US bureaucrat’s blogging was a theme of an article I wrote for Right Pundits a week ago. Here is how Blog.USA.gov discussed the news about the Christmas terrorist attack with the American public (for the first time four days after Umar Abdul Mutallab ignited his underwear) :
Surely you heard the news last week that a person on board a flight to Detroit set off a device on the plane. Thanks to the heroic actions of the crew and passengers, he was subdued and the plane landed safely. That’s what I call saving Christmas.
Sure we all heard the news that nearly 300 people almost got killed because of a system failure of the US Government – the same bureaucracy blog.usa.gov is supposed to represent. We heard the news the day it happened, meanwhile the government bloggers wrote about Jess’s weight loss and Colleen’s dislike of airport food.
And they did it again. There is no info or links on Help Haiti efforts on the blog.usa.gov when everybody is trying to bring awareness on the needs for humanitarian relief after the earthquake aftermath there. Shame!
Ginger from the same blog was pledging to be helpful in 2010 this is why I suggested an idea: she can write about something that people of the USA actually care. You know – like economy, jobs and national security! Or she can write about who made the Blog.USA.gov, how much tax-payer dollars were spent on its creation and maintenance. And when she is done with the post it would be nice to erase the whole thing and put it in her 2009 Crap file that she describes in her article.
Ginger form Blog.USA.gov was nice enough and cared to respond to my opinion:
Ellie, you are entitled to your opinion and, as long as it is civil and relevant, I will post it. While you were perusing our “blogger bios” page, I hope you took the time to read that first paragraph about the purpose of our blog.
The government has a lot of consumer and citizen information that can help people. Our intent is to share information and resources to help people with their everyday lives. We are not current events reporters or political commentators. On occasion, we may make reference to something that happens in the news, but we generally do not discuss people, by name, nor comment on ongoing criminal investigations.
Your commentary has made us wonder if other readers have misunderstood our purpose. We will reach out to our readers and the public to learn more about what people want from our blog and will try to incorporate those suggestions into our future posts.
If our blog doesn’t meet your needs, you can always go to http://www.blogs.gov to locate other blogs for information on other topics – we’re not the only government blog out there.
I am sorry you feel our blog is worthless, but our 550,000 readers would disagree. If our readers wish to read about current events or political commentary, there are plenty of really good sites they can go to.
Ginger, I agree that the government has a lot of information that can help people. This is why every single department, agency and other US bureaucracy has a web-site (created and maintained with tax-payer money). When the government has information it has plenty of space there to post it.
Your blog however is just linking to already existing info on other government sites. All you add to it is a personal touch in the wording on the story – all that on a tax-payer dime. If your blog is a source for helpful information that means that some other bureaucracy’s web-sites are not fulfilling their mission in providing it.
It appears that we pay twice for the same information. Once on the government sites and second time on the government blogs (third time on Twitter and so on it goes into the infinity).
I am glad you will think about my suggestions. It is nothing personal – it is about principals.
Let me remind you that in a free society it is the job of the free media, not the job of the state blogger to sort and assess the information coming from the government. Government blogs (as you point there are more than one that exist and burn tax-payer money) remind me of a propaganda tool.
I have a great respect to your readers and I believe if you cared to cover the Christmas terrorist attack bomber you would probably have more of them. I strongly believe that not a penny of taxpayer money should be spent on blogging about the way you clean your desk.
Tax dollars now go also for government tweeting and facebooking and myspacing. Where does it stop? The social networking spending is out of control. We don’t need a cool government, but an efficient and working one.