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Question of the day

Friday, Jul 30, 2010

* Every campaign season about this time, I have to begin issuing stern warnings to newcomers and oldtimers alike.

The passions are understandably increasing as election day draws near, and that means the comments are sometimes turning ugly.

If you’re new here, try to keep in mind that this isn’t a newspaper website or a “normal” blog. We thrive on vigorous, healthy debate on this site. We don’t have any tolerance for stupid drive-by comments, Ad Hominem attacks, racism, swearing, bumper sticker slogans, rumor mongering, sock puppetry or the rest of the madness that you’ll find just about everywhere else on the Interwebtubenets. I’ve permanently banned two newbies in the past 12 hours, and I’ll continue doing so. You’re not welcome here if you can’t behave. And if you go too far over the line, I’ll personally track you down at your job or at your home and mete out some real-life punishment. I’ve done it before, I’ll do it again. Don’t push me.

And to the oldtimers, most of you love this site as much as I do. Don’t blow it by going all nutso on us. Lifetime bans, like diamonds, are forever.

This place is like my tavern. Feel free to come in and enjoy yourself, befriend the other customers, even consider it your second home. I fully believe that this is your place, too. But get too far outta line and you’re gone.

* I received an e-mail early this morning that you should all read…

I love your site! I never participated in blogs before, but found myself at the Tribune trial blog after looking for info on the Blagojevich trial. I must say that this 60 year old woman was shocked at some of the ignorant and stupid comments.

Anyway, your site was mentioned and i have been so pleased. I have learned so much in just 3 days. How refreshing that people can disagree and express opinions without being insulting and calling names. Thank you so much.

Let’s keep it that way, please.

* The Question: What, in your opinion, is the worst Illinois website for ugly, out of control comments? Give examples if you can. But keep it clean.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Dan Johnson-Weinberger - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 12:29 pm:

    A little off-topic, but I’m surprised the Trib can’t figure out how to get rid of those wholesaler spam comments.

  2. - Lake Watcher - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 12:31 pm:

    Daily Herald comments attached to news stories. Mostly goofy comments from the same 10 people.

  3. - OneMan - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 12:32 pm:

    The Illinois Leader

  4. - Ghost - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 12:36 pm:

    CNN an SJ-R story commentaries.

    I do not understand why they do not hire full time employees to both monitor and participate for these things. It like somone told them they needed blogs to be modern, so they aded it in without any thought.

    it would be great to have reporters responding to comment on their stories for osme of these…like Rich does…but I digress.

  5. - Louis G. Atsaves - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 12:37 pm:


  6. - Davey Boy Smithe - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 12:38 pm:

    By far for me it’s the section in the Tribune known as The Swamp. I went there a lot during the ‘08 election year and it was ugly. I checked it yesterday on a pure whim and I saw things the same recess name calling that made me stop looking. Also, the articles there lack depth and coverage. Here’s a guy I saw back in ‘08 and it appears he still posts on every single article.

    “Ensnarled in blame”. What a wonderful fabrication! Corporate America has sank our economy, with the help of the Cheney&Bush administrations, and President Obama is ensnarled. Greed is running rampant across our boardrooms and President Obama is ensnarled. Journalistic sabotage, aka, ” not so ” Brietbart, pawns a a doctored tape off on Corporate Media and did they check its veracity? Did they know the name Brietbart? Come on, I don’t think it is President Obama, who is ensnarled in blame, so much as it is Corporate Media trying to bury him in it!! Oh, you forgot to ensnarl him in the blame of the Gulf of British Petroleum Oil Slicks!! I’m sure, you will get around to that, before it disappears from Corporate Media!!

    Posted by: Don Fitzgerald, IL

  7. - shore - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 12:39 pm:

    I have never read the comments section on another msm website.

    Now that chicago tonight has discovered skype, I hope you take 20 minutes as we head into season and become a regular on their programming. I know it’s during dinner and happy hour and the last thing you probably want to do at 7 is give a recap of what you did all day, but it is preferred to some of their other drivel.

  8. - Davey Boy Smithe - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 12:39 pm:

    Sidenote: I think the commenter, Don Fitz, posted more words than the article that was written.

  9. - Wumpus - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 12:40 pm:

    I don’t know, but I can’t defend the Daily Herald.

