By Darryl Mason
Blogs heavy on serious, not satirical, politics need opposing views and opinions in their comments if they want to really rack up those comment numbers. Apparently, this is important.
Groupthink in comments usually mean the threads go cold quickly. If everyone agrees with everyone else, there's not much to discuss, and nobody to insult, smear or defame.
This is why some of the most popular politically-charged blogs in Australia, for example, cannot do without a rabid Obamist Ruddian Green Lefty to pop his/her head up if most of those commenting there think John Howard should have a statue honouring him in every town square and that, one day, a generation of children will grow up believing that George W. Bush is right up there with Washington and Lincoln.
Conservative blogs need stupid Lefties in the comments so the groupthinkers gathered there will have a target to attack and vilify, to make themselves feel better.
This is why the most popular conservative blog in Australia often has Stupid Lefty Comments either written by the blogger, or the moderators, or both, under fake names.
An Allegedly Stupid Lefty stating something as simple as "War Is The Very Definition Of Immaturity"on a War On Iraq related post really fires up those conservative comment threads. For a while anyway. But then if that Allegedly Stupid Lefty starts stating undeniable facts, the groupthink comments quickly die away.
This comment thread at JF Beck's was getting into the 60s, one of the biggest comment counts ever seen on that blog, until I posted the following comment, number 69, which none of the usual suspects over there attempted to counter or even deny. It remains the last comment in the thread (as of this posting) :
"Did you get that theory from the fact that Bush was bragging to journalists in 1999 that he was going to go War On Iraq and finish what his daddy wouldn't, or couldn't?You also get the feeling from reading all those Anonymous comments at Beck's that nearly all were written by the same, at most, two or three people.
"If you don't think The Bush administration totally capitalised on the tragedy of 9/11 to sell the Iraq War, you have some reading to do.
"Condi Rice, Bush and Cheney all called 9/11 an "opportunity" after the War On Iraq began."
If they stand so firmly by their beliefs and claims, why don't they post their thoughts under their real names?
It's not like they're leaking secret government reports or anything, it's just opinion. But not opinion they believe in enough to put their real names to.