Whoever gossips to you will gossip about you.
Recently I recommended a news article to another person. What surprised me was his reaction. Instead of addressing the content this person send me a protest letter by a student union executive committee against the author of said article.
Which is interesting, especially for a person at the university.
Never mind that the student union executive committee — like most in Germany — is (hard) left wing and thus biased as hell. I mean, trusting another person’s (biased) characterization of a person is bad enough. But going to what other people say about that person instead of addressing the content? That’s an intellectual … fuck-up.
And yeah, if you discard what a person writes based on what others say about him, it’s much easier. You don’t need to think, especially if reading the content might provoke a huge cognitive dissonance.
But if you don’t read what you don’t agree with — how can you ever learn?
(And no shit, that is very hard — I struggle with it myself. Much, much more comforting to read what you already believe.)