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    Trolls, Heal Thyselves

    Trolls, Heal Thyselves

    The New York Times had an Op-Ed yesterday complaining about anonymous trolls on blogs who post inflammatory messages to get a reaction:

    Trolling, defined as the act of posting inflammatory, derogatory or provocative messages in public forums, is a problem as old as the Internet itself, although its roots go much farther back.

    What do we call non-anonymous trolls who post inflammatory, derogatory or provocative messages in public forums to get a reaction?

    Frank Rich
    Maureen Dowd
    Gail Collins
    Nicholas Kristof
    Paul Krugman

    And what do we call the place which pays for such non-anonymous trolling?

    The Gray Lady

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    Or should that be:

    Trolls, Heel Thyself


    I attended an Upstate New York College in the 80's and took a remarkable course entitled 'Politics and the Media'. Essentially the professor posited that 2 or more reporters/news organizations almost never wrote the same story or had the same version of a given event. Therefore, we were encouraged to sample many news 'sources' (or, as the professor would often say, 'news products') and then try to explain why a particular slant or bias existed in a given 'story'. Really opened my eyes, of course, whatever was presented on the news was 'fact'(wink). One of the accompanying texts for the course, which I still have and is a revealing/pertinent read, is entitled "The News at Any Cost – How Journalists Compromise Their Ethics to Shape the News" by Tom Goldstein. If one understands that people in the the media are motivated by many different factors, then the term 'objective journalism' would/should probably never be used again.

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