The Corner

A Comment About Comments

A reader:

I had to laugh when I saw you attack comment threads in a post criticizing Rush. Of course you don’t like comments: You’re an elitist. So are all of you at NRO. That’s why you don’t let regular people post comments. God forbid the unwashed masses give their take. And that’s why you aren’t at the vanguard of conservativism today.

Aren’t “vanguards” by definition elites? Anyway, I have two main problems with comments. The first is the frequent use of anonymity in comboxes, which I think mostly reduces their quality. It seems, for example, to free people to hurl abuse more than they would if their names were attached. The second is the ease with which unpleasant people can dominate the discussion. Comboxes aren’t vox pop, let alone vox Dei.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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