I am a regular reader of Forbes magazine and I rarely disagree with anything said in the magazine until now. In the November 14th edition they printed an article entitled “Attack of the Blogs” by Daniel Lyons. The focus of the article was to bring attention to bloggers who spend their time attacking corporations or individuals with reckless abandon often ignoring the facts. As the subhead read, Web logs are the prized platform of an online lynch mob spouting liberty but spewing lies, libel and invective. Their potent allies in this pursuit include Google and Yahoo. Ouch!
There is no doubt that the blogosphere has sprouted plenty of bad blogs where facts are ignored and personal attacks are the norm. The Forbes article does a credible job of exposing blogs that are solely set up to attack businesses regardless of the facts. As a business magazine this is very appropriate and if Lyons had just stayed there he would have been fine. Then he decided to step into the realm of politics and lost all credibility. He mentioned bloggers reporting about a Republican memo on the Schiavo case that they attacked as false but was proven genuine. The bloggers then “slinked away” as he put it. Yes they were probably too eager, but bloggers usually don’t slink away.
The next example was that of Eason Jordan who resigned as chief news executive at CNN after being quoted that our troops in Iraq were targeting journalists. This was supposed to be an off the record comment, but was picked up by a blogger and it spread like wildfire. Lyons complains that since it was off the record it shouldn’t have been reported and that it was a concocted controversy. Well the World Economic Forum where Jordan spoke hosts a participant’s blog so did they really expect anything to truly be off the record? Besides that when was the last time a liberal complained when an off the record quote by a conservative leaked out? As far as being concocted, Jordan apologized for his remarks saying that they were not as clear as they should have been. No one made this story up. It existed.
In trying to paint the bloggers as an evil threat to the truth Lyons conveniently forgot to mention the role bloggers played in the CBS Memogate scandal. After all we can’t have the fact that bloggers actually do some good clouding up this story.