As if bloggers didn’t already have a bad enough reputation, now, Dr. Laura Schlessinger has decided she’s going to leave her radio talk show at the end of the year so she can take advantage of her First Amendment rights and openly speak her mind on her various blogs and websites. Don’t we already have enough people speaking their minds on blogs and websites?
Mention CNN News or Yahoo News or Google news to anyone familiar with the internet and they’ll tell you they’re all well respected sources of information. Mention the word “Blog” and you’ll generally get a smug grin. When people want cold, hard facts they go to a news site. When they want controversy, dirt and opinions based on often inaccurate information, they go to their favorite blog.
Dr. Laura states that she’s leaving her radio show at the end of the year when her contract expires because of the repeated abuse she’s received over her controversial use, multiple times, of the N-Word while trying to make a caller understand that she was hypersensitive to racism. Schlessinger did openly and sincerely apologize to her listening audience the next day but is that enough? Did it not occur to her that using the N-Word 11 times while speaking with a caller who is hypersensitive to racial slurs might be just a little bit counter-productive?
Schlessinger states, in her conversation with Larry King, that she’s going to take to the internet to express her opinions from now on. Because there, on her various blogs and websites, she’ll be free to exercise her First Amendment right of Freedom of Speech and say whatever is on her mind, using whatever language she wants to use, and no one will be able to stop her or threaten her career.
We already have enough of these types of bloggers on the web. Bloggers who say whatever they want with no respect for facts, accuracy or their readers. The recent blog-bash initiated by Andrew Breitbart of BigGovernment.com is a perfect example.
Breitbart, in an effort to grab as many readers as possible, blatantly accused Shirley Sherrod of racism, using a CLIP from a video for evidence and blasting his accusations all over the internet. Sherrod was immediately fired, by President Obama, no less, and her career was shredded within less than 2 or 3 hours.
However, after viewing the video in it’s entirety, something Breitbart didn’t give his readers the opportunity to do, it was revealed that Sherrod was merely recanting an anecdote from her early days as the USDA Georgia Director of Rural Development.
This is the age of the internet and more and more people come here every day to find reliable sources of information. There are credible bloggers out there, bloggers who care that the information they present is accurate. But there are more and more bloggers who are only in it for the exposure and the money. For them, it’s all about their ego – quality be damned.
It’s time bloggers assumed responsibility for the information they present to their readers. They don’t know WHO is reading their blogs and too many people are still of the opinion that if they read it on the internet “It must be true!” Misinformation can ruin careers, as in the case of Shirley Sherrod. Uninformed bloggers pushing medical products or procedures can cause serious harm to those who blindly follow their advice. Marriages can be torn apart by people following so called “Relationship Expert” bloggers.
Bloggers already have a bad enough reputation. We all know it’s unacceptable to use the N-Word – or any other racial slur – in public. Do we really need another blogger who thinks it’s OK to use it as long as she does it on the internet? Do we really need another blow-hard blogger spouting “Freedom of Speech!”?
It’s time for bloggers everywhere to realize they have a responsibility to blog with integrity. It’s time for bloggers everywhere to step up and stop blogging with their egos and start thinking about their readers.
Dr. Laura and Breitbart: You have the right to remain silent