Thursday, January 15, 2009

Thank Goodness For Comments

Have you ever wondered how biased the news you get is?  I try to look at both sides of an issue and find the truth that's usually somewhere in between.  However, I have also found that both sides of an argument can present their cases so well, that it's difficult to tell where the truth really lies.

This came up as I was trying to get more information on the fighting in Gaza.  Most of the information I had painted a picture of an Israel that had been hit by so many rockets from Gaza that it just couldn't take it anymore and invaded.  Then I read an article from Al Jazeera that paints an entirely different picture.  The article was well written and convincing enough that I had to wonder what was really going on.  Then I read the comments.

The article made several assertions about Israeli involvement in the violence and accused Israel of being the aggressor.  The comments, on the other hand, both supported and criticized the article (as most comment sections do).  The critical comments called into question many of the assertions of the article and called them patently false.  It was kind of a wake up call.  I realized (again) that just because it's posted on a news site, doesn't mean it's true.  The article makes no references to prove its points so it becomes the author arguing against commentors with neither side backing up their "facts".

I usually think of comments as mostly being entertaining but not having a lot of value.  In this case, though, the comments made me think, re-evaluate, and reconsider an article that is very one-sided.

So thank goodness for comments.  They're a reality check in this world of tenuous reality.  Keep them coming!

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