There are so many things wrong with this new cowardly age of Tweeting that I don't even know where to start. The fact that the reporting media of the world have picked up on this and report it as news or fact is perhaps the worst, most troubling aspect.
Why in the name of all that is good is something someone writes on Twitter or in some blog somewhere considered to be news? Where is the proof? Where are the sources? Who is a witness?
Think about it: Anyone can write anything about anyone at anytime? Scary, huh? There is no need for proof. The fact that someone wrote it is proof enough, apparently.
"Did you read that Tweet? Oh my gosh, run with it! Lead story!"
You can have a grudge with someone, or simply not like someone, and decide to have a couple glasses of wine one evening and then get behind your laptop. Couple of clicks later and you are into your blog. Now what? Well, you write something, of course. But what? Maybe you go off about something. Maybe you think about that someone you don't like. Maybe you stretch the truth a little for effect. Maybe you decide to bring someone down for no other reason than it might be fun. Why not? No one is there to tell you you can't.
How do we know if something is true? Shouldn't we (the media) have some semblance of proof or just cause to treat something like this as news? Isn't there some level of responsibility here as a journalist, or a want-to-be journalist?
Case in point, the infamous Charlie Villanueva Tweet about Kevin Garnett. Charlie decided one day to tell the world, or anyone that would listen, that Kevin Garnett called him a cancer patient. Charlie didn't talk to a reporter on television or radio, or speak with a newspaper or online writer about this, no. Charlie took matters into his own hands, going into a room by himself, turning on his laptop, and getting himself to his blog.
That is where Charlie Villanueva decided to tell the world the shocking truth about Kevin Garnett. That Kevin Garnett, the future hall-of-famer who gets under other players skin on the court with his intensity, doesn't care about people who have cancer.
Charlie just felt everyone should know that Garnett is less than human. He wanted everyone to know the truth about Kevin Garnett.
Truth is an interesting word here.
Here's a few more "truths":
1) Kevin Garnett is the most intense player in the world on a basketball court. He "feels" a game perhaps more than anyone in the history of the NBA ever has. He lives and dies trying to win while on the basketball court.
2) Off the court, Garnett is the complete opposite. He is a quiet, shy, introverted, gentle man. He speaks so quietly that you have to stop moving to hear his words, or the rustling noise you create would drown out his words.
3) He is emotional and caring. He can't talk about Malik Sealy, his teammate and friend who died ten years ago in a car accident coming home from Garnett's birthday party, without breaking down. He still writes "2Malik" on the tongue of his basketball shoes.
4) He is a student of the history of the game. He respects those who have come before him and paved his way.
5) He doesn't have a teammate, current or past, that would say a bad thing about the man or his character. They will tell you he was the hardest working player they have ever seen in practice. They will tell you he makes everyone on his team better. They will tell you is a quiet and kind man, who thinks of others before himself.
Those are truths.
Someone once told me, "Don't believe everything you read."
Good words to live by in this brave new blogging-happy world, don't you think?