LA Times columnist posts anonymous comments, has his blog suspended | 802 Online
Pin It
Favorite

Friday, April 21, 2006

LA Times columnist posts anonymous comments, has his blog suspended

Posted By on Fri, Apr 21, 2006 at 10:39 AM

Here's a story from today's Washington Post about Michael Hiltzik, a Pulitzer Prize winning columnist and blogger for the LA Times. Howard Kurtz writes that Hiltzik's blog was suspended when editors discovered that he had been posting comments to other blogs using fake names.

Hiltzik has apparently been sniping at conservative bloggers like Hugh Hewitt anonymously, and the LAT says that's a violation of its policy for reporters and editors to "identify themselves when dealing with the public." They're investigating the matter.

Hiltzik hasn't denied that he's been an anonymous troll. Before the editors suspended his blog, he wrote a response to one of the convervatives who complained about him:

"This is amusing, because most of the comments posted on his websiteare anonymous or pseudonymous. . . . Anonymity for commenters is afeature of his blog, as it is of mine. It's a feature that he canwithdraw from his public any time he wishes. He has chosen to do thatin one case only, and we might properly ask why. The answer is thathe's ticked off that someone would disagree with him."

Well, maybe. But my gut reaction to this is that he shouldn't have been commenting anonymously. Anonymous commenters get to side-step responsibility for their remarks, and generally tend to dillute the conversation. People feel much freer to unleash their spiteful sides anonymously, and that's not really productive. Look no further than this thread about that Explore New England blogger plagiarist for evidence. I say responsible bloggers and journalists need to set high standards for themselves if they want to be taken seriously as sources of reliable information.

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

Pin It
Favorite

About The Author

Cathy Resmer

Cathy Resmer

Bio:
Cathy Resmer is a former staff writer and currently an associate publisher at Seven Days, and is one of the organizers of the Vermont Tech Jam. She's also the Copublisher and Executive Editor of Kids VT, Seven Days' free monthly parenting publication.

More by Cathy Resmer

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Keep commenting classy! Read our guidelines...

Note: Comments are limited to 300 words.

Latest in 802 Online

Social Club

Like Seven Days contests and events? Join the club!

See an example of this newsletter...

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative
newsletters:

All content © 2017 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401
Website powered by Foundation