Mr. Reversion to the Mean does it again:
One point, if I may, about the tempest-in-a-teapot stirred up by Leftist bloggers who seem to claim that it’s illegitimate to cite web responses in talkback features as though they had been edited and selected by the website itself. The decision to run unmoderated forums of the kind used at the Huffington Post is itself an editorial decision. Its purpose is to give readers a sense of ownership in the site, to provide them with a sense of community…to make them co-authors of the site in a sense. It’s a way of making and keeping loyal readers. That’s fine, but if your readers are also going to be your authors, you’ve got to bear some responsibility, even minimal responsibility, for what they say on your site.
That’s ridiculous. Absolutely, utterly ridiculous. The only editorial decision that has been made at the Huffington Post, or here for that matter, is to allow a very wide range of freedom of speech. That does not make me responsible in any way, shape or form for what you or anyone else chooses to post here.
Now, that being said, it is fair to characterize the readers at a site that permits such free speech on the basis of their comments. Huffington is being disingenuous when she claims, on no factual grounds, that the many posts expressing disappointment over Cheney’s survival do not represent the typical views of her readers. The correct answer is “insufficient evidence to derive a conclusion”, so her statement is incorrect, especially since the only available evidence suggests the opposite.
We do, however, have sufficient evidence to conclude that both Podhoretz and Huffington are functional morons.
As for the idea of the Iraqi rebels taking out Cheney, I suspect that a majority of readers there really do wish that they had. The much bigger problem for the Republican party is that I also suspect that a majority of readers on many conservative sites wish that the Iraqis had been successful, and also nailed the President, the Supreme Court and the Congress with him.