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I've tried to stay out of the weeds on some of the various "initiatives" regarding the health care battle, although we did do a few things in NJ over at Blue Jersey with our Reps and the public option - so maybe it is more accurate to say that I've stayed out of the fray here.

That being said, there has been an alarming number of "high on outrage/lower on accuracy" when it comes to the sausage making process and posturing on just where the various bills stand.

Just yesterday, there was a situation where a diary was on the recommended list based on a "shock value headline" but turned out to not be totally true.  It was based on a Politico article (first strike) and basic research showed that the assertion made in the original diary couldn't have been based on, well, truth.

A couple of weeks back, there was another diary that absolutely slammed one of the best, if not the best Congressman in NJ (Frank Pallone) as a weasel, as weak, and based everything on a video that was made before he had to face back to back to back Town Halls in the height of teabagger-time.  And this is from what should have been the ones who have his back.  As I wrote in response to what I (and others) felt was disgusting treatment of a very fine Rep:

One of those Representatives, Congressman Frank Pallone, has been given a real real bad rap and deserves a whole lot better.  Take it from someone who not only lives in his state, but lives in a District represented by a Grade A dickweed and knows what Frank Pallone means to the Democratic Party, New Jersey and progressives (and no, I have absolutely no connection to him or his campaign in any way).

He is a friend of progressives.  A friend of the netroots.  A contributor to the Blue Jersey community, who has been on BlueJerseyRadio recently (and will be coming on again).  He is approachable – both to his constituents and professionally (his team has been incredibly responsive to me with a request from my "real job", even though I live outside his district).

He is loyal to the cause – he is the Chairman of Governor Corzine’s campaign, and has been one of the biggest, not to mention most vocal proponents of shedding sunlight on Chris Christie’s no bid deals and deferred prosecution arrangements – even holding hearings recently.  He spoke out strongly and praised Blue Jersey for staying on top of the warrantless monitoring that Chris Christie’s office did while US Attorney.  His House Subcommittee (which he Chairs) worked on HR 3200, which he is a co-sponsor of.  He’s been a strong proponent of a strong public option for a long time.

And now today, the same thing has happened - a diary on the rec list with a sensational title, and another that contradicts/corrects/clarifies that diary.  Even though the truth here is probably somewhere in the middle.

Not that long ago, I posted a diary that clarified an error that I made in a prior diary.  Mistakes happen.  In the heat of emotion, we may say things that aren't exactly how it is.  We may rely on sources (like Politico) that aren't really that reputable.  We may see part of the picture that ignores something much larger.

Health care reform - REAL health care reform - is incredibly important.  As is Afghanistan, the economy, transparency in government and a whole slew of other issues.

And no matter what we write about, making sure that we aren't missing the facts or sensationalizing something that isn't necessarily true or there is of upmost importance.  Otherwise, we are just a bunch of ranting, angry, liberal versions of teabaggers.

Originally posted to clammyc on Thu Sep 24, 2009 at 12:33 PM PDT.

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