Tuesday, July 11, 2006

I Don't Hate Dittoheads

My parents are dittoheads, as I've said many times, fully immersed in rightwing media for years. So I think my anger has been correctly focused on those people in the rightwing media who lie to my parents, although I acknowledge my parents' willing participation in being lied to.

And the willing participation is what gets me exasperated and disappointed. Like Al Franken's Resident Dittohead.

I know some really don't like Franken's Resident Dittohead. I do, and I appreciate what Al is doing and why because I sometimes do the same thing in the hopes that people I care about will eventually come to realize that Rush Limbaugh, and all their other news and opinion sources, is a Big Fat Liar.

Today Al played a clip of Limbaugh using a quote wrongly attributed to Jack Murtha. That's fine, that's what he does. But while the newspaper that made the mistake corrected it, Limbaugh continued to attack Murtha for saying something he didn't say. And Limbaugh has still not corrected it.

If Resident Dittohead would just say, "Rush should have corrected it, or at least shouldn't have referred to it again. That was wrong of him," then what could we say? But he didn't. He claimed Rush might not know about the correction. And he claimed that we can't demand that Rush circle around to old subjects, even though it was only two days old and Rush continued to attack Murtha based on that erroneous quote.

That is a familiar phenomenon. Even when I show my mom, on various occasions, why something she thought was wrong because her news sources gave her wrong information, she still goes back to them and attacks my sources. Because she doesn't want to have her view of the world challenged.

However, I often look for contradictory opinion. I wonder, what's the other side saying about this, what's the other opinion? Who can debunk this?

And I do that for one reason: I don't like to be wrong. I admit it. And I don't avoid being wrong by ignoring those things which make me wrong; I avoid being wrong by being right.

But since I'm very often not sure whether I'm right or wrong, I'm cautious in many of my opinions and statements, which is why, as I told my husband yesterday, I will never gain attention like Deb Frisch did. Her blog apparently got about as much traffic as mine, but because of her trolling behavior on other people's blogs, she got a whole lot of attention, nearly all of it highly negative.

That's a second reason I'm cautious about what I write. I don't like negative attention so I don't write things that I can't defend. And again, contrary to the wingnut m.o., that's because I don't shut myself off from other opinions, as dittoheads do.

Here's something else I do to avoid being wrong: make qualified statements, like "AFAIK," "sometimes," "often." And I throw in an acknowledgement of the other side, like "And I know that there are many left wing nut jobs who also avoid having their preconceptions and prejudices challenged."

However, Limbaugh, Hannity, and the Fox News ilk are high profile RWNJs who have a huge influence on opinion in this country and get taken very seriously and believed. On the internet it's people like Malkin and Instapundit. They are at the center of right wing thought. And there is a threshold of influence at which individuals (I'm thinking of bloggers here) stop being Dittoheads and start being the liars. They are also deserving of anger and attacks.

The LWNJs on our side, like Ms. Frisch or Ward Churchill, are generally marginal, unknown and ignored.

Progressive Women's Blog Ring
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