Dear "Londell" and Other Anonymous Posters; Where is The Social Contract? ~ Annapolis Capital Punishment

Friday, October 9, 2009

Dear "Londell" and Other Anonymous Posters; Where is The Social Contract?

My policy on anonymous posting is clear, though admittedly, I do stretch the rules on occasion but only when the letter is exceptionally humorous, articulate or otherwise uniquely important. Why do people continue to send me anonymous comments in which they try to intimidate me by saying, "I'll bet you won't post this because you disagree with it" or some such thing? You know when you send it in that it won't likely get published because it is anonymous. I am not afraid of your opinions, your disagreement or your ideas. I am more open-minded and open to differing opinions than are most people--but not anonymously. As I have always written--this is not a police state....yet. So, what is your fear?

You are uncomfortable with your own ideas because you refuse to identify yourself with them. It is patently abusive, unfair, unaccountable and undemocratic to anonymously berate public figures. If you don't like it, start your own blog where you can be as abusive, unfair, unaccountable, undemocratic and mendacious as you want--which is what some have done--and made me public enemy number one which is why I don't write to their blog and I won't accept their comments.
Who do you think gives you the opportunity to post a comment and therefore be read by my thousands of readers? In addition to the countless people and money and time it has taken to bring the world wide web into your home 24-7, they come from my work. That's right--little old me who takes the heat day in and day out ultimately gives you the opportunity to post here. I am identified and fingers are pointed at me yet you demand I give you free reign to blast me and whoever else you don't like--anonymously.

Do you really think I am going to give voice to your anonymous, unaccountable, irresponsible views and slander? I mean--where is the social contract between us? Why do I have to provide this for you--and at my expense--and at the expense of truth?  And for free no less!! And don't play behind that game of crying "censorship".

I've been called everything from a left-wing kook, to a Democratic patsy, to a shill for the Republican Party to a bleeding heart liberal to a whiner about oppression and inequality and civil rights to a racist (repeatedly) to demented to sick and angry to whatever else pops into someone's head. That's freedom of speech. It's a wonderful thing and it's exactly why I don't accept anonymous comments.  That's not censorship--it's responsibility and respect for freedom of speech. I don't attack Ellen Moyer anonymously--I do it right here--and I don't call her names--I try to explain what she does and backup my beliefs. Do you think it was easy to call for her resignation or for the resignation of our former police chief? But I did not do it by name-calling. On the other hand she abuses me with lies, distortions and half-truths. There is also a whole crowd out there cheering me on--and they're right behind me. Yeah--right behind me, where they feel safe and not out in the open. That's okay because they are not hiding to defame me and others. Many send in letters of appreciation and financial contributions and they are thanked and much appreciated.

But where is the social contract that says I have to publish your anonymous stuff? You may read this and like reading it--and I hope you do--but what do you give me in return? What is the expectation? My social contract is simple--identify yourself and you will almost assuredly get posted-unless you are another blogger using your blog to spread hate. Send it in anonymously and you will likely get deleted. And of course, more advertising or contributions will also be appreciated--thank you. Do you think The Capital or WNAV or CBS or Fox or CNN or Newsweek are produced for free?

People read CP because it offers them value--whether it be in news, entertainment or opinion--it has value. Your anonymous comments do not add to that value. Sorry, but as I say, if you don't like that, start your own blog.
LISTEN TO CP Publisher Paul Foer on 1430WNAV at 8:15 every weekday morning.

Join us every Thursday morning, from 8-9 am for our Sip N' Blogs normally at ZU Coffee, 934 Bay Ridge Road, Annapolis, Maryland, in the Giant Shopping Center. Special guests will be:
Oct 8--Mat Silverman, Ward 5
Oct. 15--Josh Cohen
Oct 22--Chris Fox (at Sly Fox Pub)
Oct 29--Dave Cordle
Stop by on your way to work for your morning latte and meet other local activists. Zu now has a drive-through window!


Anonymous said...

