Monday, October 23, 2006

Due diligence and caution.

What is a blogger? We aren't reporters. We comment on news that has already been put out there. We serve a very useful purpose in making sure that stories that should be out there but are sometimes not covered, not covered adequately or not covered completely enough by the major media, get some coverage. Thanks to bloggers, there is no longer any such thing as a news blackout.

But we still aren't reporters. So that is why I didn't post a rumor that has been going around on some blogs about the pending indictment of another Congressman. It may be true. It may not be. I personally would not be either surprised or upset if it happened, but that is a personal belief, not a prediction that it will.

When bloggers start trying to make a scoop by trying to second guess the news themselves, they can get into trouble.

Remember Jason Leopold? The blogger insisted that an indictment of Karl Rove was forthcoming in the Plame case. A lot of other bloggers pounced on it (though I didn't because I don't like to discuss indictments until/unless there actually is one, which is one reason I'm not posting the current rumor). Then even when it was clear there was not going to be one, Leopold doggedly clung to his dogma rather than having to avoid admitting that his biggest hit was a strikeout. Maybe he needed to remember that what you want to believe isn't necessarily what is.

One reason I doubt the current rumor is because it requires one to believe in a conspiracy between the U.S. attorney who would be prosecuting the case and the accused, simply because both are Republicans. I have trouble with that one. Most prosecutors I've known-- both Democrats and Republicans-- are tough minded pit bulls when on a case, and would never hatch up a conspiracy with someone they might have to indict. And knowing something about the prosecutor in this case, I'm sure of it. I've watched how he handled a very tough situation and he made the right choices and didn't back down an inch.

As I said, I will report this if and when anything comes of it (including due credit to the blogger who first reported on it if in fact it is a 'scoop.') But somehow this sounds like one of those 'too good to be true' stories that probably is.

Caveat Emptor.

1 comment:

Karen said...

a blogger is like Wikipedia... {grin}