Click to viewTake a look at the front page of crazy-huge crowdsourced web aggregator Digg today and you'll see a totally different portrait of the war in Georgia than you'd find on the front of the New York Times. It's not the scary specter of Russia asserting its dominance over the region and thumbing its nose at the West, gambling that we won't respond with force. It's not tanks rolling toward a soverign nation's capital in the hopes of overthrowing its pro-American leader. No, it is, as usual, a conspiracy by George W. Bush and the Mainstream Media to confuse and deceive you. A false story propagated by those terrible, biased gatekeepers. Also-Russian tanks are fucking awesome!!!! Why the hell would typically nerd-news and cute photo-obsessed little Digg take such a counterintuitive view of a war being waged on the other side of the globe? Three simple reasons.
If the adolescent groupthink of Diggers could be summed up, it's this: whatever Bush says is wrong, whatever the MSM says is wronger, and if the two are in agreement it's clearly the wrongest idea ever.
Contrarianism Digg is made up mostly of angry young white male nerds. That particular group is naturally contrary and anti-social. If the NORMALS want them to CONFORM, too bad! They're going to go watch V For Vendetta again because only $54 million dollar movies distributed by Time Warner subsidiaries truly understand their anti-authoritarian struggle! So if the powers that be say "Georgia Good, Russia Bad," Diggers will be inclined to specifically seek out contrary opinions, and promote them.
Anti-MSM Crusading Part of the contrarianism is their innate distrust of the Mainstream Media. This is a terribly commonplace Internet Attitude that combines the well-funded war against press credibility waged against journalism by conservatives since the Nixon days with its not-that-odd bedfellow, leftist fear-mongering about corporate consolidation of all forms of media and its result on the message fed to willing consumers. Diggers will probably not read the front-page Times story on the crisis, but they will read a blog post denouncing and debunking it.
Bush Lied The web feeds on Bush-hatred. Diggers are a libertarian-leaning bunch with pockets of radical liberalism, so hated of the entire Bush regime is deep and vitriolic. This spills over even to situations that Bush is not actually personally responsible for. So if you can mange to blame this entire situation on Bush, somehow (he PROPPED UP THE GEORGIAN MILITARY [when we trained them to help us in Iraq and Pakistan]), you've hit on the magic formula for getting Diggers to actually read something about the conflict in Georgia. Congrats! Good luck with that feeling of odd emptiness you'll experience when your personal hell demon retires to Kennebunkport.
The reasonable (or maybe mealy-mouthed concerned helpless liberal) read of the situation is that the Russians are seizing on a Georgian aggression they basically provoked and planned for in order to effect regime change, and the Georgians just pushed the Russians a little too far banking on non-existent support from NATO (sorry guys!). Unless you're on Digg, in which case the BBC and George Bush propped up a tinpan dictator in Georgia and Putin is maybe bad but he drives a totally awesome killing machine and he's not as evil as Chimpy McHitler over here.