Tuesday, May 16, 2006

I Made My First BMG Diary

I'm sure almost all of my readers frequently visit Blue Mass Group. I don't think I'd be hurting any feelings if I said they're probably the most popular political blog devoted to Massachusetts politics, regardless of one's political orientation. I frequently comment there, but have always left the blogging to this blog, Daily Kos diaries, Progress Now (the blog I've been abusing for a solid month now, poor thing... was doing so well too, just don't have the time to keep up two blogs) and (sadly) a Myspace profile which shall remain linkless (for my petty 22 year old self's musings).

However, I felt it was the time to write a diary on Blue Mass Group because I've been noticing a particularly bad trend on that website. It seems as if there are more and more people who - and I'm not trying to sound like a conspiracy theorist - are closely involved in political campaigns, yet don't reveal their status. Any fool who spends 30 seconds on my website should be able to figure out I'm a solid Deval Patrick supporter - and the level of my support is detailed in my description and elsewhere. I wish more people would follow suit with my openness.

I don't know why it bothers me. 90% of the people who read websites like BMG aren't going to be fooled by clearly biased diaries, especially diaries that don't even make sense (like suggesting Deval Patrick waited for 10 inches of rain to drop on the North Shore to reveal a political non-issue). However, it bothers me nonetheless. I've called individual diarists and commenters on their bias before, but I've never seen one say "yes, I work for Deval Patrick, I'm an intern in his office who is devoted to keeping abreast of the news" or "no, I don't work for Tom Reilly, but I've donated $500 and my son is interning with him for the summer" or "no, I don't work for Chris Gabrieli, I just drank the kool-aid and am waiting for the space ship to take me away."

People love being anonymous, but why should I trust them as much? Why should I care as much about what they're saying? I'm not saying people shouldn't be anonymous, it's one of the best aspects of the internet, but I am saying the burden is on them. If they say something outrageous, they damn well better back it up - with lots of links to sources I can trust.

I like to joke that I drank the kool-aid for Deval Patrick. However, in reality, it's no more than a joke. Even after I became involved in his campaign in a small way, I still have refused to allow it to interfere with my writing. In fact, I just recently called for him to step down from Ameriquest (before he actually did).

I'm not the type of person who would shut up about something I believe in because I was volunteering or supporting that candidate. If being a blogger interferes with my role in supporting Deval Patrick and his campaign tells me to censore myself, I'll stop being a part of his campaign - and hold no bitterness about it. I probably wouldn't even stop supporting him because, at some level, I'd agree with him.

I find that being a supporter actually gives me more the reason to speak up: intelligent people are more likely to listen to their supporters than detractors on policy issues because, at least in politics, a candidate gets no where without support. Just look at President Bush and his devotion to the right-wing Evangelicals. Bush's approval rating can be at 29%, but if all the Evangelicals vote, he'll still win at least half the time.

In any event, read my diary. I'm probably too tired to make any sense at this point, especially on a philosophical issue that deals with the changing tides of the internet and blogosphere, so I best stop now. Let's here what you all think about anonymity and bloggers (or any other issues I've rambled touched on via comments.

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