19 January 2009

They don't forget when you lie!

A recent comment about the Scott Beauchamp case led me to an article in the American Thinker. The bottom line here is: if you think you can get away with lying, you're probably wrong (at least in the long term). And the corollary to this: if you get caught lying publicly, people won't soon forget.

I bring this up only as to reiterate what we've discussed here before. One of the first rules of blogging (and, specifically, milblogging) is to do so with complete integrity. Milblogs have the potential for tremendous impact on public opinion - as long as they are viewed as credible, trustworthy, sources. One foul move and that credibility is destroyed. Unfortunately, I expect that credibility is not just destroyed for that single source. It is likely that other milblogs will be seen with similar skepticism.


  1. I agree that Milblogs do have the potential to impact public opinion, both foreign and domestic. However, credibility runs much deeper than simply writing/blogging the truth. Ethics in journalism means that reporters find trusted sources, research the publications or ideas that influence their stories to ensure their accuracy and share any personal history they have with a topic or source. Integrity isn't simply being honest. It requires work.

  2. True, Melissa. Integrity is not just honesty, and credibility is not just integrity. But, I'd argue that you can't have credibility without integrity, just as you can't have integrity without honesty.

    Excellent point about the depth required for journalists to gain credibility. I wonder if the same depth is expected of bloggers - especially milbloggers. Or, do most readers understand that the Soldier author is not a journalist - is just telling his/her perspective on things - and therefore don't consider sources, research, and background as much for them? I suspect this is true. In which case, the most important element for milblogger's achieving/maintaining credibility is honesty. And, as the article linked makes clear: if you lie, folks don't forget.