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.

News Analysis: Health care's political lift uncertain

Isn't it precious how the Courier editors found ways to undermine the news of the passage of health-care legislation?

The photo of Speaker Pelosi gaping in laughter is pretty bad, but this piece is a particularly egregious abuse of a news page in service to propaganda. Carried as news, it's nothing but political opinion, and obviously belongs on the op-ed page.

This is childish, guys, and your adult readers are generally capable of understanding it as such. Please make an attempt to grow up. You've got at least three more years of Democratic administration to suffer through. If you whine and tantrum like this over everything, why should anyone, left, right or center, trust anything in your paper?