People With Thin Skins Should Not Blog

Seriously, they shouldn’t:

The Washington Post shut down one of its blogs Thursday after the newspaper’s ombudsman raised the ire of readers by writing that lobbyist Jack Abramoff gave money to the Democrats as well as to Republicans.

Which is, of course, simply untrue. Look at this list of personal contributions made by Abramoff and his wife. You won’t see one Democrat or a Democratic P.A.C. anywhere.

This is the best part, though:

“We’re not giving up on the concept of having a healthy public dialogue with our readers, but this experience shows that we need to think more carefully about how we do it,” Brady wrote on the newspaper’s Web site. “There are things that we said we would not allow, including personal attacks, the use of profanity and hate speech.”

Dude, if you can’t handle personal attacks, profanity or hate speech, you might as well not have a blog. That’s pretty much our bread and butter.

[Gavin adds: Deborah can Howell, but she can’t Jack Abramoff.

She’s actually now saying that the Post has documents from Indian tribes showing that Abraham Jackoff ‘directed’ money to Democrats. We await these documents with big, liquid anime-character eyes.]

Bradrocket adds: Did I ever sing you guys my Abrahmoff song? It goes somethin’ like this (to the tune of “Jesus Walks” by Kanye West):

Ay! Bram! Hoff!
God show me the way cause that casino money’s ’bout to bring me down!
Ay! Bram! Hoff!
No amount of Scotish golf trips can save me now!

That’s all I’ve got. OK, so it really sucks. Whatever. Fuck y’all.


Comments: 28


Would that be the same WP that recommended confirming Alito? Damn liberal-biased media.


I disagree. People with thin skins shouldn’t stop blogging — where else would we get our entertainment? Watching Kellyann Conway snorting coke out of Jonah Goldberg’s puckered navel?


Brad, you’re a damned hippie liberal!

I fucked your dad, you know. I fucked him all night long.


I’m not defending Howell’s behaviour, or the WaPo as an instution, but to be fair to Brady, a newspaper is a hell of a lot more likely to be sued for something defamatory in a blog comment than most bloggers. Of course, they could just moderate the comments like every other media organisation that does this sort of thing. The Guardian has many blogs, for example, and gets hundreds of comments a day. That’s on top of the message boards they run, which have thousands of posts each day.


You don’t know how difficult it is to come up with hate speech against a total stranger on the internets. Luckily, profane personal attacks are pretty easy. The origins, as if anyone cares, are the following:

I fucked your dad.

And the follow up:

I fucked him all night long.


Damnit Gavin, that is THE the abamoff joke.

It made me smile a big big smile when George Clooney thanked him for his “golden globe” award last week.

big smile.


I can’t truly comment until I read Kate O’Beirne’s take on this.


Careful! You’ll make Mrs. Alito cry, you big meanies.


What kind of world does the Washington Post want to live in? Me, I’m very comfortable in a place where I can point out to total strangers that a woman named
just broke a figure skating record.

There was no quote from her manager Pimpsboris to note her feat.


In my opinion, as a victim of ridiculous volumes of hate speech, profanity and the like, I would have to say this: Though much of this foul-mouthed billingsgate is intended to discredit the recipient of the verbal abuse, such churlish, junior high school, playground bully rhetoric only discredits the perpetrator. The victim, in the end, comes out smelling like a rose.


Hey, Jay. I’ll see your Slutskaya and raise you a Smashnova. I’ll let Dementieva clean up afterwards. She’s my favorite.

Frankly, I find a huge, non-moderated, online bloggy pile-on to be unsavory. I can’t stand the heat, so I stay out of those particular kitchens.

Now, I can do this because I’m not a damn newspaper. But it’s astonishing to me that a damn newspaper cannot adjust to this sort of discourse. Of course, it might mean spending a little money and hiring people to monitor the posts properly. It’d be kind of stupid for Howell to wade through the raw postings, but once the initial clean-up of the inane “OMFG eat sh*t and die STOOPID C*NT” stuff gets done, I think it’s central to an omsbudsman’s job description to get in there and deal with it. I hate to see a grown-up, well-paid executive cry.


The victim, in the end, comes out smelling like a rose.

Sure. Just ask President Kerry and Senator Cleland.

Anyway, Howell deserved a good 95% of everything she got — and that 95% wasn’t ‘hate speech’, nor even overly excessive, given the immediacy of blogs. It wasn’t as threatening as a normal hour at Dean’s World, nor, sadly, as funny as a hour at Sadly No.


As they say, Jay, every rose has its thorn.


Jay got this one spot on, as the DU’s archive of the WaPo demonstrates.

The only way to view it as a “personal” attack is to forget that describing an incompetent, lying “ombudsman” as incompetent and/or lying isn’t a personal description, it’s a job review.


I think we have to give Deborah a lot of credit. Anyone who can make Danny Okrent (late of the NYT) look like a passable public editor is a miracle worker.


“as a victim of ridiculous volumes of hate speech”

BLT, that’s laughable on two counts:

1) You, a pseudonym on an electronic bulletin board, are portraying yourself as a victim.
2) Hate speech is at its core bigoted and intended to intimidate a person due to their race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, etc.

People vociferously and even lewdly refuting your political opinions does *not* qualify as hate speech. But go ahead and play the victim if it makes you happy.


Being a meeny-bo-beeny to BLT is hate speech…a hate crime, in fact.

So is responding to him sarcasti…oh, great. Now, I’ve committed a hate crime.


So now you have to arrest yourself?

Oy vey!


Let’s get back to Teh’s take on Jonah’s almost certain to be super innie navel. Boys and girls, that is such an innie, it is like The Forbidden World in there. I swear there will be dinosaurs in the fleshe enveloped core and K. Lo. Has anyone seen her lately?


yagi, bigotry also has to do with the way one is treated for their political views, and I have experiences some of it here. If you had been at the receiving end of some of the comments I have received, you’d be tempted to play the victim too. But I don’t wallow in my own victimization, not for too long anyway. I also have found friendly, nice, good people right here at Sadly, No!, so, along with my occasional whining, I must also say thank you to those good friends, ideologically lost, though they may be.


You could’ve used the words “moist”, “dank” or “loamy” in there somewhere, no?

I mean, when I think of Jonah’s innie, I…*urdle*

…oops. Threw up a bit in my mouth, there.


I’ve seen people being physically attacked because of their political views. That qualifies as a crime in my mind. But unkind words exchanged in an anonymous forum = hate crime?

Sadly, No!


bigotry also has to do with the way one is treated for their political views, and I have experiences some of it here.

What a load of shit.

Yagi’s got it right.


“Has anyone seen her lately?”

I thought I’d caught a glimpse of her ankles, but then I realized I was in Muir Woods.


Yagi, I never used the term “hate crime” to describe the verbal abuse directed towards me. I wouldn’t call it a crime, but it would definately qualify as hate speech.

spencer, can I quote you on that? That’s such a brilliant reply. How long did it take you to come up with that?


That is true, you did say hate speech and not hate crime. Fair enough.


I mean to be hateful.


“I mean to be hateful.”

And I hate to be mean. That’s what makes each of us unique, guss.


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