Monday, March 22, 2010

The animals are growing bold

Yesterday we saw several particularly scary comments from a guy signing himself "1 of we the people" and identifying with the tea-party cult, expressing that "only white men are responsible enough" to carry guns and make public policy decisions, etc. The editor came in this morning and trimmed out the worst of it, but we still have part of his rant about the military being "out to get us" to justify violence.

This sort of paranoia is the inevitable result of whipping up fear over nothing and using it for political gain. Readers have to bear in mind that as we chuckle over the juvenile political antics of the Courier editors, there are serious consequences for allowing our media to jump off into extremism. "1 of we the people" is among a tiny number of sick individuals who eat this stuff up, and as they move deeper into it, eventually one of them goes over the line and starts hurting people.

As it can happen anywhere, it can happen here, and our only defense against it is prevention. A big part of that is moderating our public discourse and acting like responsible adults.

Update, Tuesday: Like I said.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well said. I've thought for a long time that the Courier prints articles that they know will be flash points for the crazies just to see if people are really out there. The Courier frequently prints letters from "writers" who only write in to respond to other writers. I'd like to see a bit more moderation to force those inclined to comment to stay on point. If that were done, I think the Courier would climb up a few notches on the class meter.