Ah, for the good old days when readers had no voice. The New York Times's Public Editor's column this Sunday focused on the Times' herky-jerky efforts to incorporate comments pages and reader response areas on their site, including last week's quiet enabling of reader comments on some articles and editorials.
The money quote, from the editor of the Times' political blog, The Caucus, on (mean and nasty) commenters:
"I almost wish we could go back to the days when we never heard their voices."
Part of the reason for all this angst is that the Times moderates all comments that are posted in the site. In fact, the Times is boldly entering the 21st century ass-backwards, by "creating a comment desk, starting with the hiring of four part-time staffers, to screen all reader submissions before posting them, an investment unheard of in today's depressed newspaper business environment."
There might be a good reason no one else has a four man comments desk.