Many of Murdoch’s foremost so-called ‘journalist’ bloggers have adopted the ‘cut and paste’ method of propaganda whereby they simply copy and paste large lumps of cherry-picked text that suits their argument and then publish only comments that support that argument. Every now and then they throw in an occasional dissenting comment just to make it look as though the right-wing support is from your ‘average reader’ thus giving the impression that their line is middle of the road public opinion when in fact it is extreme right-wing.
This kind of ‘journalism’ allows the propagandist blogger to cite other peoples work without having to take on of the journalistic responsibility for it. If it turns out to be wrong or misinformed or plain dishonest the propagandist then needs only to blame the writer and replace it with a correction, though, of course, most stuff that’s wrong or misinformed or dishonest will usually get through without being noticed.
Several of Australia’s right-wing bloggers use this method of propagandising. Take the Islamophobe and racist Andrew Bolt who blogs for Murdoch at Melbourne’s ‘Herald Sun’ newspaper for example.
Let’s have a look at the first three stories that come up as I open Andrew Bolt’s blog today. First we get this which waffles on about one of Bolts other pet hates – climate change and other assorted anti-green stuff. Notice how some 91% of the text is not his.
The next story down is this. He’ doing a bit better here; he managed to write almost 22% of the piece.
Then the third one in which he hops onto his racism hobbyhorse. In this piece Bolt manages to write some 36% of the piece himself. The rest is cut and pasted.
It doesn’t matter really what any of these pieces are about – suffice to say they are all a reflection of his right-wing thinking and they are all pieces that he mostly hasn’t written himself.
Tim Blair at Sydney’s ‘Daily Telegraph’ does exactly the same – he cherry-picks a bit of text written by someone else and then surrounds it with a little of his own garbage. In this randomly selected piece Blair manages to personally scrawl a massive 43% of the words in the piece.
These pieces are usually designed to stir up their right-wing bloggies; those who share their extremist right-wing views and then some. Because they are mostly anonymous bloggies, they can get away with saying the most outrageous stuff; stuff that Bolt or Blair couldn’t get away with themselves but are quite happy to let others say it for them.
Place these people where they belong – they are propagandists; they are certainly not journalists nor do they belong in the blogosphere. They merely abuse the blogging world to peddle their sick racist and warmongering ideas.