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As an Internet writer: I am thankful I grew up in the age of newspapers

By       Message Mary MacElveen     Permalink
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As a strong proponent for our country’s newspapers, it continues to sadden me how many are being picked off one-by-one, taking with them good American jobs.  In fact my latest motto is, “I subscribe to Newsday to help save good American jobs”.  In the shutting down of these papers, I also see the death of civility.

 

To prove my point, here is what Buzzflash.com tweeted on Twitter.com as many Americans who work for the newspaper industry are now losing their jobs: “And just a reminder from BuzzFlash, Printed Newspapers Will Soon be History. It's the Cost of Production, Dahling! http://tinyurl.com/dksxr7” As the subscription rates fall for many newspapers, this site often pleads for donations.  How would they feel if the shoe were on the other foot?  What would happen if all donations ceased? Someone who works for a newspaper may be going home tonight having to say to his/her family, “I lost my job” and I do not think they would appreciate the comment, “Dahling”.

 

While they have published me in the past, I side with American workers first.

 

Being an op-ed writer, one of my favorite sections within any newspaper is the op-ed section.  I love to read how other op-ed writers think, how they come to their opinions and how they conclude their pieces.  In the conclusion of any piece, I liken it to a summation where the writer is closing the deal where we the reader then renders our personal verdict.

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To paraphrase my older brother as we have embroiled ourselves in many debates in the past: “Mary, you must know your facts first, and within the debate always use logic.”

 

While I used to jokingly compare him to ‘Mr. Spock’ of “Star Trek”, how correct he was and his advice to me has served me well during these past nine years.  He may not agree with me since we come from opposite sides of the political debate, but that is the beauty of any debate as I have adhered to his offerings.

 

Another portion of the op-ed pages I especially love are the ‘letters to the editor’.  Often within those letters published, a spark of inspiration comes to me to expand upon what and individual writer wrote or where I confront their thinking process.  I love to know what my fellow Americans are thinking on any given topic.  Even if their opinion has me raising my fist in indignation or cheering in praise.

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The editorial board should be praised as they select these letters for publication because they have editorial control over the finished product.  Newsday, will even pick letters castigating their coverage and opinion on any story.  While you may not agree with the letters chosen, at least they are civil in tone and do not use language that our children shouldn’t be exposed to.

 

As one reads any story published on the Internet, often the comments to it are the ones that I do pay attention to.  Over the years, I have noticed a lack of civility or where a person’s comments have nothing to do with the published story.  Yet, there they sit for all to read.  How well do comments such as these serve we the people in gaining critical information or stories of people dying who we have come to know?

 

Case in point as I use logic to prove it, is the lack of civility to this published piece on PopEater.com, concerning the illness of Farrah Fawcett who is suffering from colon cancer.  Is this the future of communications?  Hopefully not.  But, in all likelihood, it will be as newspapers die off.  First of all, my prayers go out to Ms. Fawcett as she continues to battle this cancer and to the loved ones who are supporting her throughout this ordeal.  Her next call will come from God instead of ‘Charlie’ as she once starred in “Charlie’s Angels”.

 

One commenter, blomeifunome, instead of commenting on her health or how she is battling it, stated he would not want to engage in a particular sexual act with her.  By the way, I would love to know what this gent's real name is instead of a screen name.  I use the term ‘gent’ sarcastically.

 

Thankfully a civil commenter, KLNJ722, came to her rescue in berating blomeifunome's comments.  Oh but he did shoot back again with such incivility and vulgarity.

 

Tcooty, had this to add to the mix: "Farrah was a mean spirited biatch" So nice to say of a woman who will soon lose her battle to this heinous disease.

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In reading lengar's comments where he/she stated: "farraah fawcet is paying the price for a lifetime of kinky sex in the wrong aperature" This unnamed commenter should really use the spell checker and at least spell her name correctly; using capital letters.  Again, his or her comments are filled with such vulgarity and yes, hate.

 

As I read so many numerous comments, one question must be asked: What are their real names to stand behind such lewd comments?  I have always been of the firm belief, if you have something to say, stand behind your words using your real name.  Hiding behind screen names and attacking someone is cowardly.  Especially a dying woman and those that do love her.

 

Not to single out this current story, I will highlight another story concerning ‘swine flu’ where Yahoo.com members can buzz-up and leave their own comments to this story.  Again, you will notice those who choose to comment use screen names instead of real names.

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I am a writer who currently writes pieces for my own blog http://www.mary-macelveen.blogspot.com I have been published by Buzzflash.com, TheLiberalPatriot.org and MikeHersh.com. I was a guest on the Jay Diamond Radio Show on WRKO in Boston and have (more...)
 

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