    They generally are:
    “Blame illegals”
    “Hah,no comment since this was not a brown person who committed the crime”
    “Elgin/Streamwood/Hanover Park/Hoffman Estates suck”
    “Schaumburg is as bad as the above mentioned towns.”

  10. - wordslinger - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 12:43 pm:

    Many contributors to Kass’ column believe that the only thing holding them back in life is the massive conspiracy against them by everyone you ever heard of.

  11. - Publius - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 12:43 pm:

    Tribune or the SJ-R. Sometimes I just love to browse through the comments and laugh a little (or die a little on the inside).

  12. - OneMan - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 12:43 pm:

    == I’ll personally track you down at your job or at your home and mete out some real-life punishment. I’ve done it before, I’ll do it again. Don’t push me. ==

    A Rich Miller Whisker Burn(tm)is not something you want delivered to you at work…

  13. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 12:45 pm:

    You have no idea, OneMan.

    But let’s stick to the question, please.

  14. - Publius - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 12:47 pm:

    Off topic: I would love to see a video or hear a story of Rich tracking down somebody at there work. It would make my day here at the office. Please Rich

  15. - Cincinnatus - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 12:48 pm:

    Two votes, Daily Herald, including my own posts there…

  16. - Small Town Liberal - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 12:49 pm:

    SJ-R. Granted, I’ve probably just browsed the comments there more than other sites, but I am in awe of some of the things that get said there.

  17. - Publius - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 12:50 pm:

    I was looking at QC Online today and they have an article about the 17th district and how candidates don’t have to live in their district to run. The comments began to explode right away with people going after one another over political views. I like place a vote for QC online, even though I voted for SJ-R and the Tribune

  18. - dave - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 12:52 pm:

    Does Illinois Review count?

    The scariest thing about IR is that she DOES regulate the comments, but leaves some of the ugliest on there.

  19. - Rod sez I'm pork - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 12:54 pm:

    The Speakout section of the Kankakee Daily Journal. Each contributor seems to have custom-fitted tin foil hat linked directly to the mothership. I hope it never changes.

  20. - OneMan - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 12:55 pm:

    The Beacon News has it’s moments but I would still have to go with the Daily Herald.

  21. - Mark Buerhle - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 12:55 pm:

    Either of the two Chicago Dailies, plus the Southtown. What’s really irritating is that the “Report Abuse” flagging option seems to never be acted upon by the web editors.

  22. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 12:57 pm:

    ===What’s really irritating is that the “Report Abuse” flagging option seems to never be acted upon by the web editors.===

    Agreed. Why have it if you don’t act on it?

  23. - Cynic - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 12:58 pm:

    ===I do not understand why they do not hire full time employees to both monitor and participate for these things. ====

    Media outlets aren’t really hiring anyone these days. The question is why they allow comments if they don’t have the staff to monitor them.

    ===Many contributors to Kass’ column believe that the only thing holding them back in life is the massive conspiracy against them by everyone you ever heard of.===

    They may actually be going to the right place, considering Kass is all about the “massive conspiracies.”

  24. - the Other Anonymous - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 1:02 pm:

    I have to agree with Dave. The ugliest comment I have seen was was a reference to “hook-nosed Margaret Sanger” (who wasn’t even Jewish). I sent an e-mail to the editors pointing out this slur, and it remained on their site for at least a year.

    The newspapers do attract a bunch of stupidity, so I don’t even bother to read the 100s of comments there. But Illinois Review has a manageable number of comments, and it’s absolutely unacceptable that the site would allow such a blatantly anti-Semitic slur to stand, especially after someone points it out to the editor.

  25. - Third Generation Chicago Native - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 1:03 pm:

    Actually most newspaper sites are bad, it only takes a few comments down to find something Rich would delete.

    This is one of the few intelligent news blogs. A safe place to come to avoid those who haven’t made it past grade school.

  26. - Anonymous ZZZ - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 1:04 pm:

    I don’t read the Daily Herald, so I can’t speak to that one. But I agree with Publius - the Tribune is swarming with commenters who insist on referring to Barack HUSSEIN Obama in an effort to paint him as some scary terrorist, and many of the commenters at the SJ-R are so filled with hatred towards Chicago that their every post about corrupt politicians points the blame towards Chicago - as if corruption doesn’t take place at every level of government and in virtually every state.

  27. - John Bambenek - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 1:04 pm:

    Re: the “report abuse” button….

