalism offer up an intensification of these processes or resist them or both (both isn't the "easy" answer here, because then the question becomes by the application of what standards will you determine which process is in play on a case to case basis)?

Do new networks turn reportage into spam? Do they curculate gossip and insinuation at a speed no amount of integrity, innocence, character can provide protective cover from?

Do these new media provide new avenues for lying more effectively? Or do they provide a new institutional location for resisting manipulation and falsehood?

Is peer-to-peer collaborative reportage more likely to get at useful testable truths -- because it shines its spotlight from multiple locations, because it is disseminated enough to be flexible and fleet-footed, because it provides occasion for redundant fact-checking and self-criticism (provided standards are really enforced -- that issue yet again)? Or is this just another echo-chamber that makes getting at truth even more difficult than ever?

To conclude this, I want to add that I agree with William James that truth is always just "the good in the way of belief." By "true" I mean only a description of the world that is warrantedly assertible. We can still affirm the value of journalism as a social process arriving at descriptions that speak truth to power without assuming a facile conception of what "truth" ultimately amounts to or is good for.