If you’ve never checked out the Times-Herald blogs, I suggest you try it once, but only if you have a strong emotional constitution and aren’t prone to nightmares.
It’s a strange sort of addiction, this blogging thing, similar to the reality show jones many people have developed in recent years. It’s like seeing a train wreck or other horrific accident — you can’t look and yet you can’t look away.
The ones that are obviously clueless about the details are one thing — fairly easily dismissed as harmless. But there are others that are clueless about the big things and clearly don’t realize it, and those are less harmless. Some are downright dangerous.
But the ones that really bug me, are the ones that seem to have nothing better to do all day than rag on the paper and the people who toil there to provide readers with local news, information, opinion and perspective.
These are people who either don’t realize that the insults they hurl at reporters and editors are connecting with real people, with feelings and families, or they don’t care. I couldn’t swear to it, but I doubt most of them would have the chutzpah or bad taste to say the kinds of things they do on the blogs to anyone’s face. In my book, this makes them spineless cowards.
These folks very clearly have no idea how journalism works — and are, in fact, making jackasses out of themselves with most of what they’re spewing — but they’ll probably never know, because ethically, we’re not permitted to set them straight.
Some of these morons especially enjoy accusing the paper and specific reporters of lacking integrity, somehow failing to notice the irony in the fact that they are attacking personally someone by name and doing it anonymously.
Where’s the integrity in that?
Often, these people will misinterpret or miss something, draw a mistaken conclusion and run with that, hurling ridiculous accusations, when a phone call or an e-mail asking for clarification could clear it right up. But that’s not what they’re into. These people aren’t interested in truth or news or anything even remotely resembling that. They’re on the blogs to vent — to spew poisonous venom anonymously in the direction of people they have likely never met. At least I hope I’ve never met them and sincerely hope I never do.
But we at the paper are at something of a disadvantage since they know who we are, and we have no idea who they are. They are hiding, in the same gutless way a Ku Klux Klanner hides behind his sheet.
And, in another bit of hilarious irony, many of these crazies invented blogging monikers appear after nearly every single story, every single day. They obviously despise the paper and everyone associated with it, but don’t seem to be able to do anything else but read it and blog about it — all day and all night long.
I envision creepy little men in rooms illuminated only by the computer’s glow, blogging their hatred as mewling cats wander through their legs and along their desks.
Something out of a horror movie.
If this is the direction the country is going by way of information dissemination, and some people suggest it is, then God help us.
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