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What About This…? 9.19.2013

By Wayne William Cipriano

Did you read THE SNOOP in the August 29th issue of the Douglas County Herald when the word “dhimmitude” was investigated and its inclusion in the federal legislation called Obamacare was examined?

If not, you missed an excellent lesson on why printed material like newspapers, magazines and books are so important even today when we have the Internet and its millions of contributors, and billions of facts.

Even though Mr. Moore, who authors THE SNOOP does not support Obamacare, he questioned the information he had seen regarding dhimmitude and initiated some research, going so far as to actually read some of the Obamacare bill.

Come to find out the facts he had distrusted on the Internet were false, produced there to discredit the Obamacare product. And, Mr. Moore reported that finding in a newspaper.

This is why the printed word is so important.

Anyone can post anything on the Internet and that posting is often taken as true. Somewhat similarly, anyone can buy a mimeograph machine, or even desktop publish, for that matter, what they wish to promulgate. This may also be seen as fact. But, they are different.

The Internet can be modified or even erased in a heartbeat, and if you didn’t print it out, it is gone forever. The printed word, delivered by newspaper, magazine or book lasts. It resides in your home, office, on a bookshelf, in a file, and cannot be changed.

If we say something in print that is stupid, incorrect or biasly misleading — it is there relentlessly following us, immutable. And reflects on everything else we wrote and said casting suspicions of inaccuracy on all of it.

It is this desire, this drive to avoid looking stupid, incorrect or biasedly misleading that weighs so heavily on those whose ideas will by laying around forever in print. It is that drive and desire that compels a questioning attitude and the resultant attention to truth, correctness, accuracy that is often absent in the mania for being first or most controversial we see in less permanent media like television, radio and the Internet.

It is not so much to be perceived as paragons of reliable accuary, it’s more to avoid being ridiculously wrong.

We need the printed word even more than we need the instant gratification of the Internet. After all, who really wants their literary epitaph to contain the word stupid?