February 12, 2006
The executive editor of the Washington Post Web site, Jim Brady, got caught in a firestorm of protest on Jan. 19 after he closed the comments section of the Post's new blog because of a flood of hateful comments. In today's Outlook section he sets out to defend his action and laments the sad, bilious, and often profane tone that prevails in much of the "blogosphere." It happens that in this case, the outrage was expressed by Democrats (or like-minded people) who were protesting a somewhat misleading statement that lobbyist Jack Abramoff gave money to both parties. It only reinforces my impression that cyberspace manners these days are generally much worse on the Left than on the Right. It also validates my reluctance to follow fashion by enabling a comments feature on my blog. I do welcome e-mail feedback, however.
One of the editorials in today's Post praised Virginia state Senator Emmett Hanger for his compromise measure on immigration, which I wrote about on Friday. (In Republican circles, a kind word from the Post is not necessarily considered a good thing.) The editorial highlighted Sen. Hanger's family experience with immigration as motivating his "change of heart," which reminds me that this is one of those divisive social issues on which opinions depend to a large extent on personal experience. It has certainly shaped my attitude on the issue, and try as I might, I can't pretend to be totally objective. It would take book's worth of explanation to convey to someone lacking such experience what the contemporary immigration situation is really like.