Friday, March 28, 2008

Comments: up, down and out

I need to say a few things about comments at JinC.

First, for many weeks I’ve been using comment enabled. If you’re not familiar with it, it allows me to view each comment and decide to post or delete it.

Comment enabled explains the delay which sometimes occurs with your comments. Also, I’ve been having email trouble but that’s for another time.

I’ve deleted some comments – the outs.


Some are racist. I’ll repeat again something I said a month or so after the Duke lacrosse case broke and some commenters were directing racists comments at the players while others were directing racist comments at the accuser: there are plenty of sites where both groups can make racists remarks.

Something else while I’m on the subject: a person may be free to say something but that doesn’t mean I have to host it at my blog.

Everyone has so many blogs to choose from; but I can only moderate and delete here. So we can all be happy.

I’ve let a few comments through I shouldn’t have. Most of you can easily spot them. I’m sorry for my judgment errors. I’ll work to do better.

That said, the overwhelming majority of your comments are consistent with the standards here and add to this blog. I’ve said it before, but it always bears repeating: a lot of “the best” at JinC is on the comment threads.

I continue to be impressed by the willingness, intelligence and character which enables you to make civil, fact-based, thoughtful comments and avoid ad hominems and unnecessary put-downs.

I don’t want this to get too long; it is, after all, a blog, not school.

So I’ll end now but return a few times in the coming days to the matters of comments and criticisms.



RedMountain said...

Hard to avoid racist comments when the subject of so many of your posts is the alledged racism of the Rev. Wright and by osmosis, Obama. I haven't seen the posts you have deleted (or not allowed in the first place) but I have no objection to any of the posts I have seen allowed.

It is difficult to combat racism or to change someone's mind about their view of a particular person or group without allowing them to first have their say. Just my opinion.

JWM said...

To RM,

There's a difference between people who want to discuss remarks by an individual and people who view an individual's remarks as reflective of the intelligence, character, etc. of everyone, or even most people, who belong to that group.

Example, just because 88 Duke faculty members sign a statement thanking people who rallied under a CASTRATE banner and directed other physical threats at Duke students is doesn't give us the right to condemn all Duke faculty as being the same as the 88.

As for giving racists of any color a place to express their racism, this isn't that kind of blog. But there are plenty out there that are.


Danvers said...


I wouldn't even bother responding to "Redmountain", and would strongly advise you to take anything he says with a bucketful of salt! If anyone disagrees with anything he, or his alter ego "Mark Rougemont", has to say then they are automatically a racist. His PC rhetoric long ago ceased to be anything but boring!

Red/Mark If you had anything original to say, then maybe some would take you seriously.

Anonymous said...

Thanks John

The only whining I've ever had about the comments was when we had to enter those codes that were so difficult to read. Many times I just gave up on posting them here and at other blogs.

The Anon's make it more difficult to keep track of which posts are by someone that has already commented. Not much a problem here really, as most let all know who they are. It was a problem that led me to avoiding comments at KC's.

On a positive note, not to criticize your work, comments can be the highlight of a blog now & then.


Note of humor: "blog", an IT tech word, is always ID'd as incorrect in spell check systems on IT systems.

JWM said...

To Danvers,

I come and go on the question of whether RM is a troll.

On the matter of anyone taking him seriously, over many months a number of commenters have while others have not.

I appreciate your comments.

In the next few days I plan to post some things that are not typical of the usual we get from MSM.

Example: That many blacks are offended by claims Wright's remarks are typical of what one hears in black churches.

I hope you continue to read and comment.


I think I take each part of your comments here as you meant them.

Time will tell.

Question: Did you think even 5 years ago there'd be an opportunity for people like you to come right in behind the N&O editors and H-S stories and add your fact-based citizen journalism?

Thank you both.

This unproofed.


RedMountain said...

It is hard to take you seriously when you claim I call anyone who disagrees with me a racist. If anything, I have tried to be more tolerent and understanding of other views and opinions that I don't agree with. The point I was trying to make was a simple one. If the subject of discussion is racism you are going to get remarks that cross the line of a civil debate to one of name-calling, insults, and accusations of racism. John makes a good point regarding the Group of 88, I would even take that further and say I beleive that not all of that group are racist or hate the Lacorsse players because of race, gender, or social standing. I also beleive that some of the Duke Administration members named in these various lawsuits were not part of a conspiracy to frame the Lacrosse players.
I have not called John a racist because of his views on Obama nor do I call you a racist because of your views about me. Several people here have called me a troll and have implied that I post here because of nefarious motivations. I don't believe that John wants this place to be a cheerleading squad with no dissent or opportunity to debate the issues.

Danvers said...

Red - A troll by any other name sounds just the same

Anonymous said...


Let's pretend it's circa 1943 and you're operating the John-in-Westminster blog. You receive a post from Winston Churchill that includes the bigoted comment "I know my Huns".

What words would you use to try to put this misguided soul back on track?