Monday, December 11, 2006


I've been thinking a little bit - a very little bit, so apologies in advance for saying something everybody has said better - about accountability. With all the pooh-poohing about the inherent deceptiveness and badness of blogging, it seems a little weird that there exist two mechanisms for accountability in blogging that the media haven't had, for the most part:


This is changing of course, as people abandon or embrace static content for discourse, but a decent blog will have comments and people who link to posts on it if the posts are decent.

Neither of these things is an arbiter of truthiness, but comments in particular are really valuable, as people will call you on your bullshit or correct you on your errors if you're trying to shovel it past them. This is still not real accountability, as idiots can post, comment, link, and censor with impunity but I think dishonesty is ordinarily pretty easy to recognize.

In any case, this is a far greater accountability than pundits generally have to deal with, so suck on it, finger-wagglers, until you have the decency to exchange ideas with your readers instead of deliver them. Comments also necessarily deal in the dreaded incivility. You'd think that saying "this idea is stupid" (as long as reasons are laid out) would be a welcome thing, given the recent misadventures undertaken as a result of everybody important being too chicken to confront a dangerous idiot. There's always a little heat with the light.

So welcome the bloggers. Only the ones with comments though. And give the incivil a big wet kiss. We hate that.

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