Gutter Scum Hits The Daily Pilot
Yesterday, Easter Sunday, provided an interesting, ironic sequel to my posting on that day. Early Sunday morning one - maybe two - people who can best be described in the immortal words of Yosemite Sam as pusillanimous polecats, managed to slip a couple of foul comment posts past the editors of the Daily Pilot. I suspect the editors were not looking for objectionable material in the pen names of the contributors, but were on the alert for bad language, innuendo and foul statements in the comments submitted. So, the contributors of these two putrid submissions took advantage of that focus and slipped their vile entries past the editors, who dutifully approved the postings, which sat there online for all to view for 24 hours before they were finally removed.
No, I'm not going to tell you what they said. That would just give these pukes more space. Suffice it to say that the names they contrived would usually be seen scratched on toilet stalls or heard on late night HBO comedy specials.
In my view, this is a very large problem for the Daily Pilot management. On one hand, their willingness to permit the posting of very divergent viewpoints as comments in their online version demonstrates that they truly want to provide a forum so the debate of important issues can be facilitated in nearly real time. In concept, this a great idea. We have seen some truly insightful comments offered on a variety of issues over the past couple of months.
On the other hand, the abuse by those who choose to use this excellent forum as a venue for, as my pal, Byron de Arakal so cleverly put recently, booger-throwing, diminish the debate. Now, in this most recent event of abuse, the effluent in question came from the other end of the alimentary canal and is completely unacceptable in any kind of civilized discourse. It demonstrates that some folks with the intellectual capacity of a Neanderthal are happy simply to disrupt a debate instead of contributing their views.
We've all known these kinds of folks in our lives. Sometimes they manifested themselves as playground bullies, who were content to steal the ball so other children couldn't play with it instead of getting in the game themselves. Those thugs grew, at least physically, into adults who are ill-equipped to rationally discuss an issue, so they try to drag the debate down into the gutter, where they attempt to shout-down their opponents instead of trying to convince them of the validity of their views. It's all bullying.
In my view, the management of the Daily Pilot needs to tighten the reins on their process and require a method of identification - at least to them - of those who wish to publish comments. They do that with letters to the editor, so their standards shouldn't be loosened just because the comments are online. If they don't do that, their credibility is at risk.
Those of us who already identify ourselves online won't have a problem with such a requirement. I suspect, however, that some of those anonymous cowards who hide behind the bushes and spit venom might be reluctant to participate if they knew someone would know their identity. Based on my read of most of those kinds of comments, and especially this most recent pair, the loss of their participation would be inconsequential and would probably enhance the debate by their absence. Who knows, maybe one or two of them might conjure up enough fortitude to actually use their own names and participate openly. I doubt it - it's not their style.