Righteous Indignation and a Blogger’s Responsibility

The left-side of the local blogosphere is atwitter with calls to fire WPRO’s Dan Yorke for an assertion/information he let slip during his show. (I won’t repeat the comment, you can find it on your own.) However, what I did find interesting was that a similar assertion had been made in the comments section (the last one) of one of the righteously indignant blogs almost exactly two years ago. It raises an interesting question: if it’s not OK for Yorke to publicly assert something, regardless of whether or not it’s common knowledge, what responsibility do we as bloggers have to ensure that our anonymous commenters don’t do the same? Or does anonymity confer a mantle of plausible deniability for us?
I know that we at Anchor Rising let our commenters have a pretty free reign, but we have, in the past, removed comments that have made assertions that we would consider un-provable or distasteful. As part of the “new media” bloggers need to keep an eye out for such things in their comments section. I’m not trying to be holier-than-thou, after all, there are probably still a few “hearsay” comments floating around our comments sections, too. As named bloggers who have “ownership” of these sites, we are responsible for what is asserted by anonymous commenters on our blogs. Thus, it behooves us to reign in the “gossip” to help strengthen our position as “serious” news/commentary outlets. The trick is to do it without scaring away people. (I know, we’ve had this discussion before).
Update: For those interested in blogger-navel gazing, I posed a shorter version of this as a comment over at RI Future (comment #40), to which I’ve received a response (#44) and have replied (#50).

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17 years ago

Simple: Avedesian is simply not conservative enough for the almighty Yorke. There is some specualation about Avedesian taking a run at federal office next year (or governor in ’10), and Scott is probably the strongest potential GOP candidate out there. Therefore, Danny’s got to cut this off at the pass now.
That said, I hope PRO doesn’t fire him. I don’t want him leaving with the satisfaction of proclaiming himself a free speech martyr (like Imus tries to). May his Providence radio career suffer death by a thousand cuts instead.

Matt Jerzyk
17 years ago

Hey Marc,
I responded again to you at the RI Future post. Check it out.

17 years ago

atwitter here, atwitter there, pretty soon we may make some noise! Thanks for the link Marc

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