Thursday, October 26, 2006
Cartoon by Cartoonman
BY EMILY METZGAR
There’s a nice article by Ryan Duncan in today’s Daily Reveille about Louisiana’s alternative online news and commentary environment. (Disclaimer: I’m especially interested in the subject since it’s the focus of my academic research).
Duncan’s article hones in on a point too often missed in discussion of the blogosphere — in Louisiana or elsewhere: Readers ultimately decide who’s credible, who’s trustworthy and who’s worth checking in with on a regular basis.
The ability of Louisiana’s blogosphere to influence events (assuming that it’s capable of doing that at all) is not infinite and, in my opinion, paranoia about the burgeoning threat is largely misplaced.
More on that another time…
Some previous discussion of Louisiana’s online environment can be found here.
Background on specific events to which Duncan’s article refers can be found here.
C.B. FORGOTSTON COMMENTARY:
In today's The Daily Reveille, the LSU-Baton Rouge student-run newspaper, there is an excellent article about those who post websites in LA and how they upset the politicians. See article here. Apparently, our leges don't believe that those of us who use the Internet have a First Amendment Right of Free Speech. "What I've seen is that they're not necessarily focused on the facts," Sen. Rob Marionneaux Jr., D-Livonia, said.
TRANSLATION: It is okay for leges not to stick to the facts, but when citizens don't it is a problem. (Note: Much of our commentary is correcting false information coming from politicians.) "I don't take kindly to them, but as long as it's factual, then I don't have a problem," Marionneaux said. "The minute they start editorializing it becomes a problem."
TRANSLATION: Citizens of LA have no right to express their opinions. "Unfortunately nothing is ever positive. I haven't had negative press in 27 years, but people aren't going to say 'Look at Mr. Wonderful' when I visit patients in a hospital or raise money for a school," Sen. Ken Hollis, R-Metairie, said.
TRANSLATION: The facts and opinions of citizens make leges unhappy.
(Note: The leges have paid (by taxpayers) staff to put out puff pieces on them constantly. They don't need help patting themselves on the back. It's a wonder that more of the leges aren't suffering from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome from all their self-congratulatory efforts. )
Finally, the real fear the leges have of the websites and their commentary is that they reflect the views of their constituents.
Kudos to Ryan Duncan for an excellent job of providing both sides of the story.