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Absolutely beyond the pale

Monday, Dec 9, 2013

* We all know that newspaper comment sections are often vile cesspools of hatred and bigotry. But check out this letter to the editor regarding gay marriage which was actually published by the Champaign News-Gazette

If it were known that these lawmakers would be the ones who would have turned homosexual-marriage into law, they probably would’ve been drowned at birth.



The News-Gazette’s contact info is here, just in case you wanna let them know how you feel about their decision to publish that monstrosity.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Chicago Cynic - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 11:00 am:

    Unfortunately, I’ve seen much worse in the comment sections, particularly on this topic.

  2. - Rich Miller - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 11:04 am:

    Frankly, if somebody left a comment like that at my blog I’d seriously consider informing the Illinois State Police.

    To actually publish such a letter in a newspaper is just unforgivable.

  3. - RonOglesby - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 11:04 am:

    Hate for homosexuality so strong you will advocate murder? who the hell lets that in the paper.

    I respect when papers will put in letters that are for or against any policy/laws. BUT sometimes I often wonder if those picking the letters to print dont take those form the other side (other than their own opinion) and pick the worst to paint all those on the opposite side in the worst possible light. “You dont agree with SSM you are the same as this guy…”

  4. - Ned Nederlander - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 11:05 am:

    This same gentleman(using the term loosely) suggested that ghosts are haunting factories in Champaign. Top letter writer!

  5. - Chavez-respecting Obamist - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 11:08 am:

    The unforgivable part is thinking in that matter. Publishing it just lets other people know how vile a human being this guy is. If I ever meet him I now know to run screaming in the opposite direction.

  6. - Wensicia - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 11:08 am:

    I especially despise those who cloak themselves in religion to justify their hate and bigotry.

    It’s disturbing to know a legitimate news source would publish this garbage.

  7. - Buster - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 11:11 am:

    Stay classy, Champaign!

  8. - Del Wasso - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 11:11 am:

    When the legal bedroom activities of a citizen morphs into a measuring stick by which we allow or prohibit who that citizen can or can not marry, you can’t claim to support ‘’small'’ government any more.

  9. - wordslinger - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 11:14 am:

    I don’t understand why newspapers give up their web pages to the nuts. It debases their brands.

  10. - walkinfool - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 11:15 am:

    These kinds of messages are frighteningly frequent in legislators’ mail and calls. You should have seen what the horse slaughter bill produced from across this country. Some “pro-life” extremists call for the death-penalty for those who stand against them, with no awareness of the irony.

    Good policy never to publish them.

  11. - Just Me - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 11:26 am:

    I’m willing to bet the paper knows how horrible this letter is, and published it to embarrass the writer, who probably won’t sleep very easy tonight and may re-think his stance.

    Countdown to the paper issuing an editorial soon justifying their LTE policy in 3…2….1….

  12. - Kakistocracy Kid - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 11:31 am:

    Who are we to question the love (and rights) between two people?

  13. - Carl Nyberg - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 11:34 am:

    The Northwest Indiana Times, which is an excellent local paper for news, allows stuff in the letters to the editor that would not been approved at other papers I’ve read.

    NWI Times has no problem using the LTE section to launder Right Wing lies, misinformation and bigotry.

    They actually signed-off on a letter that said Blacks didn’t pull their share of casualties in the US military.

    IMO, no letter to the editor should include information that is false in a way that is objectively verifiable. And if the letter contains rhetorically trickery that leaves the reader with a false impression it should also be rejected.

  14. - Phineas J. Whoopee - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 11:39 am:

    So much for judge not lest you be judged.

  15. - so... - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 11:41 am:

    I share your disgust at the sentiment.

    But I say publish the letter. If some hateful moron wants to self-identify, then it’s easier for me to know who I don’t want to associate with.

  16. - Skirmisher - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 11:47 am:

    It is figure of speech, Rich, not a threat. So lighten up. “Free speech” deserves very wide boundaries and expressing the opinion that some legislators should have been drowned at birth is more humorous than criminal. I dare say a large percentage of your readers have shared that view from time to time.

  17. - Jimbo - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 11:54 am:

    Where is drowned at birth considered a figure of speech Skirmisher? Or are you trolling?

