Blah blah blah.
Stumbling along the footpath on the information superhighway searching for commentary in response to Australia’s leading climate change scientist’s remarkable criticisms of Some Kinda Monster Called Multiculturalism (what apparently escaped from a zoo in deepest, darkest, Soviet Russia some time in the 1970s), I came across An Onymous Lefty’s thoughts on a recent controversy @ Online Opinion, the apparently “now infamous On Line Opinion spat”. Lefty writes:
On the one hand, I do believe in free speech. But on the other… if you’re publishing something, either an article or a comment, you are doing more than just listening to it – you’re promoting it. Do you, as a website owner, have an obligation to publish any material, no matter how hateful, dishonest, misleading and downright damaging to honest debate?
I don’t think you do have such an obligation. I think publishing such material is making a choice – and a statement. You are saying “this view is not so extreme and destructive that it is beneath contempt; I think it is a legitimate part of the debate”.
Which is fair enough. Only I’d add that publishing stoopid also provides an opportunity to subject it to ridicule — something uptight bigots really dislike. Anyway, the ‘spat’ @ Online Opinion also drew me, like a child in search of candy, to “The Domain” and “The Blogs: Australia’s best political blogs”. They are, according to The Domain/Online Opinion (and in alphabetical order):
- 1. Ambit Gambit;
2. Andrew Bartlett;
3. Club Troppo;
4. En Passant;
5. Henry Thornton;
6. Homepage Daily;
7. Jennifer Marohasy;
8. Larvatus Prodeo;
9. Skeptic Lawyer and;
10. What The People Want.
Curiously, in 2005, The Domain listed these sites–Ambit Gambit, Tim Blair, John Quiggin, The Road to Surfdom, Troppo Armadillo, Andrew Bartlett, Faris QC, Public Opinion, Jennifer Marohasy, shannonsays.com, Imagining Australia, Henry Thornton and Antony Loewenstein–as The Bestest (Dr Richard Phillipps, ‘News blogs as political agenda-setters’, Refereed paper presented to the Journalism Education Conference, Griffith University, November 29–December 2, 2005 [DOC]). Six years later, four–Ambit Gambit, Andrew Bartlett, Jennifer Marohasy and Henry Thornton–continue to rank among The Best. Tim Blair and The Road to Surfdom, on the other hand, went corporate, Troppo Armadillo done become Club Troppo, Faris QC is still Faris QC (presumably) and cantankerous, but does barristering not blogging, while Public Opinion is still keepin’ it real, as is Antony Lowenstein; Imagining Australia has been archived and its author, Andrew Leigh, done been bumped into Parliament as a member of the Australian
Lawyers’ Labor Party.
What do youse reckon?
Is this the best Australia can do?
“Truth is not a matter of exposure which destroys the secret, but a revelation that does justice to it.” ~ Walter Benjamin, The Origin of German Tragic Drama (1928)