Who is Mark Anderson? He's a University of Minnesota professor who posted comments to blogs under the pseudonym of "Ben Franklin." Hugh Hewitt outed him and reprinted several of Anderson's comments. On New Year's Day, Mark Anderson started his own blog, Poor Richard's Almanac, which was introduced by Jay Rosen at PressThink. Anderson has a rather long first post explaining his take on being outed.
Anderson has been complaining about a "synergy" between conservative blogs, and concludes that because of such synergy the internet and blogosphere aren't democratic at all. You don't understand exactly what he means? Me neither! Most of what Anderson says sounds like a lot of doublespeak.
But Anderson is wrong, the internet has allowed voices to be heard that would never have been heard when mainstream media controlled public discussion. People are even reading what I have to say. And I assure you I am not on the payroll of any vast right wing conspiracy.
I do with agree with Anderson's assertion that being a public employee doesn't prevent him from expressing his opinions. I am a public employee too! And I have no problem with blogging from work. Everything I do there is a big waste of taxpayer money anyway.
A much bigger problem I have with Mark Anderson is his wrongful usurpation Benjamin Franklin's name. Anderson claims that Ben Franklin is his hero, and he lists his favorite book as Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography.
Anderson should go back and reread the Autobiography. Benjamin Franklin started out poor, but through hard work and entrepreneurship, and without any liberal state sponsored social programs or wealth redistribution, became rich and successful. Anderson only comments about the press from the safe walls of academia, but Benjamin Franklin became rich by actually owning his own printing business and newspaper.
Anderson links to a bunch of liberal blogs as his list of "approved blogs." What would Benjamin Franklin think about that? Benjamin Franklin talked about the "Oppression of Taxation" at a time when taxes were only a tiny percent of what they are today. Benjamin Franklin supported a Constitution that only granted limited powers to the federal government. Since the time of Franklin D. Roosevelt, the federal government has been ceded the power to do anything it wants, with liberals wishing that it did even more.
Today's all powerful federal government is not what Benjamin Franklin envisioned. Benjamin Franklin even suggested that the President and Vice President not be allowed to be paid any government salary as a way of keeping the government less powerful and keeping the money where it belongs, with the People.
Shame on you, Mr. Anderson, for claiming to be Ben Franklin.