Anyone who reads this knows how much I disagree with the circle jerk bloggers and their fellow travelers. They are correct, though, in calling Randell Beck of the Argus Leader to task for comments he made in announcing an Argus Leader political blog in his weekly editorial column. What they found most offensive was the statement, “If Hitler were alive today, he’d have his own blog.”
This is an ill-advised comment that displays, at best, a fundamental lack of education and common courtesy. The number and breadth of blogs today demonstrate they aren’t just a device used by wingnuts, either on the right or left. Beck’s comment reflects an opinion held by some traditional journalists that bloggers are “pretending” to be journalists. Most blog readers, though, are able to tell the difference and few of the blogs I look at hold themselves out as being “journalists.” What do I know, though? To use his words, Beck would probably consider me a “true believer” with “nutty opinions [who] can now spew forth on their own blogs, thereby playing a pivotal role in creating the polarized climate that dominates debate on nearly every national issue.”
By coincidence, the Hitler comment indirectly relates to a question I was pondering last week: has post-9/11 America developed fascist tendencies? There are some interesting comparisons of how many of 14 characteristics of fascism exist in today’s America. I long ago disposed of textbooks from my college political ideologies classes and inertia kept me from going and finding one or two at the library or elsewhere. As a result, I can’t speak to whether these 14 characteristics are traditionally accurate or skewed for political purposes (although they do seem to correlate somewhat to this Auburn University glossary). I do find it an interesting question, though, especially since even the Dem convention is showing an appalling disregard for free speech rights.