Why would I, a regular and contented blogger himself, make such a case…? Especially in a land which has enshrined the nobility of freedom-of-the-press….?
My logic is simple. There is a seismic difference between a free press and a carefree press. While the Chicago Tribune, New York Times and other major newspapers exercise a free press, they each have “gatekeepers” to check the facts to each story printed [AKA, professional editors, copy-readers, and reporters]. On this CHICAGONOW.com blogsite, and every other un-syndicated blog site in the nation, the only gate-keeping is the civic conscience of the individual blogger. Say like this rather passionately one-sided contributor!
We have all seen how blogging and related uses of the Internet have been co-opted by underground survivalist, terrorist, and now international networks to inflame and recruit thousands of dis-informed readers. But the potential dangers are hardly new.
The philosophical founders of freedom-of-the-press — from Aristotle to John Locke to Thomas Jefferson —
have always rooted their expectations in the rather wispy assumption that users [whatever the medium] would act as responsible citizens. Clearly there are far more irresponsible bloggers than there are responsible ones, based simply on the mathematics and demographics of angry, dissatisfied citizens in any culture at virtually any time in history.
So here’s my proposal in an improbable nutshell.
Blog sites regularly “spam check” posts that are manifestly irrational, irresponsible, or ill-motivated.
So far few Constitutional complaints. Maybe, just maybe, this is a model…?
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