Fair and Unbalanced

There is an interesting post and discussion on Crooked Timber today, on the tension between trying to work out a reasoned position on issues like global warming, and the political commitments of some (or all?) of the sources one relies on to make such judgements. It grabbed my attention because of course that tension is what B and W is all about. Also because I bump against it (can one bump against a tension? never mind, two idioms collide) all the time in going about my daily task of finding news and other links. ‘Hmm, interesting article, makes some good points, but do I really want to link to the Washington Times/Reason/the Telegraph?’ Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. Well…actually I don’t think I ever have linked to Reason or the Washington Times. So far I haven’t found anything brilliant enough to over-rule my intense distaste for both of them. Other right-wing sources I don’t mind so much. But strictly speaking, perhaps I ought not to think about it that way (if it can be called thinking – it’s more like a reflex). Perhaps I ought to be sublimely unaware of the source, and link or not link purely on the merits. If this article would be good enough from the Guardian or the Independent, it ought to be good enough from Fox News or Rush Limbaugh. But I’m not, and it’s not. I do set higher hurdles for the very right-wing stuff. If there were a shortage of material I might not, but that’s not the case. So that’s my bias at work: now you know.

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