Sunday, May 13, 2007

"Just you wait, Henry Higgins"

Ted Vaden is a professional journalist whose decades of devoted service to the Raleigh News & Observer were rewarded when he was made Public Editor.

Lately Vaden’s been using his Sunday column to campaign for a ban on anonymous comments at N&O blogs, including his.

Vaden says if Anon comments are banned, that will improve the “tone” of the N&O blogs.

Many readers believe he’s just trying to stifle exposure of his many failures as Public Editor. For example, Vaden’s never criticized the N&O for its failure to report promptly and fully the Duke lacrosse players' extensive cooperation with police. Nor has Vaden ever criticized the N&O for blaming the players, their parents and attorneys for its racially biased and often false Duke Hoax reporting.

Anon critics have been in the lead in pointing out the N&O's and Vaden’s failures.

Today I posted in response to Vaden: "Should the N&O ban Anons?"

A few hours later I received the comment you’ll see below. But first a few introductory words.

Remember Eliza Doolittle and Professor Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady? We learned from them:

”The rain in Spain is mainly on the plain.”
Now Henry Higgins’ comment to JinC:
What does not seem to be addressed in the N&O article is the plain fact that ALL blog comments are essentially anonymous.

There is no mechanism on the web to ensure the true identity of ANY user.


Henry Higgins
22 Baker Street
London, England
Thanks, Professor Higgins


AMac said...

Baker Street... hmmm, how irregular.

Anonymous said...

"Ted Vaden is a professional journalist whose decades of devoted service to the Raleigh News & Observer were rewarded when he was made Public Editor."

Really? And I thought Vaden was made Public Editor as a way to put him out to pasture before he ran the Chapel Hill News into the ground. The impression at the time was that the move was not his choice.

Have you read any of his editorials and columns from the CHN? Ted could be an honorary G88 member.

Anonymous said...

Is Vaden simply trying to divert attention from the March 2006 failures of his newspaper?

Anonymous said...

I think it is really some choice irony that Darth Vaden is bagging on anoymous posters given the way he ran the Chapel Hill News, a piece of litter I find in my driveway twice a week.

In late 2002 or early 2003, the CHCCS school system decided to get rid of advanced math and advanced language arts classes in two of the middle schools. Parents complained that some students needed the rigor of the advanced classes and that they should be kept.

In the "Roses and Raspberries" column on the editorial page, these parents were attacked as "racists and elitists". Vaden did not put his name on this ugly accusation but I heard the smug jerk boasting about it with my own ears. For Vaden, racism is his hammer and, like a four year old with a hammer, anything and everything looks like a nail.

The irony, of course, is that Vaden and other people who were labelling parents as racists were the real racists themselves because it was they who suggested that advanced academics were only for white or affluent kids. Some of the most offended people in the district were AA parents who have high achieving children.

He is a complete fraud and one of the most dishonest people I have had the misfortune to meet since moving here. It is disingenuous weasels like him who caused so much damaged to the credibility of print media.

wayne fontes said...

Is Ted Vaden reviewing the use of anonymous sources in his newspaper? I doubt it. A reader can easily discount an anonymous comment or investigate the claim the commenter made. The reader can't investigate an anonymous source. There are good reasons anonymous sources are used by newspapers and I think the same apply to anonymous comments.

straightarrow said...

Smokescreen. When one registers to comment on the N&O's blogs there is a requirement for your name and email, before you can use your screen name or nom de electron, if you prefer.

They have your contact information if they wish to use it. Vaden is simply hoping that those of us who use screen names to avoid overloaded inboxes will be intimidated into silence.

The word "twerp" comes to mind, don't know why it keeps popping into my head, but it does.