Thursday, April 5, 2007

NewsHacker.net: a canary in the mines.

Hi Newshackers,

I'm posting the anecdote below to communicate that I don't consider conservative Americans enemies in this discussion and I want their input. They're my opponents on some issues, certainly, but as long as they act and communicate in good faith, they're not my enemies.

Like most liberal Americans, I have a number of family members and friends who are conservatives. Occasionally, despite the admonitions of Emily Post, we discuss politics. The conservatives I know personally know the constitutional rights I'm working to preserve, and the reform of regulations controlling Big Media companies that I advocate, protect them, too. I believe there are many other conservatives who understand this, too.

I'm posting a recent conversation with one of those friends below because I'm proud of it, and to help convince potential conservative commentators that I value their ideas too.

/Dick

4/5/07

Jack W., a good friend and former employer called me yesterday. Jack no longer lives nearby, so we don't speak as regularly as we once did, but we're still close. Good friends, despite rather different political views. Jack is a Republican and a former Army officer, and I'm rather progressive. We've had many interesting political discussions over the years because we respect each other, and we both fight fair. No hectoring or appeals to emotion. We explore each other's beliefs. Sometimes, we walk away with things to consider. Others, we wind up agreeing not to agree, but we're clear about where we differ and why, and there's no ill will.

We talked about our mutual friends, etc., for awhile. Then, Jack said he had just read my email announcement from a few weeks ago (he's a busy guy) about the debut of NewsHacker.net, had visited it, and was calling to congratulate me (the following quote is approximate):

"You know I never shared your suspicions about Big Media's motives and bias in their news programming. But, after reading your blog for awhile, I now realize there's a big potential for abuse I never considered before. Now that I think about what the stakes are, I'm really glad to know you are on the lookout. Every society needs its "canaries in the mines," its warning mechanisms to warn it when danger is near. Knowing you are actively pursuing these issues is comforting because, of everyone I know, you pursue your ideas and don't shut up about them. So, I figure I'm safer."

I told him I took this as a real compliment.

/Dick

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