Sunday, January 04, 2004

Fighting back

Here's an example of the thing I like about the internet. The latest Newsweek has an article by Howard Fineman ("The Dean Dilemma") in which Fineman puts forth the story that Dean has a lot of Democrats worried, including some of his own supporters. This is a popular media story right now that probably has more to do with the loudness of a few complainers more than whether those complainers actually represent any broad consensus within the party. In order to support his thesis, Fineman quotes three Dean supporters (who go by the pseudonyms WVMicko, Lancaster and irmaly) who have posted negative things on the o-blog.

One problem though: at least two of those people quoted (WVMicko and irmaly) are disputing the implication that they are unhappy with Dean. This is where the power of the internet comes into play. WVMicko has started a thread on Forum for America to discuss what to do in response. As WVMicko says:

[...] as annoying as this hosing is, it's also an opportunity. We are now in a position to make a great, huge stink. We were, after all, quoted, and now we can demand our right to rebut. And this being the Internet age, we are not dependent on Newsweek's hypothetical sense of fair play to make that demand. We can spread our outrage all over the Internet if we so choose, doubly so if the campaign will cooperate with us by posting our rebuttals on Blog for America and backing our efforts through other sources.

I hope WVMicko and irmaly can get their message out (and Lancaster as well if he/she joins in). I also hope the o-blog will post their rebuttals. It's not all that uncommon for journalists to quote someone out-of-context in order to push a story that matches their preconceptions more than reality. Here we see the potential for those who have been victimized by this practice to strike back.

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