  18. - Lester Holt's Mustache - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 11:58 am:

    “expressing the opinion that some legislators should have been drowned at birth is more humorous than criminal”

    Oh yeah, because sane and rational people make those jokes all the time! Why, I was just telling my co-workers how all those guys voting for pension reform should’ve been aborted! That got a ton of chuckles around the water cooler, let me tell you. Nothing says “funny” like infanticide jokes, I’ve always said.

  19. - jim - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 12:01 pm:

    [This commenter has been banned for life.]

  20. - downstate commissioner - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 12:02 pm:

    Agree with Skirmisher. Jimbo, in my area this would be considered a figure of speech. Can think of a lot worse- the comment that would come to my mind would get me banned from this blog…
    Don’t agree with the guy at all, but most of you are overreacting to the comment.

  21. - Rich Miller - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 12:04 pm:

    Skirmisher, if you ever use a similar “figure of speech” on this blog, that’ll be the last time you comment here.

    Just sayin…

  22. - Noper - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 12:16 pm:

    Why are we at all surprised by this? The News-Gazette published in today’s edition a letter that suggests that the November tornadoes in Illinois were divine retribution for the vote on gay marriage.

  23. - OneMan - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 12:20 pm:

    Yes “free speech” gives great latitude in what can be said when it comes to government stopping you. However maturity, intelligence, politeness and a host of other things provides both personal filters and well as social filters help produce a civil society.

    There are a great many ways to question a decision from any entity without questioning if the decision results in the people making it losing the right to live.

    Of all things to say this about same sex marriage, really? Do people think folks are now doing more ‘gay whatever’ than they were before this passed?

  24. - Lester Holt's Mustache - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 12:23 pm:

    Free speech does deserve wide boundaries, but only from your government. It does not and should not protect you against being labeled an idiot on the internet.

    Do people do this now? Make “figure of speech” jokes about how someone should have been killed at birth if they don’t agree with your political point of view? I’ll admit that I’m getting pretty old - but between Skirmisher, jim, and downstate commissioner defending - is this is a new thing the kids are doing and I just don’t get it?

  25. - ChelseaBlue - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 12:24 pm:

    This may be a bit of a stretch for analysis, but I think it is safe to say that individual isn’t playing with a full deck. The comment is bad enough, but to then attach your name to it? He’s either not intelligent enough to know the backlash it will create, or (and I find this more likely) he’s fully aware of the backlash, but has convinced himself that dissent is proof of his superiority.

  26. - DJ - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 12:25 pm:

    Free speach means someone can something so, it doesn’t mean i have to listen to it, nor does it mean papers have to publish it.

  27. - Allocute - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 12:28 pm:

    In my opinion, do not attack the messenger.

    Media should not censor received messages unless it violates law.

    In addition, those who read the message and disagree with its content should consider the source (writer/etc.) the culprit and hold her/him to account.

    I find this message to be pathetic, and I hope there’s still time remaining in his life to find religion and recognize he’s not the judge of man.

  28. - CircularFiringSquad - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 12:41 pm:

    Gotta think the mutts at the CNG probably are clueless as to the problem, but happy to get statewide attention from Capt Fax.

  29. - Rich Miller - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 12:42 pm:

    ===Media should not censor received messages===

    Censorship is inherently a government act. The media has the duty to be responsible.

  30. - Willie Stark - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 1:07 pm:

    As to wordslinger’s early question about why newspapers allow such beyond the pale comments to be posted (and some run odious letters like this one), I would venture it’s mostly about $ and clicks. Regrettable, as it does tarnish the brand to be associated with so much illogical, hateful filth, but by allowing folks to spout off, and no doubt hit refresh and refresh to see who has taken note of their brilliance/trolling, they are increasing page views at the website. For the CNG to publish such a letter, either an editor at a paper that has seen significant staff reductions missed it, or they are playing to a not-insignificant part of their readership (who, after all is reading print newspapers much nowadays, other than those over age 65?).

    It is remarkable, and amusing/pathetic, how often one can find innocuous articles, perhaps about a muffin recipe, where a commenter still manages to work in an anti-Obama comment or whatever else they recently heard from Rush or read on WND. You may have noticed that things got so out of hand on Trib crime stories that they don’t even allow comments on them anymore.

    Much though I despise the hateful comments, in some ways it is helpful to know that there are more people out there walking around with fear and rage percolating through their veins than I would have ever suspected.

