Tuesday, June 24, 2008

From the 'WTF?' files

The entirety of a comment left over at the GT:

bigmike45 wrote on Jun 24, 2008 8:18 AM:
" Jerry:

Since I am a law abiding citizen I do have little to NOTHING to fear from FISA. If they want to search my house hopefully they send in the insomniac squad because they will be cured when they are finished with the search.

I do not fear FISA or the Patriot act. What I fear is people like Al Gore telling me how I have to live my life. If you fear loss of freedom in America then look into what people of Gores ilk want to do to your life. "

Let me get this straight: Government agents searching your house and/or listening in to your phone calls without a warrant and without cause? OK.

Having to change some behaviors in response to the damage we're doing to the environment? A total loss of freedom!

The cognitive dissonance required to produce that statement - and no, that's not satire - is incredible.

If the GT wants a decent commenter base, they need to take steps to make that happen. No one is going to want to join the party if the other guests are mean.


kate said...

Bigmike is totally entertaining -- I get at least one "WTF?!?" moment every time I read his comments on the GT site.

Cassie said...

I am so sick of the argument that if you have nothing to hide who cares if you are illegally searched or eavesdropped on. Seriously?! It always amazes me that people are willing to give up their freedoms so quickly.

Dennis said...

At the risk of being cliche, I think it's called the Stockholm Syndrome.

In other words, I agree: Why is he so eager to give up his freedoms?

I have stopped reading the comments on the GT or DH websites because of the group of commenters who completely dominate the discussion and devolve everything to a neverending series of ad hominem attacks.

Someone should tell the papers that not all comments sections are like that.

Theresa said...

Do you have some suggestions of newspaper sites that you think handle their comment sections better? I'd like to pass those sites on to the folks who make decisions. To be fair, it's a source of constant discussion at our paper, and we've changed things several times in an attempt to try and provide some moderation and responsibility without taking away free discourse. Of course a large part of having the comments section at all is so that we drive up page views, but we now require commentors to have logins and verifiable passwords, and when two commentors start attacking each other directly we have actually called them and told them they were on comment hiatus for a month. Picking and choosing who is "nice" and who isn't is problematic, and I'm not sure we should be playing hall monitor. We attempt (although sometimes fail) to prevent sexist, racist or slanderous comments from getting through, but we let people be as stupid as they want to be otherwise. In one sense, it exposes the bias and nastiness of some portion of our population, which is a good thing to point to when others try to claim Corvallis is a bastion of diversity and liberal thought.

Bernstein said...


The newspaper in Sisters treats online comments just like letters to the editor, meaning the posters real name is shown. I think this would cut down on the name calling and such.

I seldom, if ever, read the DH story comments anymore. It's always the same dozen or so people, and the conversations quickly turns into a conservative vs liberal insult fest.

Dennis said...


What about the Lebanon Express comments? From what I've seen, those aren't too vitriolic. Do you read those?

Bernstein said...


True, the Express comments aren't as nasty,most of the time. Barefoot, EDS and the other DH keyboard commandos haven't discovered it, yet.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, the snidelys of the world are beginning to realize the Express takes comments.

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