I’ve pulled directly from my Facebook wall on this. It’s too long a rant for my “A Little Wisdom” section, which may one day make a fine chapbook, but for any coming aboard the good blogship Backchannels, it’s a fair reflection of how I think:
Be careful of the truth — whatever it may be — and be even more cautious with insinuation and rumor.http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2012/08/22/jonathan-kay-how-egypts-crucifixion-hoax-became-a-classic-internet-urban-legend/ Those who mislead to lead always lose their followers. It may take a while; the damage done by sewing animus and confusion may be immeasurable; but, God willing, and often proven so, those arrows called “libel” and “slander” have a way of turning around and returning direct to the hearts of their owners.
Within the complexity of what I call the ‘Islamic Small Wars” and in the interface with many traditions, there are two words that may determine how things go: they are “credibility” and “integrity” — and they are ideal. They refer not only to what people may tell others and what others may accept or choose to accept even well aware of their existence as lies, but they are all things said within hearing of God, or, if the reader should not believe, that good sense of better nature one might call “conscience”.
My experience with the habits of the special interest press has not been reassuring. Horrific political accommodations, limited press access to hot spots, remoteness itself seem to encourage lying, whatever the writer (and publication) can get away with until someone plods through the muck to check it out.
There may be one problem with our heads on this topic: can a way out story — a good conspiracy theory, say, or simply a tree that fell in the forest with one “listener” reporting — be definitively scotched?
Welcome to the land of things left unsaid (so many things, eh?) and things not shown (there were not many people around or no one had a cell phone or no one wanted to take the picture).
Be wary of tarrying too long long in the Land of Unconfirmed — and impossible to disprove — Possibilities.