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Comments that get people in trouble

   As of about 1:30 Tuesday afternoon, the score was News Editor 489, Hack Writer 0. Comments, that is.
   From the Sunday Viewpoints section:

- Seeking a return to civility in online comments - Margaret Sullivan/The Buffalo News
   Some editors were sitting in a news meeting one morning not long ago, bemoaning the often outrageous,Sullivan_margaret intolerant and hateful online “comments” attached to stories on The News Web site, when News Business Editor Grove Potter uttered a simple but eloquent truth:
   “Let’s face it,” he said. “We’ve created a class of anonymous flamethrowers.”
   He’s right. We have. And shortly, we’re about to change that dramatically
- It’s time for news sites to stop allowing anonymous online comments - Rem Rieder/American Journalism Review
   Comments sections are often packed with profanity and vicious personal attacks. The opportunity to launch brutal assaults from the safety of a computer without attaching a name does wonders for the bravery levels of the angry.
 The anonymous back-stabbing of Internet message boards - Leonard Pitts/Miami Herald/Seattle Times
  It must have seemed like a great idea at the time.
- Anonymous comments part of online life - Michael Silence/The Knoxville News Sentinel
  The sanctimonious, high-brow bloviating by some Ivory Tower types is getting old - like half a decade old.
   On the heals of recently discovering the Internet (sarcasm intended), some are now hyperventilating about anonymous online comments.
   Hello? What do you think has been happening on talk radio for, oh, decades?
- Inside the mind of the anonymous online poster - Neil Swidey/The Boston Globe
   News websites from across the country struggle to maintain civility in their online comments forums. But given their anonymous nature and anything-goes ethos, these forums can sometimes feel as ungovernable as the tribal lands of Pakistan

- Thomas should have kept her opinion to herself - George Pyle/The Buffalo News
   About the only thing President Obama and I have in common — other than the fact that we were both born in the United States — is that both of us have been grilled by Helen Thomas.
   It happened to me only once. It won’t happen to Obama, or any other president, again. And that’s sad.
   Thomas, long the queen of the
White House Press Room, was abruptly turned out to pasture a couple of weeks ago when she made the mistake of answering a question instead of asking one, and answering it stupidly.
- I asked Helen Thomas about Israel. Her answer revealed more than you think - David F. Nesenoff/For The Washington Post
- The Siege of Helen - James Wolcott/Vanity Fair
   ... now that the flash-mob tribunal has dispersed, it's worth taking a longer lensed look at how the fuse was lit and the bad faith of her journalistic jury... 
- Will Beck and Limbaugh be next? - Joan Vennochi/The Boston Globe
   The statements Thomas made — that the Jews of Israel should go back to Poland and Germany — were rightly denounced. Still, there was something perverse about the delight in her demise that was taken, especially by conservative commentators.

  Here's the video that got Helen in so much trouble:

-- George Pyle/The Buffalo News


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