The whole Norm Roche fiasco is both enlightening and unnerving. No question Commissioner Roche has some issues, but how this story was unearthed and reported is equally interesting.
No defense of Mr. Roche here. I'll leave that to the Commissioner.
The St. Pete Times, soon to be Tampa Bay Times, has once again, and now very openly, showed its corporate distaste for electronic media and the opportunity for people to voice their opinion.
It's really kind of fun to log in as your favorite comic book hero and post a caustic comment about some subject or article. It is quick, easy and I think people are a lot more likely to post than to send a letter to the editor.
Most blogging and virtually all posted comments are personal opinion. Just as letters to the editor can be anonymous, commenters can remain anonymous if they choose, at least up until now.
The difference is an unsigned letter is much more difficult to trace than an anonymous post. With little effort, most posters can be discovered these days.
Most disturbing about this effort by the Times is the lack of integrity and level of disdain for those who would express their opinion via a keyboard.
Paul Tash and Company never understood electronic media; they don't like it and they mostly ignore it – until it serves their purpose.
The Times often carps loudly about the use of its content without compensation, but I would offer more people read the electronic version of the copyright-protected drivel to see the comments rather than the article itself.
The St. Pete Times calling Commissioner Roche's judgment into question regarding his posts appears to me a bit like the pot calling the kettle black.
I once told a reporter for the Times the only reason I buy the paper is because I have a parrot, and I always put the editorial page face up.
It's more appropriate now than ever.
No anonymity here, e-mail: Doc at: email@example.com