Sent Sunday, February 12, 2006 10:27 am
Subject Blog Rage
While I agree that the tone and language of our discourse should be kept civil and that liberals do nothing to advance our cause by adopting the vituperative language more commonly associated with the far right, Jim Brady's piece in this morning's Post ("Blog Rage") seems to overlook the larger context in which these disagreements take place.
Readers' difficulties with Deborah Howell did not just magically arise with her comments on the Abramoff scandal. Instead, they marked the breaking point for many post readers who were fed up with what appeared to be Howell's increasing disregard, even contempt for the real concerns of real readers. (Dafna Linzer's January 4 piece was just one case in point.) The ombudsman is supposed to be the people's advocate and is obligated to take the concerns of readers into genuine consideration, not dismiss them.
Second, you are of course familiar with the extent to which the mainstream media has increasingly abrogated its duty to question facts and assumptions, particularly those spoonfed to it by a notoriously deceitful and manipulative White House such as this one. (Judith Miller's case is hardly unique in this respect.) When distortions and lies get reported as fact, and when those who point this out are met with shoulder shrugs, dismissal, contempt, or silence, frustrations build unvented.