Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Common Sense Still Isn't

As a Daily Felltoon reader, you most likely find yourself involved in political discussions on a regular basis. We frequently communicate and debate with each other on the tactics and wisdom (or lack thereof) of different political figures of nearly every type - and we know our research helps many of you as well.

When a person communicates on a regular basis with powerful bloggers, journalists, and business and political figures, it's easy to fall into a false sense of what is and is not important in such discussions, according to "common sense." We see it all the time in well-known blogs and newspapers, and we hear it on the air from both local and national sources. We also hear it in person, in far too many political discussions, the supposedly "common wisdom" that "everybody knows" some piece of information.

The truth is, common wisdom isn't exactly common.

For example, one of our staffers had a discussion with a political party official last weekend, where the official stated they had never been able to get an answer to the questions our staffer asked. Our staffer reminded the official that no one who wants to work in politics for either major party would ever give a serious answer to someone at that official's level of authority.

Another staffer recently heard from a political contact because of work on the Daily Felltoon. The political contact seemed surprised at the reach of our work. We're not surprised at all. Our staff knows a number of influential people through the country, and even overseas, who read our work, click our links, and enjoy Paul's cartoons - and we'll continue to keep that contact list private.

That we're regularly contacted by influential people like those on Capitol Hill simply proves the "common wisdom" by some of our readers that The Daily Felltoon is just another internet publication, might not be so wise after all.

Blogs and other electronic publications far more famous than ours continue to fight a similar "common wisdom." The media has changed a great deal in the last 20-30 years, and it's likely that it will continue to morph into new forms as we head into the future. Many of these forms will continue to employ more freelancers, and will continue to change the "common wisdom" of how people in positions of authority interact with members of the media.

The difference these days is that those involved in media as we are don't seem to be as heavily swayed by the "common sense" of the traditionally "Very Important People." Maybe it's because, as Paul Krugman mentioned in his own blog Monday, those like us remain professionals, while being a bit more detached.

More detached may also mean less biased, and more honest.
That's a bit of wisdom that's not so common at all.

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