I'm sorry he felt that way, but I have to admit that he had a point.
A number of these blogs, such as ones run by Mike Reese, Mike Reino, Lauren Manning, and Sunny Phillips and myself clearly identify who owns/publishes them. The ones who are most vicious in what they have to say, both blog publishers and comment posters, tend to be anonymous (is anyone surprised?). These attacks have included:
- One candidate getting in a bar fight with a legislator,
- A legislator's favorite brand of booze,
- One candidate making shady deals with video poker,
- Another candidate is a really a Democrat and "Satan" himself.
One reason I've hesitated to get into discussion of SC politics on my blog is because I didn't want to get drug through the mud, or have my blog used as an attack vehicle. Since I decided to test the waters, personal attacks, threats, and other childishness that had never been part of the discussion on my blog now pop up in the comments regularly. Some of them I approve, some I don't.
There is nothing wrong with speaking clearly on the issues, but if one is willing to make claims, they need to be able to stand behind them. People have more respect for those who make harsh claims and criticisms when they have the cojones to put their names to them. While some may have legitimate reasons for concealing their identity, others use anonymity as a weapon, not a shield, both as bloggers and posters on blogs.
Let's try to clean up our act.
Based on how media figures are tuning in and getting story leads and inputs from SC blogs that deal with politics, in part or whole, we have the potential to have some real influence out there, broaden the dialogue, and bring some valuable perspectives to the table that wouldn't have been included in the political process before. Those are good things - let's not let the rogues ruin them.