If newspapers and magazines require letter writers to use their real names, shouldn’t the same hold true when it comes to publishing comments from the Internet? | Street Jazz

Thursday, April 3, 2014

If newspapers and magazines require letter writers to use their real names, shouldn’t the same hold true when it comes to publishing comments from the Internet?

Posted By on Thu, Apr 3, 2014 at 1:50 PM

Back in the 1970s, when I first began to write letters to newspapers, many letter writers would choose names other than the ones their parents had given them at birth, hence tyhe appearance of so much wisdom from folks like “Loyal American,” “The Last American” (I guy I convinced to come on my show), and “American Patriot,” among others.

Before they began checking such things, you could even write letters under assumed names, which I did on occasion, using the name Harvey Edwards, borrowing the name of a high school friend.

In recent times, newspapers and magazines have begun requiring you to submit contact information with your letters, so that your identity can be verified. So now, in the exciting 21st Century, we are all on a level playing field.

Well, not so much.

Those of us who check out sites on the Infernal Internet often find themselves surrounded by throwbacks to the past, with folks coming up with bizarre names for themselves:

Lightsaber20008

Freedomlover

Locknload

NRAgrl

strongdemocrat749

hyeleikeuus9978hy - ah, such eloquence!

Cuz nothing says “Read me!” like the reluctance to use one’s real name.

Yes, I know, Racing Reader, what about whistle blowers, or folks whose jobs or lives may be in danger if their names are revealed, should the world-at-large know they are leaving posts on Internet sites?

Well, cataracts aside, I really haven’t noticed that sort of thing. Mostly, just the same sort of thing you would see in any letters to the editor column. As such, before a newspaper or magazine prints them, I think they should probably use the same rules, and require names.

What’s sauce for the goose really is sauce for the gander.

*****

A visit from the TV Guy

Just sort of minding my own business yesterday, reading a book, when this fellow comes knocking at the door.

“Hello!” he says, “I’‘m the TV Guy, and I’m doing a survey. A lot of your neighbors are upset by the rising cable rates . . .”

“You’re WHO?”

“I’m the TV Guy,” he began again, a little flustered, and began talking about all of the work the cable company had been doing lately.

“You’re WHO?”

By this time he must have thought I was irascible, a little deaf, or a little stupid.

“The TV Guy,” he said again, but offering no explanation of who worked for . He had just a nice white shirt and a clipboard. “How long have you been with your cable company?” he tried gamely.

“A long time,” I said, “and we’re very happy. Thanks for dropping by.”

TV Guy . . . sure.

*****

Quote of the Day

The sun, the moon and the stars would have disappeared long ago . . . had they happened to be within reach of predatory human hands. - Henry Ellis

rsdrake@cox.net

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