    If you don’t have it, you don’t have any easy liability for the comments… if you do have it and simply ignore reports, you put some liability on yourself.

    You’d think lawyers would have clued them in on it.

    You can’t say “we take no responsibility” while simultaenously allowed and giving the perception you’ll act on abuse complaints.

  28. - Pants - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 1:05 pm:

    It’s to Rich’s great credit that he monitors capitol fax so religiously, and encourages healthy debate. As an online editor, I would love to be able to monitor our own comments as closely. Sadly, most large news organizations don’t have the budget to hire someone to do just that — like a previous commenter said, most of them made the digital transition without much forethought. You see the repercussions in every business unit, from editorial to sales to business development.

    That said, healthy commenting is actually a financial imperative. The better the comments, the more discussion and the more pageviews, which ultimately equals more ad and sponsorship revenue for the business. Good commenting is a civic and a business need.

    Rich’s model — like that of Brownstoner, say, or metacritic, or even Gawker and a handful of well-managed publications — is the model for healthy online journalism. Kudos.

  29. - The Mad Hatter - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 1:11 pm:


  30. - Red Ranger - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 1:11 pm:

    Its a tie between the SJ-R and the Sun-Times. The SJ-R is big on making fun of the Presidents name (I always find Obambi as the best one) and denying his citizenship. The ST is pretty bad on all crimes being committed by minorities. Its hard to determine which is worse, I think its the ST just because of the overall amount of racism in the comments

  31. - ArchPundit - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 1:24 pm:

    While in MO, the P-D covers Illinois as well and I ran a series of racist comments of the day over at Blog Saint Louis for a couple months. I didn’t quite for a lack of material, but for my own sanity.

    Below is a typical example:

    Young mr. raines appears to be of mixed race. The part of his racial makeup that isn’t black was the factor in his trying to ease the further abuse of this poor white kid who is a victim of racism by the black attackers.
    Sep 16, 2009
    Max said:

    Steve Raines appears to be part black and part something other than black. It was the part of him that wasn.t black that gave him courage to ease some of the some of the suffering and continuing abuse of the poor victim

  32. - Cincinnatus - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 1:25 pm:

    Rod sez I’m pork - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 12:54 pm:

    “The Speakout section of the Kankakee Daily Journal. Each contributor seems to have custom-fitted tin foil hat linked directly to the mothership. I hope it never changes.”

    As a public service, provide them with this link:

  33. - Obamarama - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 1:30 pm:

    Daily Herald. Anything about Obama, healthcare, a crime committed by anyone that isn’t white, anything relating to gay rights or culture… ends up in a really nasty comment thread.

  34. - Springfield Dem - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 1:30 pm:

    Hands down it’s the SJR. Not only for poor reporting but for the whack jobs who troll their story message boards!

  35. - South Side Mike - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 1:34 pm:

    First, to answer the QOTD, I’ve found nearly all newspaper website comment boxes to be equally nauseating. A jewel every once in a while, but overall a field of manure. I don’t know that you can pick a “worst”.

    To follow-up on Pants’ post, I think newspapers are also at a greater disadvantage than Rich is here at CapFax. For them to monitor comments on every article would be nearly impossible. Between the main articles and the shorter blurbs that seem to be straight from the AP wire, a newspaper could have 100+ articles with comments to monitor and moderate every day. That’s more than a one person job. Of course, the newspapers could also choose which articles can have comments attached to them, which would decrease the volume of posts to watch.

    I can only guess how much time it takes for Rich and his interns to keep an eye of things here on this site, but I know it’s substantial, and that’s just for 6 or so posts per day. He also makes no apologies or provides explanations for deleting posts. As he said, it’s his tavern, his rules. Newspapers could certainly do a much better job at regulating comments and being more proactive in deleting the worst of the comments, but I also don’t think that Rich’s rules could work on such a large scale.

  36. - jonbtuba - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 1:37 pm:

    Some people who post on the Daily Herald are intelligent and moderate. The rest are trying to see if they can shout louder and more conservatively than Glenn Beck. Frequently they just make stuff up. Show them proven research, and they’ll whine “I don’t care how much research you throw in my face” and reply with ranting blog posts from unsubstantiated sources.

  37. - SpeedMeddle - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 1:40 pm:

    It seems like most of the posters have been sticking to the online versions of newspapers, but I’ve got to give a mention to Second City Cop here. Occasionally SCC posts some great info, but the comments sections are filled with invective against “liberals,” “illegals,” and pretty much every non-white person who isn’t a cop. It’s pretty overwhelming and kind of scary.

