Hey, where are all my yes-men?

There were those who said that if I went back to moderating comments, you’d only find those who agree with me.

That was, of course, patently ridiculous — nothing in my background would suggest that (I mean, have you EVER read the letters to the editor?) — but people said it as a way of trying to get me to back off. It’s the sort of wild, slashing insult that’s supposed to rock me on my heels and let the bad actors stay.

Not even I had expected the degree to which folks who used to defend me against the screamers now take me to task. Have you noticed it? I mean, I can’t seem to say anything right. Look back through the threads, and see if I’m right.

But the difference is, it’s civil. And that encourages people to step out and disagree, knowing they won’t be subjected to unwarranted hostility, that their disagreement will be respected — even when they disagree with me and are, therefore, wrong. (People even give me the room to kid around, but of course I won’t abuse the opportunity.)

It’s lively, and it’s constructive. In other words, it’s working. Have you noticed?

19 thoughts on “Hey, where are all my yes-men?

  1. kbfenner

    Well, we no longer have to defend you from “Jane, you ignorant slut” type jibes and can get to the meat of the matter, which is that you, while not a slut, nor ignorant in the sense of undereducated, are sometimes far too lazy and ignore well-stated points simply because you apply some rule-of-thumb ad hominem to reject the arguer.

    But we respect your right to do so.

  2. Greg Flowers

    I agree, but think that the same purpose could be achieved while allowing for a freer flow of conversation by using the “user approved for posting” function or whatever it is called. The vast majority of problems were caused by or were reactions to three individuals. Other itinerant sowers of discord can easily be dealt with as they arise.

  3. Brad Warthen

    That was a very funny line on Akroyd’s part. The sad irony is that the mode of discourse being mocked — the point-counterpoint shouting heads format — is now standard in the era of 24/7 TV “news” (there just isn’t that much news, so they have to fill the time somehow) and the mostly partisan blogosphere.

    The modern equivalent of that line is the guys who heckled Hillary Clinton by yelling “Iron my shirt!“…

  4. Maude Lebowski

    I love the new discussion format. I haven’t had time to contribute lately, but I’ve been reading and it’s not only more enjoyable and civil, it’s so much more informative. (Like your post on the Franken amendment and how your treatment differed from Jon Stewart’s infotainment version.)

    Good stuff.

  5. Elliott1

    I have noticed, and I like it. I have returned to reading the comments now that I don’t have to sift through them for a thoughtful one. Thanks.

  6. kbfenner

    Yes, where’s Brad’s birth certificate? What really IS this UnParty he talks about–a front for the Communist Nazi czars?

  7. Susan

    I’ve continued to lurk, as I don’t feel I have much to add to the current postings, but I will say this is so much better! I read the comments to the Franken posting and feel like I understand it much better than I did. Thanks!

  8. Doug Ross

    The key question is whether your web pages views are up or down. If they are down, then I would suggest that moderated comments may not be a good “business” decision.

  9. Randy E

    YES Brad, I’ve read those letters. YES, they are taking you to task. YES, I’ve noticed it’s working.

    Please don’t ban me. You are good enough, smart enough, and people like you!

  10. KP

    It’s a much more pleasant place to hang out now. I’m with Burl, though — I have this wicked urge to string together a bunch of words in no particular order and post them first and last on every thread. Marxist, radical socialist, unqualified, Bill Ayers, One World Government, fascist dictator, ignorant, birth certificate, czars, Bill Ayers, birth certificate, expert, birth cer…..

  11. Herb B.

    thanks, Brad, but no need to worry. I felt safer where I was than I do most places here. Not that feelings have that much to do with it, but people in the Middle East are generally very, very hospitable, and very protective of visitors.


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