Hello faithful readers of our slandering and libelous anonymous internet haven for thought crime: today we pull off our masks and expose our real names.
In this morning's Globe and Mail (this was printed in a newspaper right? if not it's dangerously close to making Bruce a blogger...) Bruce Dowbiggin's column "Usual Suspects" contains:
That might be a problem as "blogger" has come to be synonymous for bending the rules on sourcing or taking liberties with research. Others complain that bloggers hiding behind anonymity don’t reveal their conflicts or connections to either management or players. Things that would never pass muster with an editor go viral on the internet.
First off I'd like to point out the lengths Mr. Dowbiggin goes to in his attempt to avoid saying what he means. The use of "Others" is akin to the "Some people say" that Fox News has used to great effect in their quest to obfuscate the origin of their commentary.
Just as we can't criticize Fox News for their horrible mind numbing drivel because, allegedly, they're reporting what other unnamed sources say similarly we're not to criticize Mr. Dowbiggen's assurance that anonymous bloggers say mean things because all of them used to be general managers of NHL teams.
His train of thought has merit as a thought exercise: surely an anonymous forum would be a good place for a scorned employee to voice his displeasure with a former organization but unfortunately I don't think it holds water as an actual reason for bloggers to not be anonymous.
Consider that if an ex-employee of a sports team had inside information to slag their former employer it would be an enormous internet drama explosion of 'Tsar Bomba' proportions. Simply put: it hasn't happened yet and when it's unfolding for the first time an awful lot of people are going to be watching going "oh wow".
Usual Suspects continues to wildly miss the point and speak in the third person (third blog?) in this paragraph:
Usual Suspects feels that if a blogger wants a place in a press box or dressing room environment there should be something more tangible at stake - say, a bond of $10,000 that a blogger would lose should a court or arbitrator find he or she broke professional standards or libel laws.
Usual Suspects seems to think that if a libel suit were filed against a blogger in a court of law that nothing would happen. This is bizarre for many reasons: I doubt anyone who signs up on Blogspot believes that they're now above the law. They may be ignorant of libel laws but being ignorant of a law doesn't mean you can't be prosecuted.
Usual Suspect's insistence on a $10,000 bond for bloggers comes down to (uh, them? it? this is getting confusing) the blog wanting to make sure that in the event that someone says something mean about Usual Suspects they'll have something to collect.
The next time the Usual Suspects' car (blog car? why can't he just write as a person?) gets run into by an uninsured motorist will it insist that all motorists have a bond for damages? Will we make all people who could potentially commit a crime be bonded to ensure their ability to pay damages for those crimes?
In our attempt to avoid having to lay down tens of thousands of dollars in bond the time has come for the blogging crew at PPP to become unmasked. We've decided to leave our Contributing Authors off the hook so unfortunately you'll never know the real identities of "Steve Burtch" or "MForbes37". Sorry.
Here of course is your new decoder list:
PPP = Michael McManus
Chemmy = Roger Kint
SkinnyFish = Dean Keaton
birky = Fred Fenster
WrapAroundCurl = Christine Plummer
Karina = Edie Finneran
Those are real people's names as far as anyone knows and if anyone has any quibble with our identities we'll post our personally identifying tax numbers and home addresses as soon as our critics do.