  38. - Mr. Cow - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 1:45 pm:

    the state journal register, and IL review.

    Really ignorant, misspelled ranting.

  39. - Chathamite - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 1:47 pm:

    The Springfield SJ-R can get pretty ugly from time to time. I try not to read it, but downstate doesnt have many other options. I avoid the Chicago newspapers most of the time, so aside from here, I get my news from the HuffPost Chicago blog.

  40. - Joseph - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 1:55 pm:

    I know you ask for Illinois papers and blogs, but Saint Louis Post, does cover East St Louis and Springfield, IL news “AP wire”. So I really have to put my vote in for

    Just to prove my point this was the FIRST random posting I found:

    ” forest parker said on: July 30, 2010, 1:20 pm
    Shame on the Post-Dispatch for allowing vile, racist, bigoted comments like those from Big White Daddy to remain on this site. He is a lowlife troll who does not deserve a public forum for his brand of garbage.”

  41. - 47th Ward - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 1:56 pm:

    Thanks for posting that Rich. I’m kind of an old-timer here and I’ve crossed the line plenty of times myself. This is definitely my favorite tavern too, although I don’t drink and comment as much as I used to (you’re welcome).

    To (not really) answer the question, I’ve long since stopped reading comments on other blogs. Too maddening. It’s why I don’t listen to talk radio either — I cannot fight the urge to talk back. And by “talk” and I mean scream obscenities at the radio and anyone within earshot.

    Thanks for keeping this place sane Rich. I know from first-hand experience that it ain’t easy, but you do it very well. It’s appreciated.

  42. - Anonymous ZZZ - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 2:07 pm:

    South Side Mike - the Trib has, at least in the past, had some articles where there was no opportunity to comment. Oftentimes, they do that for really tragic stories, such as suicides. However, that doesn’t stop the people who want to spew their hatred, since they’ll just go to another comment thread to do it, even if it’s not relevant to the discussion at hand. There could be an article about a cute litter of puppies being born in the lobby of the local library, and the comments section for that article will inevitably turn into a screaming match over politics.

  43. - Jake from Elwood - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 2:12 pm:

    The Daily Herald comments section–hands down.
    This is the home of the misinformed and the misogynist, the proudly profane and the ranting racists, as well as the ill-intentioned and the intentionally insane. And every so often they have a comment of substance.

    BTW… I Googled the term “sock-puppetry”, and I guess you learn something every day. It is good to know you are not discriminating against all of those hardworking ventriloquists out there.

  44. - just sayin' - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 2:23 pm:

    Illinois Review because like someone said, the comments are “moderated,” but only if you disagree. Nasty comments hitting a common enemy are fine.

    At least the Daily Herald and most others are equal opportunity snakepits.

  45. - Secret Square - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 2:26 pm:

    I consider the Sun-Times to be the worst since they permit comments on just about all stories, including the crime/tragedy ones that bring out all the trolls and racists.

    I know some SJ-R commenters are bad but the Bloomington Pantagraph, until recently, was far worse.

    The SJ-R at least doesn’t allow comments on crime or accident stories involving local people; they learned the hard way, several years ago, that such stories usually degenerate into rants about who was to blame and how stupid or evil they are. It took nasty comments about a construction worker being killed in an accident on Christmas morning (!) to get the Pantagraph to finally shape up in that regard.

  46. - Cuban Pilot - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 2:27 pm: This is a local “crime paper” that discloses the “true story” to local issues and local legal proceedings in Southeastern Illinois. The comments on this “news site” are full of personal attacks and extreme slander. While not a traditional news site like the daily herald, the stories and the comments to some of the stories often include horrible attacks on local and state officials. In particular, this paper and the readers are not big fans of Forby and Phelps.

  47. - Levois - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 2:31 pm:

    “Off topic: I would love to see a video or hear a story of Rich tracking down somebody at there work. It would make my day here at the office. Please Rich”

    Yeah I would be amused by that. It could serve as a more poignant warning.

    Back to the question I think Chicago Breaking News can have some awful comments whenever I choose to look at any comments made. It seems to get worse when the stories involve violent crimes on the south side.

  48. - Linda - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 2:36 pm:

    I vote for the Trib.

