I’m sure that there’s info someplace on the Web explaining how George Washington was born in Saudi Arabia and is the son of a Martian mother and Puerto Rican father. And some poor kid in third grade, assigned to do a book report on our first president, will put that crap in his paper, thinking it’s all true. But the fact is, as many of you know, anybody can put anything on the Web anytime he or she wants.
After a bad experience with Wikipedia, when someone posted malicious information about me, I went on Fox and said that whatever else Wikipedia is, it’s also a platform for anonymous defamation. People put all sorts of misinformation on the site. Yes, I know there are mechanisms to delete slanderous material, but it’s up there for the world to see, until the victim learns of it – if he ever does – and takes it down.
That’s one site, a site that is seen as “respectable.” Imagine the garbage that goes up in other less respectable places. So, whatever else the worldwide Web is, it’s also a sewer.
And why am I telling you this now? Because the rats that inhabit the sewer have come up for air, unfortunately. They’ve come here, to our site.
For those of you familiar with my site, you know that almost all of the comments posted about my columns are civil. Much of it, in my view, is smart. Some of it is funny. Many of you agree with me and some don’t. At the risk of sounding corny, BernardGoldberg.com is a nice place to get together and discuss the things I write about, the things I talk about on television, and the things that interest you.
But something interesting – and not in a good way – happened after my back and forth with Jon Stewart. Many of his fans joined the discussion. But only a few made anything resembling a serious, thoughtful point. Most of the posts from Mr. Stewart’s fans were vulgar and hateful.
I’m guessing these weren’t far-left, fringe screwballs who scribbled their slime on the site. These were people who watch a small, but popular TV show on an American cable television network, which sort of makes them “normal.” I have taken down much of what they put up. But they have left a message nonetheless: Too many on the Left are way too angry these days. They have forgotten how to be liberal. They are no longer willing to have a discussion. They prefer telling their “enemies” to go F … K themselves – a common message left by Jon Stewart’s fans.
Before Jon gets his underwear in a knot, let me be clear that I’m not saying that everyone who likes Jon Stewart is a mean-spirited, hateful, slob. Just too many of them. Once upon a time, liberals were proud to say, “I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” I don’t expect anyone to give up his life so I can make a point. But is it too much to ask for a modicum of decency?