Ah, the Facebook comments section. A place where well-informed discourse gives way to emotional rants intended to insult an author or entire site. Honestly, I don’t mind it – we all need a way to blow off some steam, and not everyone shares my hobbies. For me, my punching bag is… well, a punching bag. For others, it’s websites, authors, or other commenters that had the audacity to present evidence that doesn’t support your position. After all, there’s no way you could be wrong… and the world needs to know.
Despite not chiming in on random Facebook posts (or continuing to follow outlets I don’t like), I’m certainly not above it. My Twitter account is primary used as a means by which to convey short messages to the hosts of my favorite podcasts. Recently, while listening to the Cracked podcast, I was so baffled by Jack Obrien’s claims that there were no liberal media outlets beating up on reasonable Republicans “as they so often claim,” that I pulled my phone out of my pocket in the middle of a workout just to remind him that he’s devoted countless entire podcasts to doing just that. In his defense, the Cracked Podcast often tries to present pretty reasonable discourse, and has never once claimed to be unbiased… and I love their work, even when I don’t agree with it.
I ended up deleting the Tweet (I cringe every time I type that word) not because I felt like I was wrong, but because I noticed the army of Righters that had already descended upon his Twitter feed. I didn’t want to get caught up in the unreasonable attacks levied at him for doing the same thing I do every day: try to present my thoughts to a wide audience in a way that doesn’t devolve into nit-picking and complaining. I have to assume Obrien, like so many other media personalities, eventually gives up on reading the responses to his work, throws his hands in the air with his eyes rolled as hard as he’s capable of and just says, “has the world gone mad?”
Well, allow me to answer the made up question I just put in his mouth: yup. It sure as hell has.