    I wrote to them last year about the 400+ comments (mostly racist) in response to an article about Eric Morse’s killers.

    Dawn Turner Trice did a column about it:

    Newspapers try to maintain civil, intelligent conversations with readers

    April 20, 2009|By Dawn Turner Trice

    I recently wrote about First Lady Michelle Obama’s visit to a London school for girls, and the reactions on the column’s comment board were so vile that one of the Tribune’s Internet editors had to end the discussion.

    A couple of weeks before that, the Tribune ran a story about two black men who’d gone to prison as juveniles for the 1994 murder of a young boy, Eric Morse. The story drew such vitriolic comments (such as, those “miserable filthy savages”) that reader Linda Mills, a white North Side attorney, wrote an e-mail to reporter Gary Marx and copied me: “The Trib is not some white racist site. So how did all these people come to gather there and go nuts like this?”

    News organizations increasingly are trying to figure out how to maintain conversations with readers while keeping the discourse civil and thoughtful. The reality is, love it or not, if readers aren’t allowed to chat on your Web site, they’ll simply go somewhere else to do it.

    The rest is here:

  49. - Cincinnatus - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 2:48 pm:

    - Levois - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 2:31 pm:

    “Off topic: I would love to see a video or hear a story of Rich tracking down somebody at there work. It would make my day here at the office. Please Rich”

    “Yeah I would be amused by that.”


  50. - north shorer - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 2:50 pm:

    Commenters on the Tribune. It seems these people have nothing to do but think of vicious things to say about anything. Agree that “Report Abuse” is not followed. At some point when things are getting out of control, comments should be turned off. Take a look at the time these comments are filed — 2 am, 3 am, etc. You have to wonder.

  51. - Excessively Rabid - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 2:57 pm:

    Agree with many of the comments above. Note that some SJ-R reporters do interact with posters, e.g. Pete Sherman on school issues. Have to lament the stupidness of so many online comments in general. It’s gotten to where you see a lot of uninformed, stupid, bigoted, or generally clueless comments at The Economist, for heaven’s sake!

  52. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 3:01 pm:

    === This place is like my tavern. ===

    Unfortunately Rich, I think one of the worst — if not certainly the most unexcusable for its size — is the Chicago Sun-Times.

    Comments from a July 23rd Sneed column on the $30K pricetag for an Obama birthday bash:

    “How much to attend his wake?”

    “guess that means our Grand Mullah Barry Barack Hussein Obummer, says this is going to require attention, but not right now. Let’s have a birthday party first. He’d want to make it a federal holiday but then he’d have to pay that overly bloated federal payroll “holiday pay.” The Imam seems to has his priorities.”

    “Has Comrade Obama declared this a National Holiday yet?”

    “for $30K, do we get to see the actual birth cert, and will the delegation from Kenya be bringing it with them?”

    And, if you’re looking for the truly far-out, read the comments on Mary Mitchell’s blog, where you’ll find folks defending a Mayor who send out a cartoon depicting the White House lawn planted in watermelons.

    I kid you not.

  53. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 3:03 pm:

    YDD, I asked the Sun-Times once to turn off comments on one of my columns because I knew it would get way outta hand. I hate that comment section over there.

  54. - Give Me A Break - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 3:05 pm:

    The SJR wins my vote. They have a group who comment on most every story and no matter the subject, the comments will be:

    1. The Democrats have broken the state.
    2. Chicago is bad, all bad with nothing good about it.
    3. All state workers are lazy, overpaid and hacks hired by Rod.

    What stuns me about some of the comments where SJR readers call for “smaller gvt.” is there is not another city in Illinois that suffers more than the “Patch” when gvt. gets small and lean. And the readers of the Springfield paper can’t seem to figure that out.

  55. - flabergasted - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 3:13 pm:

    Last fall, I read the Ottawa Township High School Teachers (part of the IEA) went on strike. The comments on the Ottawa Times’s site were hateful and resorted to much name calling of the teachers and not much constructive dialogue at all. It was horrible.

  56. - Ghost - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 3:21 pm:

    No one nominated the new and improved (and now defunct) capital fax blog?

  57. - lincolnlover - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 3:25 pm:

    Just post something on the Bloomington Pantagraph site that is NOT totally conservative and watch what happens! There are a few bloggers on there that make Sean Hannity sound like a left-winger. At least when the personal attacks become too severe, the editors pull the plug on comments for that story.

