(Fred Weinberg) – I’ve always been flattered by the fact that this site has picked up and republished my commentary both from the Penny Press online and the Elko Independent, which we also publish.
I only have one small idea to make the site better.
Why not require those who comment to list their name and city? And then, make sure that they’re real people.
We run letters to the editor in our newspapers, and, both for liability and credibility reasons, we will not even consider printing an anonymous letter. In fact, we verify that the letter writer is who he or she says they are.
But luminaries such as “Buster” can drool on their keyboards and have their spittle published, apparently because they can both fog a mirror and find an Internet connection.
I want to be clear. As far as I’m concerned, you can write anything you want to because this is America. If you want to disagree with something I write, go ahead. You even have a small chance of changing my mind. This site (and our newspapers, for that matter) are about ideas and good ideas rarely come from anonymous.
But one of the problems with the Internet is the anonymity which is so easy to take advantage of.
If we forced people to identify themselves before they bloviate, two things would happen. One is that the comments would instantly have more credibility. And two is that people would be more polite and careful because then, words might actually have consequences.
If we continue to allow anonymous comments you get the “Busters” of the world who have little to say and say it poorly.
Why give alleged people like Buster any credibility at all?
Force him to come out of his (or her) little closet. Maybe he (or she) is a tenured Professor at UNLV. Maybe he (or she) is an Ecstasy user who frequents nightclubs on the Strip. Maybe he (or she) is an Executive at MGM Resorts. Maybe he (or she) runs meth for a Mexican cartel. The point is that he (or she) should be forced to at least identify himself or herself to the readers.
I’ll go one step further.
Buster, whoever or whatever you are, you can actually call me at 775-623-5203 extension 9.
Be polite or it will be a very short conversation.