People are afraid to make a non-anonymous comment on your blog for fear of A)Incurring your wrath and B) Being associated with your blog. You don't accept nasty or mean-spirited comments, but you sure do serve them up regularly. Just ask the Mayor Moyer or Josh Cohen.


Paul Foer said...

Okay Anonymous...where to begin?

I AM A WRATHFUL BLOGGER QUICK TO ANGER AND DEMANDING...Wuddya want-some kind of New Testament or New Age deity or what??? Let's see....I did not realize I was so powerful and wrathful that I struck fear into the hearts of readers, any one of whom can call me, write to me or meet with me--and will get a reply if they so wish.
Now "B" is most bizarre and ironic. If someone is afraid of being associated with CP, why would he or she read it? Why would he or she care about it? Why would he or she write in a comment--anonymous or otherwise? So I ask you--if you believe there is a fear factor in being associated with CP, why are you writing? I guess you are afraid--which s my entire point--People who write anonymously are afraid--and know full well they are likely to not get published!
As for your final statement, I can tell you that Josh Cohen has a good side and I believe I am on his good side. We are honest and straightforward and respectful of each other. You or he may not like what I have to say--but Josh has an opportunity here every day to refute or reply--and he has taken advantage of that from time to time. Furthermore I sign my name to and stand behind everything I say--which you don't and which you are defending--which yes, does incur my wrath. When I write about Moyer or COHEN I SIGN MY NAME!!! And boy do I get crap from the mayor about everything I do--but I can take it--and so should she but she is too thin-skinned so she launches an orchestrated attack on me. She's history anyhow. BUT--as you seem to forget and ignore I DO NOT PUBLISH ANY ANONYMOUS LETTERS THAT ATTACK OTHERS--PLAIN AND SIMPLE--IN THIS WAY I AM RESPECTING MOYER AND COHEN MORE THAN YOU ARE RESPECTING ME SO DON'T POINT A FINGER AT ME FOR NOT MEETING YOUR APPROVAL--SO WRITE A REPLY AND SIGN IT--WITH A VERIFIABLE NAME OR OTHERWISE BE IGNORED.....THE GREAT AND POWERFUL CP HAS SPOKEN..NOW GO GET ME THE BROOM OF THE WICKED WITCH OF THE EAST-port....

Anonymous said...


Well said.You forgot to include Frank Flyntz, Kenny Kirby, Sheila Finlayson, Classie Hoyle, Sam Shropshire, Gil Renaut, Laurie Sears-Deppa, and Wayne Taylor--all have felt the sting of his nasty mean-spirited comments!

Sincerely yours,

Paul Foer said...

Well did I say anything libelous, inaccurate, false or misleading NO!
They are public figures deserving of public scrutiny--and in the case of all of them, I gave them tons of free and valuable publicity--whether they advertised or not--by promoting their campaigns and events--and that took my time and my energy and my efforts. i HAVE GONE OUT OF MY WAY TO COMMUNICATE WITH, OBTAIN INFORMATION AND REPORT ON ALL OF THOSE CANDIDATES YOU MENTION-SOME WERE RESPONSIBLE AND RESPONSIVE AND OTHERS LESS SO but they were all given the same opportunity--In any event, you have shown that I have been firm but fair with candidates of both genders, both parties and both Black and White--so there--you have proven my point--I am an equal opportunity exploiter--and that's why I scare you anonymous cockroaches!!! GO NOW TAKE THEE TO A NUNNERY!

EastportPaul said...

Or, you can get a Google Account.

Paul Richards

Will Small said...

Hiding behind the mask of anonymity reduces the level of discussion. The ability to have a respectful discussion about anything in a public forum is one of the reasons I respect our country despite its many shortcomings. Such a discussion can not be conducted if some of the participants do not identify themselves, thus rendering a discussion only 1/2 as valuable. If you can't stick your name on what you write out of fear you probably shouldn't be saying it because you know something's not right about it. Like the worthy Americans who have the sign about the war casualties up on West St., I might not agree with what you say, but I will fight for your freedom to say it, as long as you will own it with your identity.

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