May 21, 2011
Are newspapers less trustworthy than blogs? Just look at the coverage on Obama’s war on Libya

I get all of my news online now a days and pretty much ignore most newspapers.

The argument justifying newspapers (and traditional media outlets) curative power and influence is the perception that they are somehow more trustworthy.  But is this really the case?  Let’s examine the coverage on the United States’s war with Libya.

President Obama told a bipartisan group of members of Congress today that he expects the U.S. would be actively involved in any military action against Libya for “days, not weeks,” after which he said the U.S. would take more of a supporting role, sources tell ABC News.

Well, it’s been two months later and I’ve seen minimal critique by any major U.S. news outlets about the fact that the U.S. is still involved in the war on Libya or that Obama misled us all about the duration of this conflict.  It’s not just an issue about Obama lying about the length of the conflict, its the fact the law is being ignored and this sets a precedent of executive powers as well.  On the Washington Post’s front page you’ll see this:

From the looks of the front page, you wouldn’t realize at all that Obama is essentially ignoring the law (War Powers resolution).  The United States is now in a illegal war and none of the major publications (Washington Post, LA Times, New York Times) think its a big deal.  If you check the front page of the other newspapers you’ll find a similar trend.  In fact, you can see the actual print front page of every newspaper at

Let me tell you in advance what you won’t find, central coverage making a big deal of about an illegal war on Libya.  Why is this important?  Well, for years, we we’re seeing news coverage about the War on Iraq daily. In fact, news about war protestors would be front page news, but that was a war that was declared legally and voted on by Congress. The major newspapers managed to give front page coverage to Cindy Sheehan and random editorials about Iraq for years. Obama is blatantly breaking the law with his illegal war, yet what do hear?  Nothing.

Regardless of whether you support the war on Libya or against it, you have to admit that the hypocrisy shown by major U.S. papers and traditional media outlets is astounding.  Is the fact that the illegal war being ignored related to the fact that many members of traditional media are in love with Obama?  Probably.  So if they are biased, what reason is there to trust them any more than a blog?  None.

What’s the point of all this?  Just to note that as a platform, blogs can significantly better, especially if you are reading the right ones.

March 20, 2011

The video portrays a different perspective on the Libya conflict by U.S. congressman Ron Paul.  It’s also a great example of why social media can be significantly more powerful and useful relative to communicating through traditional media outlets.

Among the key thoughts:

  • Enforcement of a no fly zone is an act of war
  • War is something congress must approve of, which it wasn’t done in the most recent conflict in Libya
  • Regardless of whether the UK or France heads the conflict efforts from a publicity standpoint, the United States is going to be expending the most resources in the conflict
  • The United States is going to bear the brunt of the financial drain of any conflict in Libya and will also be responsible if things go wrong at the end of the day
  • Given the current economic situation, engaging in a war in Libya is unwise

The progression of thoughts communicated by Ron Paul is logical, but it is long.  It isn’t something that can be expressed in six to nine words.  That’s why Paul was weaker in the past nationally in my opinion.  He liked to explain how he reached his conclusions, which required a preface / background.  The media rarely showed his thoughts in their entirety, which led to attribution of mostly incomplete thoughts.

Utilizing new media platforms like youtube, Paul can deliver perspectives without being misquoted.  He can also avoid quotations from being taken out of context.  This is especially important for Ron Paul as his thoughts are typically not among those commonly quoted.  Using social media, Paul has been able to avoid pitfalls with traditional media outlets that occurred in the past.

Paul’s lesson can be adapted in other avenues.  For any person (or entity) that is seeking to communicate a relatively longer statement, youtube (and other video platforms like vimeo) serves as a great method of communicating.  This is as opposed to twitter, which is better served for shorter soundbites.  A social media platform allows a person (or entity) to communicate a more in-depth message directly to its constituency without a third party (such as a media outlet) distorting the message (regardless of whether the distortion was on purpose or inadvertent).  You can communicate any idea you want in its entirety. Old media didn’t allow that.  That’s why old media is dying and new media is thriving as a communication medium.