  58. - In the "ville - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 3:25 pm:

    Toss up between the Naperville Sun and the DH. Both get mean, thoughtless postings.

  59. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 3:31 pm:

    Ghost, that’s a bannable offense. lol

  60. - Chathamite - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 3:39 pm:

    I def agree with all of the responses regarding the SJ-R… and it is usually the same hate mongering lunatics. Particularly when anything is posted regarding homosexuality or gay rights.

  61. - Dead Head - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 3:42 pm:

    Give Me A Break - I couldn’t agree more. This is a prime illustration of the need for more education funding in Illinois.

  62. - Arthur Andersen - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 3:52 pm:

    AA agrees wth those fingering the Trib and S-T as having the most awful comments, with special recognition to the Tribbies for also keeping us all posted on the going rate for cheap counterfeit Ed Hardy crap. SJ-R and other locals when I read them do seem to have a cadre of commenters who are predictable and obnoxious in their writings on almost any topic.

  63. - Third Generation Chicago Native - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 3:53 pm:

    Also the sites that are the worst offenders, in order to report abuse, first you have to sign up with a user ID and password and get your email verifyed etc. So most don’t go through the effort to report abuse. DH, ST, Trib, etc.

    Rich is able to keep a high quality blog without people having to get a user ID and password.

  64. - Lefty - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 3:55 pm:

    Remember, these goofy bloggers live among us and they vote! And we wonder why we got to where we are?

  65. - Pot calling kettle - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 3:58 pm:

    ==Ghost, that’s a bannable offense. lol==

    So, that’s what happened to it!

  66. - Pot calling kettle - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 4:00 pm:

    As has been said, almost any newspaper comment section. I am occasionally tempted to post a comment on one of the local ones to try to straighten things out, but mostly I figure it’s a waste of my time.

    I spend my time here, because it’s not wasted. I also appreciate being called out by people who know what they’re writing about.

  67. - Reformer - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 4:02 pm:

    The Daily Herald message board specializes in negative comments. For example, there have been hundreds of negative comments in the past week about a Buffalo Grove trustee who is being recalled. The DH posted a letter earlier this week from a guy who compared the trustee to Hitler. Later in the day, editors removed that sentence.

  68. - Reformer - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 4:05 pm:

    Another typical occurance at the Daily Herald: An article about a woman charged with a crime — with a picture — will elicit scores of nasty comments, many about her appearance and purported bad behavior.

  69. - Richard Afflis - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 4:10 pm:

    I have to WHOLEHEARTEDLY agree with the lady who emailed you Rich. I cannot help but agree with your tavern analogy. This truly is the VERY BEST place to express an opinion and get the news/ discussion in an intelligent manner. There are many regulars who I truly appreciate their insight and hope one day to meet. Thank you very much Rich!
    Keeping to the question, I think the Chicago Sun-Times has the worst comment section. Between the spam, ignorant and racist comments, and the personal bickering between the commenters that have nothing to do with the article, I do not bother looking there.
    Thanks again!
    Have a good weekend everybody.

  70. - ModerateREbup - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 4:15 pm:

    You know they all pretty much suck. The only blog I read or comment on is Cap Fax. I used to read Illini Pundit, but that was because I was involved in a race over there. After the election I really didn’t pay it much attention anymore (and not because of its content, I just moved back to Springpatch).
    Anyway, when I do look at comment sections on the newsprint sites they don’t filter anything, and there is nothing more irritating to me then ignorance. Over 90% of there blog blab is filled with just that, ignorant crap. Trib, SJR, times, pantagraph, southern you all pretty much suck. As for the right wing sites they are so slanted I don’t think I have read any of them in years so I really don’t know what’s being said over there. Oh, I hope you don’t think “crap”, and “suck” are over the line, if so I will make a mental note and I apologize in advance for the italics, it just seems appropriate. Its Friday, I say we keep it light.

  71. - Team Sleep - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 4:23 pm:

    I’ll admit that I glean most of my news info off of Rich’s site. It’s easy and comprehensive, so I rarely venture off to the Daily Herald, Daily Southtown, etc. But for my money, the worst national comment sections are a tie between Politico, The Hill and The Daily Kos. I know that’s off-topic, but I read national stories and follow national politics more so that I do local and state stories. However, I would at least state that the SJ-R’s comment sections are awful. It is worse when there is a story on the SJ-R’s site about state employment - then the wolves come out to howl.