  31. - Fedelm - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 1:32 pm:

    I just called the News Gazette and they stand by the letter to the editor. The receptionist was shocked that they’d publish such a thing, but the editor said it was only one of a “wide variety of public opinions.” Looks like they support violent rhetoric.

  32. - Chavez-respecting Obamist - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 2:03 pm:

    He’s apparently a regular contributor to their Letters. My guess is they publish him to generate hits and eventually, ad revenue.

  33. - Open Arms - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 2:28 pm:

    The News-Gazette editors are off their rockers. They’re sneering, right-wing bullies who never fail to amaze with their poor editorial decisions. I’m sure they really see nothing wrong with this letter, and would be surprised to learn anyone disagrees with it, really.

  34. - A guy... - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 2:39 pm:

    The argument has elevated to a point where it becomes who can be more vile without using the curse words that automatically get the letter tossed. It’s not funny and it’s beyond cynicism. It is hateful. The trouble is it always burns more in print than in conversation. It’s a lousy thing to say or write. Ignorant people rarely hide it.

  35. - Buster - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 2:45 pm:

    ===I just called the News Gazette and they stand by the letter to the editor===

    One more time: Stay classy, Champaign!

  36. - jake - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 3:30 pm:

    This letter does seem to go over the edge of calling for, or at least condoning, murder (infanticide) in the name of religion, in this case Christianity. It seems very akin to somebody justifying terrorist acts against Americans, including children, in the name of Islam, which I am sure the News-Gazette would not publish, and rightly so.

    The creep who wrote the letter lives in Naomi Jakobsson’s district. She has received in her office lots of letters as bad or worse.

  37. - Nieva - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 3:32 pm:

    Without bringing this type of person to light most people would never know that they exist. I say publish and allow people to see just what kind of nuts are running loose in this country.

  38. - Rich Miller - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 3:40 pm:

    Nieva, if you want people like this exposed, then interview them, put their wackiness in context. You know, a news story in a newspaper. Don’t just turn ‘em loose on your editorial page.

  39. - Nieva - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 3:57 pm:

    I do agree with that Rich. In this day and time the smaller papers have very few if any reporters left. They like to fish there news from electronic media and sell ads. That’s why I come here when I want to know what is going on with Illinois government. You go the extra mile to get the facts.

  40. - A guy... - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 4:43 pm:

    It’s really simple. Very disappointing and disgusting, but nonetheless simple. Print media is competing with electronic media and losing badly. Print always had a higher standard and integrity about what ink actually hit the paper. Electronic media, with instant ability to edit/delete and change just never used the same standard. The one thing print had over electronic…it is now giving away. A lot of boneheads write LTE. We used to be able to depend on editors to….well, edit.

  41. - Arthur Andersen - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 4:48 pm:

    I would have thought better of the News-Gazette. But, I stopped reading a couple months ago after they started the ridiculous, but easily circumvented, eight free looks per month policy. Nothing surprises me after that.

  42. - Mama - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 7:27 pm:

    From what I’ve heard, some churches promote hate toward certain classes of people. Why? Control? I thought churches were supposed to promote love and peace and faith. Whatever happened to “Love thy neighbor”? There is no ‘only if clause’ in love they neighbor.

  43. - catrike - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 8:32 pm:

    He needs to move to Springfield so he can be in the diocese of his soul mate Bishop Thomas Paprocki.

  44. - Carl Nyberg - Monday, Dec 9, 13 @ 9:29 pm:

    Where in the ethics of journalism does it say “these don’t apply to letters to the editor”?

  45. - Son of SuperAbe2014 - Tuesday, Dec 10, 13 @ 9:04 am:

    Maybe the letter writer was really Jeanne Ives

  46. - Cook County Commoner - Tuesday, Dec 10, 13 @ 9:47 am:

    Perhaps we should congratulate the News-Gazette for publishing the letter. First, it reminds many of us in more educated circles that miscreants such as the writer do in fact exist and actually know how to write and mail a letter or post it on the internet. Second, it gives us an idea as to the geographical area such people favor.

  47. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Dec 10, 13 @ 9:54 am:

    CCC, hater fools are hardly limited by education or geography.

    Read the Trib or Sun-Times comment sections to prove the second point.

    For the first, just the other day the highly educated deep thinkers on the Trib edit board published a cartoon likening public employees to dogs that had their cojones clipped.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Afternoon news
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