September 18, 2010 9:13:00 PM
As a rule I am anything but valiant. However, when writing an opinion to the newspaper, it is a point of honor to put on my big-girl pants and sign my name. Hiding like a scaredy-cat behind an anonymous name so you can sound all big and tough without anyone knowing who you are ... that is the stuff of cowards. Even though it is hard on the nerves to stand up and publicly state your views, it is better than behaving like a no-name weenie.
I would rather not believe what seems to be true, that Birney Imes gives the same respect and value to writing done by those who cower and hide as to those who are out in the open. Say it ain''t so, Birney. The problem for the reader is we don''t even know if Birney himself is writing the comment or someone associated with the newspaper. Any editor should know that using anonymous writers breeds mistrust in the paper''s integrity.
Imagine if the Signers of the Declaration of Independence had been no-name weenies. They faced hanging and ruin. Yet, they signed their names.
All our local no-name weenies face is the reader''s ability to measure their credibility.
Now things have really taken an ugly turn. Democrat Travis Childers is using no-name weenies as the source for quotes in his ads against Alan Nunnelee. Voters, that should tell you all you ever need to know about Mr. Childers. He belongs to the Nancy Pelossi School of Dirty Tricks.
As Washington Post columnist Gene Weingarten put it, "Anonymous comments are spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It''s as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."
Yes, Mr. Weingarten was a bit grumpy, but I applaud his directness in dealing with the subject. Anyone can have an opinion. But obviously, not everyone is willing to stand behind what they say. That is indeed a shame for the person who does the "spit-flecked rants" and the newspaper that prints them. It is even more despicable for Travis Childers to engage in such low politics.
Anne Burkart, Columbus
Burkart''s suggestion that I or Dispatch staff enter anonymous comments is nothing more than a cheap shot. We present a steady stream of opinions, unpopular and otherwise, in local editorials and personal columns ... and we give readers ample opportunity to comment on those opinions.