Saturday, November 22, 2008

Why People Comment Online

Being that we just recently added comment sections to our stories on, and that we were flooded with online responses to critique our Decision 2008 coverage, this caught my eye in Esquire magazine.

Two very different takes on why people comment online, sometimes inanely, again via Esquire:

Response 1, by Paul Levinson, professor of communications at Fordham University: "What makes the Internet different is that it's so easy to express frustration. Sometimes, people are too cowardly to assert themselves in person. They don't want to be shouted down, or they may know what they're saying is absurd. But for those kinds of people, the anonymous empowerment of the Internet is like a drug. They're not just expressing anger, but authority.

Response 2, by Mike Birbiglia, stand-up comedian: "Comment sections offer this great opportunity for morons to show the world they don't know the difference between their, there and they're. It's as if Brian Williams finished every segment by saying, 'That's all I got. Now does anybody have any batshit-zany e-mails they'd like me to read out loud?' The worst part is, I'll start to second-guess myself: Huh. I thought his name was spelled "Barack Obama", but according to squidbaby44, "Barak HUSSEIN Osama is a secrit mooslim!"
Just a little levity folks, keep those comments coming:)


whistleblower said...

And then there are some of us that provide information that the "mainstream media" refuses to acknowledge, or incorrectly reports.

for example:

1. David Cantanese incorrectly reported that Sarah Steelman supported adoption of the Missouri Plan for Greene County. Treasurer Steelman sent David an e-mail stating that she didn't support adoption of the Missouri Plan in Greene County, however, David was "too busy" to correct the error until after the stoyy had grown stale. --David did find the time to write a "fluff" story about "10 Things We Won't Miss In 18 Days" in the meantime.

2. David Cantanese has knowledge, and was presented with supporting records, about a judge that lost retention (one of only two since 1940) after three bar associations gave the judge bad reports. This judge, John Hutcherson, was sitting on the bench in Camden County (KY3's viewing area), where he had been appointed as a Senior Judge by the Missouri Supreme Court. Are bad judges treated like Catholic Priests?

KY3 viewers should be very afraid when a political reporter is too busy or just plain fails to provide information that may protect his viewers. It's kind of sad when "bloggers" are forced to report the truth.

David Catanese said...


1. I initially reported that Steelman supported the plan, because I was told by the backers she was behind it. I immediately contacted Steelman, and she provided me with her position, which I then reported. You can argue with the timing of the report, but it certainly wasn't stale. It was just a few days later. You can argue with the timing of reports all you want, but media organizations always determine when they will post, publish or broadcast a story for a variety of reasons.

2) I had the knowledge of Hutcherson case because you provided me with information about it. During the election cycle, I was bombarded with lots of information on all topics that I simply was never able to get to. Any rational reader knows that we work hard to try to get as much information out there as possible.

For the past two years, this blog has significantly added content and new information to the political conversation in the Ozarks and all of Missouri. To charge me with withholding any type of information is a perplexing charge.

But that's why we have comment sections, so you can vent and share the information you would like, that we may not get to.

I'm happy to see you take use of this opportunity frequently.

whistleblower said...

"I had the knowledge of Hutcherson case because you provided me with information about it"

And in the FIVE WEEKS that have passed since you were informed about Judge Hutcherson, how many times did you "sound the alarm"?

It's your viewers that are hurt by this unreported activity. Maybe you can provide us with a good reason for not reporting it?

And the Missouri Bar Association (who thinks we should trust them); do you think none of their members knew anything about the reason Hutcherson was not retained?

The people are getting tired of the media's failure to report the truth.

Why don't you right a story about the reason we have "freedom of the press". The research may teach you a little about your responsibility to sound the alarm. -You can start with Federalist #84