Monday, February 25, 2008

What's the website of the Times Picayune? Did you say Silly you. James Gill is here to set you straight in an op-ed about Nagin's latest insane outburst:

The security question came up after Nagin complained about blogs on a website affiliated with, but not controlled by, the Times-Picayune.

Gill is the kind of crusty of old newsman that we approve of here, but if you're going to write about contemporary life do a little research. This is a blog that you're reading right now. Comments on a story do not make a blog.

But what about the contention that is just some random website that reprints stories from the Picayune? There's more:

The Web site posts articles from the paper and invites reader comments. Among readers taking advantage of that opportunity, Nagin said, are "some of the most vile, angry people that I've ever seen in this community."

He is absolutely correct. Some of those bloggers can put a racist spin on a weather report, although it seems a bit of a stretch to blame the newspaper for that.

Yes, the paper takes no moral responsibility for what's printed by the website that's presented as the online face of the paper. I mean, the Times-Picayune and the website are run by completely different units of the Advance Publications. That would be like assuming that Allstate Insurance Co. and Allstate Indemnity Co. are the same company, and only a fool, for example Jarvis Deberry, would be that silly. creates a platform for hatred and bigotry. When you allow unmoderated, anonymous comments then you end up with the kind of filth the fills that site. Do the editors not understand that, no matter what the org chart at Advance Publications says, is the website for the paper. And people talk about those comments as much as they talk about the articles.

Now, maybe Gill is just out of touch and doesn't get the whole internet thing. I wonder what Chris Rose says, because he's down with the kids. Turns out that same day Rose made this lawyerly sounding statement about "the comments about my stories on our affiliated Web site,"

Why do I suspect a memo went out advising all writers to keep at arms length. Back away slowly from the internet, and no one gets hurt.

Correction: The original post referred to "Dan Gill," the crusty old gardening columnist, instead of "James Gill," the crusty old op-ed writer. Sometimes it's hard to keep the old men straight. Thanks to a commenter for pointing this out.


3peat said...

Dan Gill's the paper's crusty old gardening columnist. James Gill is the crusty old newsman.

Media Maven said...

You are right. It's been corrected.