Re: The VDARE.com Letter Column, and the lack of a comment box
From: An Anonymous Reader [Email him]
One of the nicest features of most blogs is the ability to respond to an article and to read others' responses. It is not clear to me why someone has decided that responding can't happen here except through the medium of a letter which will be mixed with other topics in a space of its own.
I have no problem with the letters; I just don't think they substitute adequately for reader responses at the end of articles.
James Fulford writes: I know what you mean, and I have an answer to it, but unfortunately, still in the letters column!
Briefly, the problem is that a right-wing blog is held responsible for the excesses of its commenters, which MSM and left-wing blogs aren't. That's why Instapundit doesn't have comments, or Kathy Shaidle at FiveFeetOfFury.com.
Here' s an example, from a left-wing PC attack on Gateway Pundit. You see the writer is blaming Jim Hoft for everything the commenters say, as well as what he said.
In just the past two weeks, Talking Points Memo described a completely fabricated Hoft attack on the President as a "fact free racist conspiracy" and a Los Angeles Times columnist called out a different story by Hoft as "baldly racist." Hoft's comments on those stories have been cesspools of openly racist comments.(Emphasis added)[ Jim Hoft Continues To Promote Racism At His Site, St. Louis Activist Hub, January 4, 2012]
And even if Hoft had gone to the trouble of deleting the comments, the St. Louis Activist Hub blogger has kept screenshots, and no doubt they will appear on some SPLC chargesheet someday.
We can get in enough trouble by ourselves, without having to defend what our commenters say, or hire someone to censor them. A further point—Kathy Shaidle has frequently talked about reading newspaper stories upside-down, because the commenters will add details that the MSM scribes deliberately left out. Here at VDARE.com, we put all that in in the first place.