Bill O’Reilly thinks that the Internet hurts free speech. Of course, what he doesn’t say is what should be done about it? Are you seriously suggesting that the net police should make sure that people don’t say bad things about you?
Bill’s peeved because of an erroneous news report that said that his radio show was dropped by a station when it was not. Poor Bill, I’m sure that was such defamation to his character that he had to hide his head in shame.
For someone who has made a career out of getting under the skin of guests and donning the cloak of populist champion of the average Joe and Jane, O’Reilly has some thin skin. Yes, people can say anything they want on the Internet. However, O’Reilly misunderstands the way the Internet, and especially the blogosphere, works.
Blogs are self-correcting. If someone posts something that’s misleading or wrong, other blogs will pick up on it. It’s a free market of ideas, and so far it’s been far more responsible than the mainstream media. So far, there hasn’t been a blogger that has falsified stories like Jayson Blair, because a Jayson Blair would be fisked to an inch of his life by everyone else. Yes, some things fall through the cracks, but as we’ve all seen, the major media is in no position to fire shots at the blogosphere.
So, Mr. O’Reilly, if you think the Internet is horrendously libelous, then I’d like to see what you think should be done about it. Remember, the same laws used to muzzle the Internet will end up as the same laws that muzzle you. If you don’t like freedom of speech, Mr. O’Reilly, there are plenty of places where people don’t have the right to criticize others. Just don’t expect that they’ll be very happy to have a mukraking journalist moving in.
And that’s the most ridiculous item of the day…