Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Obscured Point of View: Being Enveloped in Party Politics

In the highly charged world of party politics tempers flare, and people seem to give into conspiracy theories a little too easily. Although I can understand that when an individual places a party/person on a pedestal they do not want to admit that they are 'flawed.' When a person chooses a political party they follow it almost religiously. Once they throw themselves totally behind a party they have trouble seeing anything outside that system.

For instance, Warner Todd Huston, of the NewsBusters wrote an article recently dealing with the shutting down of anti-Obama sites on Blogger. He states:

Yes, it sure seems that Google has begun to go through its many thousands of blogs to lock out the owners of anti-Obama blogs so that the noObama message is effectively squelched.

This is a blaring statement. So, apparently Google is turning into Fox News? I have a hard time believing that. Let's see what evidence he uses for his accusations. Well the only evidence he gives is a letter from Google to a blogger informing him that his site was going to be reviewed because of being identified as potential spam. Aside from that, he only lists the blogs which have been frozen/shutdown.

From this weak base, he also draws conclusions. He states that it is a big conspiracy concocted by Google to eliminate Obama opposition from the blogging world. He argues:

It turns out that there is an interesting pattern where it concerns the blogs that Google's Blogspot team have summarily locked down on their service. They all belong to the Just Say No Deal coalition, a group of blogs that are standing against the Obama campaign. It seems the largest portion of these blogs are Hillary supporting blogs, too.

Are these the only anti-Obama blogs on Blogger? I have a feeling that there are more blogs out there that are against Obama than just the ones that are a part of the Just Say No Deal coalition. The icing-on-the-cake comes in an update that he posts later. It states:

I have been hesitant to post this update because I cannot find a link to prove the claim, but it is starting to look like this Blogspot shut down of anti-Obama sites occurred because of a concerted effort by Obama supporters.

What they did was go to the Blogspot addresses found on the site of the NoObama coalition called Just Say No Deal and constantly hit the "mark as spam" link so that Google's Blogger would be flooded with spam warnings. This caused Google/Blogger to freeze the sites marked.

Apparently, this campaign merely took advantage of Google/Blogger's flawed system of finding spam blogs. So, it looks like what we have here is an Obama dirty trick to shut down political opposition. Looks like Obmatons aren't much for that whole democracy thing, eh?

So, I am confused. First he states that Google is this big bad entity which is seeking out anti-Obama blogs and destroying them. Now he states that his first suspicion was, well, slightly wrong. Now he argues that 'Obama supporters' flooded Google with spam warnings concerning the blogs in question. For me, that turns the whole article on its head. It is no longer Google that is in the wrong, but some Obama supporters that decided to abuse Google's spam identification system.

The most ludicrous argument he makes is towards the end of his update. Instead of dropping the conspiracy theory, he blames the Obama campaign for the shutdown. He calls it an 'Obama dirty trick' and states that the 'Obamatons aren't much for that whole democracy thing, eh?' Well, that is a blanket statement if I ever did see one. I can almost (I would say 98%) for sure say that the Obama campaign had nothing to do with this incident. It was probably just a group of teenagers (but I do not know for sure). Concerning this incident, you cannot say that all supporters of Obama are against democracy because of the action of a few!

This is a prime example of what happens when people become so enthralled in their political beliefs they are willing to connect the dots in any manner that suits their goals. If they want to portray Obama in a bad light, they will find a way. If they want to portray McCain in a bad light, they will find a way. People need to take a step out from underneath their blanket-of-beliefs and be able to see the situation for what it most likely is. An objective perspective is needed in all incidences (although I know it is hard to do so when the temper is running hot, or anger boils to the surface). In this situation it seems most likely that it is an isolated event. Just a group of people that abused Google's system. It is not a Corporate conspiracy to undermine the Just Say No Deal coalition. It is not a Barack Obama supported attack on anti-Obama sites. There is no conspiracy here if you just look at the facts.


Caledonian Jim said...

Your statement that people's political beliefs make them willing to "connect the dots" in any manner that suits them is very true .

But an often ignored fact is that despite initial appearances many of these people are not too bright . Society often mistakes either silence or excessive noise for profundity when it is often in reality banal stupidity .

Can I also say that the quality of your writing, which was always good, is getting even better .

DC said...

Thanks Jim for the kind words.

I also think that what you say hits the nail on the head. Mass hysteria comes to mind when I see situations like this occur. People blow things out of proportion, and a simple event gains overstated importance.

I also enjoy your style of writing as well. Each news story provides commentary and wit simultaneously.