We interrupt these blog posts for a reminder of the rules for commenting on our Web site.
The vast majority of the people who post on our Web site's blogs are courteous and thoughtful, and we appreciate the time they take to share their opinions and have their voices heard.
However, the nastiness of some of the recent comments and the personal attacks from a select few have had a chilling effect on people who might otherwise want to take part in the online discussion.
The blogs are intended to provide a forum for discussion, legitimate disagreement and energetic debate. They are not intended to provide cover for anonymous spitting matches and hate mongering.
The rules, posted on each blog, read:
"Please use good taste, be respectful of other writers, keep comments relevant to the post and do not impersonate someone else. We are not responsible for the comments on this blog, but we reserve the right to remove any that are libelous, obscene, threatening, abusive, or otherwise offensive, and to block any user who does not follow these guidelines."
Reporter James Heaney had it right several weeks ago when he provided a similar notice on his Outrages & Insights blog:
"As in print, The News reserves the right to control the content it publishes online. We are in the news business and are not interested in hosting an online food fight."