One of the earliest lessons I learned in writing was “write what you know.” That developed into the corollary, “play to your strengths.”
There are many types of bloggers, and it’s tough to carve out one’s niche. For me, finding where I fit in best, it was a process of elimination.
Some make their names as investigators. They ferret out stories that others don’t find. I don’t have the resources for that.
Some are “linkers.” They find other blogs that say something interesting, and collect them for easy consumption. I don’t have the time or the patience for that.
Others are grand analysts. They have the training, the education, and the raw brainpower to look at The Big Picture and break it down for the rest of us. I can sometimes flirt around the fringes of that, but not as consistently or as well as they do.
So, by default, I find that I’m best at what I like to call “connecting.” I find items that interest me, and then connect them to other items in hopes of piecing together a little portion of the big picture.
That’s what I’m doing this morning.
A couple of days ago, Zogby released a general poll of registered Democrats, hoping to get a snapshot of what they think, what they believe, what they want. One element was somewhat buried, but several enterprising people ferreted it out:
According to Zogby, 42% of Democrats don’t believe the official story behind 9/11 and think that President Bush either knew about it and permitted it, or actually arranged for the whole thing. (These theories are known as LIHOP, for “Let It Happen On Purpose,” or MIHOP, “Made It Happen On Purpose.”)
I’ve often repeated my disdain for polls, surveys, and the like, but they do come in handy in one sense: if you don’t try to apply them to the real world and simply compare them with another poll, they can — occasionally, if properly tortured — yield some interesting notions.
For example, let’s keep that number in mind — 42% of registered Democrats think that our government had at least some foreknowledge of the 9/11 attacks.
Then think back almost few years ago, when another poll was taken. It asked Americans whether or not Iraq was involved in the 9/11 attacks. Quite a few did, and someone also did some mining of the data — and found something they found fascinating: the highest percentage of those who did say that were Fox News viewers.
So, what does that mean? To me, not a damned thing. As Will Rogers once said, “It isn’t what we don’t know that gives us trouble, it’s what we know that ain’t so.” Fox News never once, to the best of my knowledge, ever directly stated that Iraq was involved in 9/11. And I feel fairly comfortable in saying that — Fox’s critics who have literally spent years touting this survey would surely have uncovered such a thing and broadcast it loud and clear. Hell, Keith Olbermann would have made it part of his opening credits.
Likewise, I don’t recall any leaders in the Democratic Party openly endorsing the LIHOP/MIHOP whackjobs, the Troooothers, or any of the other stupid and/or insane conspiracy nuts.
Well, with one exception. They were quite happy to embrace Michael Moore and his lie-infested “Fahrenheit 9/11”. Moore was given a seat of honor at the 2004 Democratic National Convetion, and quite a few of the High And Mighty from the Democrats attended its premiere — and had many words of praise for the Fabulist From Flint.
But I’d very much like to see some of those people who’ve used the 2003 study to attack Fox News discuss this Zogby survey, and just what it means about the Democratic party.
Especially if they do so while standing near a windmill. The spin they’ll likely produce could put a sizable dent in our dependency on foreign oil.