Just when you think you’ve seen it all ….
At the conservative Redstate.com, they’re seriously proposing to institute an automatic ban of any commenter who links to or even quotes a fact-check operation such as Politifact or Factcheck. In fact, it looks as though that’s about to become policy:
“As Politifact, and the whole menagerie of “fact checking” organizations have demonstrated themselves to be slavishly attached to the Administration’s nether regions I will consider quoting any of them, in a non-ironic way, as being evidence of arguing in bad faith and worthy of a ban.”
Now, the site operators have every legal right to set whatever commenting standards they wish. I just find that pretty remarkable. The conservative echo chamber in which you hear only those things that confirm your prior belief becomes more and more soundproof, impervious to outside input. But what they don’t seem to appreciate is that rhetoric honed to appeal only to those who already think as you do loses something in the translation to a broader audience.
For a long time, I think, liberals allowed themselves to get caught up in just that sort of trap, losing the ability to communicate outside their circle of fellow believers. Bill Clinton, for all of his other faults, was critically important in leading them out of that intellectual cul de sac, although it remains a problem in some areas.
Modern technology, however, offers the means of creating self-contained worlds on a scale and intensity never previously contemplated. And it’s a little frightening to see people willingly confine themselves to such worlds. Truth is a sword best honed by friction.
– Jay Bookman