The warblogger handbook

If confronted with worldwide mass protest against the war — what Jon Stewart described as possibly the largest coordinated worldwide protest in human history — either (a) ignore it completely, (b) single out the occasional goofball for excessive deconstruction, and/or (c) question the numbers extensively.

However, any time there is a pro-war protest anywhere, of any size whatsoever, link to it immediately. And there’s no need to question the numbers — not that you would — since the crowd is always small enough to count every individual participant.

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On a related note, Brendan O’Neill has thoughts on warblogger hubris, vis-a-vis the upcoming war:

If blogging really did lead the way in covering the war with Iraq, we would end up more ill-informed than we were during the first Gulf War of 1991. Then we had Big Media lies and US-led propaganda – today, blogging-led reportage would give us nothing but prejudice masquerading as fact, and an incestuous debate that will be as morally removed from events in the Gulf as it will be physically distant.

The most striking thing about these blogging claims is how self-obsessed and cocky they are. For every internet geek licking his lips at the prospect of reading bloggers’ views about Iraq, there must be thousands of people who wouldn’t know what a blog was if it Fisked their ass. I have five brothers, all of whom are intelligent, read newspapers, watch TV news and are generally interested in the world around them. None of them knows what a weblog is.
— snip —
For all its occasional wit and the useful links it provides, blogging is generally little more than a subjective spouting match, where bloggers spill forth their views on everything, anything and often nothing. But there is more to reporting, particularly war reporting, than instant reaction. Reportage involves rising above your immediate concerns, weighing up the facts, and attempting to say something more measured and insightful – sometimes even truthful and profound. By contrast, blogging creates a white noise of personal prejudice – and the last thing we need in war time, when information is already restricted or censured, is prejudice dressed up as a new radical outlet for information.