Archive for November 5, 2007

An Attempted Clarification Regarding LT

November 5, 2007

This is a response to the comments on this post, in which I clumsily offered a short critique of Lebanon Truth.

I support the existence of LT. In general, I support the ideas the blogger is promoting and I am supportive of the content of most of the posts (I generally note my disagreements with LT through comments at their place). I support freedom of speech, though I should note that this should not be taken as an endorsement that all speech is good speech. Freedom to speak and the wisdom of one’s words are very, very different things.

The catch is that I believe that the same content can be delivered in many ways. Language – especially written language – is a powerful thing. The style and tone one uses is crucial in how readers understand one’s writing.

In the case of LT, I sometimes think the tone of their writing is often more confrontational and abrasive than need be, and that as a result, I think readers will more likely become mistrustful of the content based on the tone in which it is delivered.

Repeating the truth loudly and often does not guarantee positive outcomes. The phrase “don’t shoot the messenger” did not evolve in a vacuum. If it were so, politics in this country would look a lot differently.

This is to say nothing about the malleability of truth for all you Foucault fans out there. That’s another post.

So, specific responses:

One anonymous commenter suggested that I think truth-telling and reconciliation are incompatible. That’s incorrect; in fact, I think telling the truth is necessary for reconciliation, but not sufficient. Case in point: I’ve been calling Bush an idiot for years (a statement there is mountains of evidence for), yet he’s still in office.

Another commenter suggested that I’ve bought into a tactic to hush LT up. That’s a little unfair, since nowhere in the original post did I suggest that LT should stop blogging. In fact, as noted above, I support LT’s efforts. However, my support is certainly not blind. That would be stupid. If anonymous commenter #2 on the original post thinks that supporting LT means never saying anything that could be construed as critical, said commenter is wrong.

This has been my attempt at clarifying my attempt at constructive criticism.

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