Don’t Talk About What You Don’t Know!

This is a business and marketing blog. (really, it even says so in the title)

In my mission statement entry I talked about throwing in a little politics and those are the 3 main topics I try to stick to (pr being included in marketing.) Why? Because in addition to sports those are the topics I know. When I wrote about business tax policy its based on my knowledge of accounting and simple logic. I don’t try to analyze the effect of the Bush tax cuts or how Roosevelt’s policies did in getting us out of the Great Depression. I’m not a historian nor economist and I’m more then prepared to acknowledge those facts.

Which brings me to my main point. If you don’t know a particular topic maybe you shouldn’t be talking about it.

I’m talking to you Jon Stewart and yes you Jeff Van Gundy.

Love the work both of those guys do in their particular fields but two particular instances irked me and both are related to the same topic: Twitter.

The Daily Show lampooned Congressional representatives tweeting during the presidents “non-state of the union” state of the union. Basically saying while he doesn’t use Twitter and doesn’t understand Twitter; its a waste of time. Really? Because I follow Senator Menedez on Twitter and he shares such wastes of time as articles he wrote for Huffington Post on the AIG bonuses or that he’s questioning someone for the senate finance committee. Geez! How dare he inform me of some stances he’s taking on some issues I might have interest in! I should just vote for him based on campaign advertising and party affiliation damn it!

Then you have Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson talking about Charlie Villenueva tweeting at half time of a game. It appeared pretty apparent neither really understood the service as JVG started referring to it as blogging. But lets examine the mighty transgression Villenueva committed. He tweeted (aka made a 140 character or less comment via his cellphone) that the coach wanted more toughness and that he needed to pick it up. He went out and had a stellar second half scoring 11 of his 19 points in the 4th quarter alone; in a victory btw. Yet what was the story? That he was unfocused and unprofessional for tweeting at half time. If I’m the bucks I tell him to tweet every game if it means that kind of production and victories.

The point though isn’t about Twitters usefulness. Its about making sure when you’re on a public pulpit with no way for others to interact that you stick to topics you know about. If Stewart or Van Gundy want to blog and let others interact then they can question topics they don’t know about. The commenters will affirm or deny their assertions and everyone learns. However, when you’re on a one way medium like television… stick to what you know!


2 Responses to Don’t Talk About What You Don’t Know!

  1. If I wasn’t allowed to talk about things of which I know nothing then I’d be out of a job :p

    In all seriousness, this is a good post – Stewart making fun of congressman for communicating directly to their constituents without a media filter seemed really out of place given Stewart’s criticism for the MSM portrayal of politics through a sensationalized filter. Twitter totally bypasses that – shouldn’t he be in favor of having congressmen do it then?

    I’ve written some posts that are, in 20/20 hindsight, pretty speculative and occasionally really stupid. That’s a risk we all run when blogging, tweeting, or whatever have you. Had I stuck to what I knew for certain and been less authoritative during those earlier days of blogging I probably could have avoided some embarrassing gaffes on my own part. It’s a lesson I will probably need to learn a few dozen more times before it sinks all the way in 😉

  2. isaacbearg says:

    Aaron, you’re correct I think Stewart would not have as big a problem and would even respect congress’ attempt to reach out to their followers if he understood the service. However i don’t think he does, which is the problem.

    I’m not however advocating we shouldn’t question what we don’t know… just don’t do it in a forum that doesn’t allow feedback and don’t speak like you know exactly what you’re talking about.

    If i write something on a blog you can say hey idiot you’re wrong for reasons x,y, and z. If Stewart or other national media figures say something on a topic they don’t understand on their shows the real facts disproving their point go largely unheard. So its probably best for them to stick to topics they’ve ya know… researched lol

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