I was reading The Liberty Zone‘s take on the New York Times and their complicity publishing of the State Department memos illegally obtained by WikiLeaks and decided to stroll over the opinion page on the Gray Whore On Line. I did not manage to reach the intended op-ed because the picture of a laptop wearing a balaclava caught my attention. Op-Ed Contributor Julie Zhuo’s “Where Anonymity Breeds Contempt” is an amazing piece. Of what I won’t say.
That somebody in the media is actually vying for legislation that come close to resurrect the Sedition Law is just par for the course. Yes, I am not surprised that the NYT would actually demand that the Government should go out and punish those who “troll” their articles. But what is Trolling? According to Ms. Zhuo “is defined as the act of posting inflammatory, derogatory or provocative messages in public forums.” The problem resides in how to determine what posting is inflammatory, derogatory or provocative and this is so open ended and subjective, you pretty much can rest assured anything the author or owner does not like (as in a conservative reader expressing a dissenting opinion) can be considered posting inflammatory, derogatory or provocative.
Ms. Zhuo tries to inject a shot of credibility by quoting the Classics: ” Morality, Plato argues, comes from full disclosure; without accountability for our actions we would all behave unjustly.” Damn, now that sounds civilized! Problem is that media types are not accountable in 99% of the times they behave “unjustly.” Other than a couple of young journos that stole from other authors or making a big media hash of of false documents (What has Dan Rather been doing lately), Journalists pretty much get away with murder…literally. If you don’t believe me, do a bit of research about Michael Isikoff and his false report on Guantanamo Guards flushing the Koran down the toilet and the people that died in Pakistan because of the riots in protest against such violation of their religion. Last I heard Mr. Isikoff is doing quite well and free as a bird although he got a new laptop on account on the spilled blood all over the keyboard of the old one.
Ms. Zhuo goes on to rant about cyber bullies and other potatoes, but the simple solutions escape her. Pay attention now Julie: Solution One is to delete the offending posts. Solution Two is to ignore them. Solution Three is to make fun of the Trolls. Bloggers have been doing this for a while now and works fine and without government intervention. If you are too busy sucking on the latest Tofu Latte Mochaccino with Organic Sprinkles, you may request from your editor to hire somebody to delete the posts that offend you. Oh crap, I forgot you guys are losing subscriptions and having to fire people. Sorry!
I wonder why.