Should literacy be required for bloggers?

February 06, 2008  ·  Michael Fumento  ·  Weblog

I can't speak for the blogosphere generally; it's rather large for that. I can say there are some excellent, careful, thoughtful bloggers. But all too often I see something like this at "No More Mister Nice Blog," slugged: "I GUESS THE ARMY IS NOW PART OF THE LIE-BERAL MEDIA."

"In November, a study by CBS News found a high rate of suicides among veterans," wrote blogger Steve M. "In response, Michael Fumento of the New York Post promptly rose to shoot the messenger" he wrote, linking to my article. It went on that, "Fumento cited a lot of statistics that, he claimed, proved CBS's "nefariousness." But two months later, we now have some new statistics: "Suicides among active-duty soldiers in 2007 reached their highest level since the Army began keeping such records in 1980, according to a draft internal study obtained by The Washington Post."

Never mind that I'm not "of" the Post; I just occasionally contribute. Instead, let's count. "Veteran" comprises seven letters, whereas "active-duty soldiers" comprises 18 letters plus a hyphen. It thus appears Steve M. not only cannot read, he cannot do the simplest math. Since that would also preclude writing, it appears he has prevailed upon mommy to do his typing.

Finally, he knows nothing of logic. Even were we comparing apples to apples or oranges to oranges, an Army study showing an increase would not necessarily support a CBS study showing an increase. If the CBS said flu deaths doubled last year and the CDC said they went up 10 percent, would the CDC have established the CBS figures and methodology as correct?

Don't ask No More Mister Nice Blog - or at least not in writing!