Still, broadly speaking, we need philosophers who understand how epistemology and the establishment of truth claims function in the real world outside seminars and journals—the role of recognized authorities, of decision, of conscious intersubjective setting of standards. And we need journalists who scrutinize and question not just government officials, PR releases, and leaked documents, but their own preconceptions about every aspect of their business. We need journalists who think about how many examples are required to assert a generalization, what the role of the press ought to be in the state, how the boundaries of words are fixed or indeterminate in Wittgensteinian ways, and how their daily practice does or does not resemble art or science. - Carlin RomanoI agree, and it's nice to see someone saying it in a journal like the Chronicle of Higher Education. In an era of Glenn Beck and Jon Stewart, questions about the relationships between facts, truth and reporting are critical to who we are and where we're going as a nation. Manifestations of irrationality like "Death Panels" and "Obama's a Kenyan" or even "The CIA was behind 9/11" undermine the foundations of our republic - a well-informed citizenry.
One of the reasons I was attracted to DailyKos, before I started doing any blogging and before I was involved in politics, was Markos' position on The Crazy. He did not tolerate people who made repetitive, baseless and destructive claims if they did not present coherent and convincing evidence. As Kos said, "This is a reality-based community. Those who wish to live outside it should find a new home. This isn't it."
And it's a reason I like blogging. People online will call you on your biases and weak assertions. That's important, critical, in a democracy. As for journalism, I hope (and fear) that the future of journalism can be found in blogs today. But hey, I could be wrong.
(With a tip-o-the-hat to Mike Carter.)