Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Editorial: Lessons in responsibility

Today the unnamed Courier editor references the attempted assassination of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the killings of six others last year to make a responsible point about the tenor of our public discourse that encourages the weak-minded to radicalization and violence. This vital topic has been missing from these pages till now, and hear, hear.
   But there's one important element missing. The editor writes of "a political discourse that, while considered provocative for generations before, now takes vile viral. Previously-unheard of levels of amplified propaganda spread like wildfire via the Internet and 21st century social networks. Self-editing is a thing of the past. Untrue statements become permanent public record for billions to access in minutes. Scurrilous opinions become the information superhighway's proverbial red meat for an audience looking to radicalize their (sic) own ideologies."
    Yup, the trash talk the editor despises is only on the Internet. Not in the mainstream media, not in The Daily Courier. Not his fault.
    I'll be more convinced of the editor's sincerity when I see evidence that he's vetting the weekly right-wing rent-a-columns, ranting letters and his own editorials to eliminate the lies, distortions and hate speech that fuel resentment, bigotry and intolerance. Perhaps he can then move on to assign someone to enforce his comments policy against personal attacks. There's a lot to do. Drive the snakes from your own nest first.