Obama on blogs

The following is from the very end of the article that Helene Cooper and Sheryl Gay Stolberg at The New York Times wrote after a 35-minute interview with President Obama:

Mr. Obama rode to the White House partly on his savvy use of new technology, and he has a staff-written blog on his presidential Web site. Even so, he said he did not find blogs to be reliable, citing the economy as one example.

“Part of the reason we don’t spend a lot of time looking at blogs,” he said, “is because if you haven’t looked at it very carefully, then you may be under the impression that somehow there’s a clean answer one way or another — well, you just nationalize all the banks, or you just leave them alone and they’ll be fine.”

Coming from someone who focused so much of his political platform on the notion that he was not a “Washington insider” this seems to be quite odd. The way that Obama dismisses blogs in general as not having looked at issues carefully is just plain irresponsible in my eyes. This same type of claim could (and in some circles was) made against Obama during his candidacy: he was the fresh, inexperienced candidate who just didn’t have familiarity with the important issues.

Furthermore, while I’m sure there are plenty of blogs out there that are espousing their financial suggestions and “knowledge” that doesn’t mean that one should just write off the potential of blogs in general. Simply because a writer doesn’t have intimate knowledge of a subject does not mean that his or her ideas are not as valid as an expert’s.

Disagree with me if you want, but I think that it’s important sometimes to read and listen to the opinions of those whom you would otherwise write off as ignorant. Sometimes, not most of the time, but sometimes at least they might have something worthwhile to say.