Monday, April 21, 2008


Nitpicker of the Day

So you guys deleted my comment showing sympathy for the lasy [lady] and let derogatory posts thats calling her names here.Speask volumes about your site. Bye.

I did. For poor grammar and spelling, and for failing to space after punctuation marks. Content played no part in my decision.

McClatchy's Moderator

—Comments to the story "Obama questioner explains why she finds him annoying"

I would be more critical, but the McClatchy reporters stood alone in questioning the lead-up to the Iraq invasion. Maybe there's something to be said for dotting your i's and crossing your t's.

Still, such a policy must silence a lot of voices and construct a distorted picture of the state of the nation. A further drawback is that it feeds the belief in a left-wing media bias that's been inculcated in the "bitter people" of Pennsylvania and elsewhere.

An alternative to exclusion would be to edit such comments, with a note at the end stating that the comment has been edited for readability. After all, newspapers edit their own reporters and opinion-writers for grammar and punctuation as well as for content, which can have the effect of making them appear smarter and/or dumber than they are.

Editing for readability is in fact the Simply Appalling policy, though it's seldom called into play given the level of literacy of the readers and the dearth of comments.

Any thoughts?

Follow-up post
Update on "Nitpicker of the Day" (4/22/08)


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