Wednesday, September 06, 2006

San Jose Inside Violates Its Own Policy

Of course, the right to free speech is as American as Apple Pie, Baseball, and Brittney Speares. But that right is not absolute. The blogosphere recognizes the limits of free speech. So far, we at Mayor Watch have posted every single comment we have received because none have presented a “clear and present danger” (a Supreme Court standard for when it’s appropriate to censor and a delightful Harrison Ford flick). Fortunately, there have been no offensive comments that would merit a deletion so far.

Another big blog in San Jose, San Jose Inside, has its own comment policy. It states, “Please Read Before Posting Comments” and explains that “comments are reviewed before they are posted”. San Jose Insides’s final rule is “4. We will not publish comments that deride a person or group of people for their physical characteristics.” That seems like a fair policy.

And yet, whoever is moderating comments over at San Jose Inside violated that policy a few days ago. I wrote an article titled “Who Would You Rather Eat With?” which compared and contrasted a lunch date with Cindy and Chuck (quite humorously if I do say so myself). In response, a commenter on San Jose Inside wrote, “It would have been more fair, had they have had Cindy ordering twenty meals for herself (to create more jobs) eating off everybody else’s plate while she waited for her’s, (no missed meals there, she wants to contrast herself from the skinny Reed).” That comment (#22) is here. Calling Chavez fat is clearly deriding a person for her physical characteristics. Fat jokes belong on Late Night TV where they are more appropriate and funnier. The fact of the matter is that San Jose Inside is violating its own policy just so that they can put up a comment that rebuts what we have to say. The good news for San Jose Inside and the commenter is that they have a good chance of winning 1,000 dollars cash money on MTV’s “Yo Momma”.

5 Comments:

At 12:06 PM, Anonymous jessica1 said...

...Imagine how quick that post would have been deleted if it had been a physically derisive comment aimed at Chuck!

 
At 11:10 AM, Anonymous L.H. said...

I agree. If these recent personal attacks were made against Reed, the Merc would have an editorial abt the Chavez-labor conspiracy and how they schemed to unethically attack Chuck personally.

You know your candidate has problems when your supporters are forced to make weight and race jokes...

 
At 9:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have allowed comments about Reed's appearance to stay on this site. On one comment, the writer states that Reed looks like Skeletor. I repsonded that it was not appropriate to write that, and that if he looks like Skeletor Chavez looks like Jabba the Hutt. But that part of my posting was deleted, so this whole article is not accurate. You have allowed derogatory postings and you have censored to protect Chavez.

Frankly, SJI is 100x the blog your's is, so you shouldn't compare.

 
At 2:06 AM, Blogger SJ Rookie said...

Hey "anonymous"...

1) Thanks for blasting the site on SJI - we always appreciate spikes in readership. In any case, we did not refuse to post your comment: the site encountered some problems earlier today and would not load entirely.

2) We never claimed to have a policy prohibiting posts regarding physical appearance. Sanjoseinside did. And yet, Sanjoseinside allowed a poster to make derogatory comments about Chavez's weight.

3) But you're partially correct - if someone did make degrading comments about Chuck based upon his physical appearance, it probably should have been screened a little closer. Unfortunately, you mischaracterized the nature of the post (read it here: http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=30709906&postID=115743051778999511). The exact comment was "Who braggs about having Skeletor as their mayor?" Maybe I'm wrong, but my first reaction to that comment was not that Chuck's physical appearance was being mocked. If my Heman-trivia is correct, Skeletor does not resemble Chuck physically. Take a look at Skeletor if you need to :) (http://www.cedmagic.com/featured/he-man/skeletor.jpg - look at those muscles!)

4) In any case, if the Skeletor comment was a negative physical comment, I don't think it rises to the level of offensiveness of overweight comments. Look to SJI's commenting policy for reference. They talk about banning comments that are racist, sexist, sexual and in the next breath about those that are derisive re: physical appearance. In this day and age, most people group those considerations together because of the invidious and persistent discrimination against those who are overweight. Most typically don't consider discrimination against the "skeletor-looking" to be on the same page... People who make "fat jokes" need to realize that those jokes stopped being funny when I finished 2nd grade. And yet that size-ist bigotry persists. People discriminate based upon weight in making hiring decisions, firing decisions, and apparently during elections. It is definitely a sad day when a Mayoral candidate is anonymously blasted on SJI and on this site (by you, apparently, twice now) for her weight and on the Mercury News's site for her race (read here: http://mayorwatch.blogspot.com/2006/09/attacks-against-chavez-become.html.)

 
At 10:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Referring a candidate as looking like "Skeletor" is offensive. If you don't think it is, you should ask Reed. The jerk poster who posted it also spelled "brags" as "braggs", pure genius.

Honestly, it is not that sad to be blasted as a public official for appearances. Public officials have heard much worse. Chavez should be much more concerned about the blasting she gets for lack of intelligence she has portrayed as a council member.

 

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