  72. - Living in Oklahoma - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 4:29 pm:

    Hey Rich.

    Why dont you have one day a year, say the day after the major league all star game, when everyone can post whatever they want. Obscenities, graphic photos, whatever. Call it “Lord of the Flies” day or something. It would give everyone a chance to get it out of their system.

    To answer the question, the Daily Herald is the worst. I understand those things are tough to monitor, but its a rudderless ship over there.

  73. - Pioneer P. - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 4:29 pm:

    The Daily Herald is truly awful. Any time there is a car accident involving a person with a Hispanic surname, a crime involving a African-American or Hispanic person, the racial slurs start rolling in hot and heavy. I’ve seen people mocked for car accident deaths, bizarre deaths, all kinds of stuff (the victims!)… I know a couple people who work their, I’ve told em some of this stuff is out of control, but that they can’t do anything about it.

    It’s truly sick and I don’t understand how these newspapers think in any way it helps their credibility when someone can just write borderline profane and insulting things below it without any accountability. Clean it up.

  74. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 4:34 pm:

    For those (rightly) bashing the Daily Herald for its horrific comment section, you absolutely must click here for an incredible bit of irony from some columnist over there…

    ===Even more important than that, many in our print and online audience simply have a higher regard for the standards of civilized discourse than would allow the routine, or even occasional, employment of expletives.

    As a result, we do a more-than-passing job of keeping language in the Daily Herald free of profanity, even mild profanity, in an era when what once was known as “polite company” has grown both more tolerant and more inclined toward what once was known as “rough language.” It may be, as some readers occasionally chide us on the subject, that we cling to outdated restrictions, but I prefer to think we simply have an abiding respect for what once was known as - and often still is widely respected as - class.===


  75. - Steve Downstate - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 4:44 pm:

    Belleville News-Democrat website. Any time a violent crime occurs in Belleville, or the police crack down on peoople holding “homeless” signs and begging, the trolls come out in large numbers to bash Belleville’s neighbor, East St. Louis, and its residents. Some decent people comment on that site, too, but they are usually outnumbered by the ugly sort. Highly predictible cycle of reaction, depressingly so.

  76. - Chicago Cynic - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 5:21 pm:

    The Daily Herald hands down. Anyone that pays attention to the fight over whistleblower trustee Lisa Stone can find the most insane comments imaginable from a small cadre of people who hate her guts and are determined to recall her in November.

    These people not only write incredibly nasty, ad hominem stuff, but they shout down, thumbs down and report “term of service” violations for anyone that dares agree with her. Based on how their site works, the effect is to make the pro-Stone forces comments invisible. It’s just wicked CRAZY over there.

  77. - PPHS - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 6:55 pm:

    The very worst that I found in the past year, was the Lincoln paper that let posters write just vile things after the Beason murders.

  78. - Elton John - Friday, Jul 30, 10 @ 8:12 pm:

    McLean County Pundit has some nasty folks up that way but she laid the law down on them and has censored a few; and they shaped up pretty fast after that.

  79. - Jim Ridings - Saturday, Jul 31, 10 @ 9:00 am:

    I agree that it is The Kankakee Daily Journal “Speak Out” column. Instead of people ranting about Blagojevich or Obama, they rant insanely about their neighbor’s driveway, or the person who cut in front of them at Aldi’s, or the cat down the street that has been staring at them in a strange way. A waste of newsprint, and a disgrace to journalism, unless you have a perverse sense of humor and don’t get tired of the same joke day after day.

  80. - PalosParkBob - Saturday, Jul 31, 10 @ 10:18 am:

    I’ve gotta say “Topix” relating to various communities is the worst.

    I’ve seen some of the most vile, disgusting comments there.

    I’d have to say that the Southtown comments sections often provides better, more thoughtful and rational information and positions than the reporters, columnists and editorial staff (present company excluded, of course).

    One final thing. when you state, “I’ll personally track you down at your job or at your home and mete out some real-life punishment. I’ve done it before, I’ll do it again. Don’t push me.” you admit to be willing to commit several misdemeanors and quite possibly a felony or two depending on what happens when your “stalking” contact is actually made.

    Be careful. I suspect that more than few people on this board are “packin’ heat” and they’re not good people to bully, assault of batter face to face!

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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