An AP story reported today (January 19) states that the Washington Post had to shut down one of its blogs after readers began posting nasty comments. ("Pretty filthy stuff" in the words of the article.) (Drudge highlighted this today.)
What would prompt the readers of this venerable paper to stoop to such depths? Did the paper endorse Osama Bin Laden? Did its editorial page claim some city as "chocolate", "vanilla", "lemon"or "pistachio" (Greens should have their cities, too!) in derogation of someone's racial sensibilities? No, none of the above. The paper's ombudsman had merely stated that Abramoff had given money to Democrats, too.
For those who are curious about where political contributions come from, I recommend the following website maintained by the Center for Responsive Politics (opensecrets.org). This is a searchable database that allows you to see which industries give where. On Abramoff, they also have this site going: http://www.capitaleye.org/abramoff.asp
As you will see, Abramoff and clients gave to both parties. Though the breakdown of Abramoff's own contributions are not listed there, the fact is that both parties raise money from people like him. It should concern us. (Here's a bit of trivia: which party do you think got more money from tribal casinos in 2004? Hint: It is not the Republicans.)
As for the uncivilized responses from the Post readers, I can only say that they need to learn some manners. We were just discussing today the breakdown in civility that can happen on the Internet, where people can be vicious in an impersonal environment. I'm glad our blog readers are not like that. (And I'm rarely told I rock by anyone -- except my head has been compared to one in a metaphorical sense from time to time.)