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I am not someone who writes many diaries here. I do comment and try to inspire critical thinking in others, but I do not consider myself one of the more popular stars of this community.

I will not use the name of the person I am referring to. That's not my style to call out anyone directly. This is more of a response to a post where I wish to inspire people to use their own critical thinking skills rather than blindly defend someone just because they're a fan or denigrate someone because they do not like the cut of one's jibe.

When you write a hit piece about someone, whether it is Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Joe Lieberman or Porky Pig, you should at least list real issues or policies you want to differ with the person. At least provide an opposing solution to any problem. However, if you use a chance encounter that does not have any relevance to real political issues and you use that encounter to denigrate someone else about their personal shortcomings in a political context, I have to assume you do so only to perpetuate your own agenda.

I do not accuse anyone of racial bias when I write this. Forgive me if I tend to think there is an undercurrent of that when posts like the one that prompted me to write this is at the heart of much of this website's anti-Obama sentiment. I am not writing to defend the president, only to point out that we ourselves are guilty of being duped on an on-going basis and exalt diarists to star status when we fall for these diatribes that aim to generate negative feelings. I get the fact these stars use twitter and facebook to alert their fans and friends to rec and respond to diaries. Not writing diaries often, and not knowing even how to use twitter or facebook, I do not expect a warm and fuzzy response. In fact, I expect just the opposite, friends of pundits who I am referring to will blast the shit out of me, or this diary will cycle out of sight and mind within a few minutes without any response.

The bottom line is pundits need readers who respond emotionally in order to stay relevant and popular. As an average kind of guy, I don't. However, pundits rely on people to either love them or hate them in order for people to keep reading or watching them. Why would Bill Kristol be invited to appear on Fox if he played nice or had nice things to say about anyone or anything? He is a prick not because he writes such bad things about liberals and democrats. No, he's a prick because he does it to sell himself. He does it because since pundit radio and TV came on the scene as one of the most popular venues, he knows his words prompts emotion without the reader or viewer having to perform their own critical thinking. That is precisely why I have a problem with so much political pundit talk shows and networks. These programs dummy down the populace. The stars of these shows do the thinking for us on a daily basis. They are not informing us, they are telling us how to think, what issues are most important, and they manipulate our discourse. It is not a matter of right wing vs. left wing, it is a matter of how we allow ourselves to be duped by professional entertainers to perform the critical thinking we should be applying in our own lives.

Originally posted to tazz on Sun Nov 21, 2010 at 05:27 AM PST.

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