Many bloggers are up in arms over a new Department of Defense program
that assigns small teams of troops to monitor blogs and report, to the authors
of those blogs, errors of fact. Sounds simple enough. For example, the three
man team at CENTCOM (which covers American military operations in the Middle
East and Afghanistan) spots a lot of paranoid fantasies on blogs, which are
easily refuted by just suggesting that the blogger try and confirm it. The
CENTCOM team helps by directing bloggers to web sites where they can get eye
witness reports from troops, journalists or local civilians. Many leftist and
anti-war bloggers consider all this another form of government propaganda.
Truth tends to be trampled by beliefs based on faith. But the truth squad is
having success with a lot of bloggers, who just pick up sensationalist
falsehoods, and are unaware that there are news and military sites where they
can get more accurate eyewitness reports. Over a century ago, the mass media
became infamous for preferring the more newsworthy version of events, over the
more accurate one. Old, successful, habits die hard.