Rhyme and Reason?

Here’s a sampling of Washington Post stories shared on The Pilot over the last 24 hours. Only two are open for commenting. Can you guess which ones?

David Measer: Polling data is the real holy grail of politics

“We will be out for a long time” unless Democrats budge, Trump says

“A 10 isn’t enough.” UCLA gymnast’s flawless floor routine breaks the internet

He went to Waffle House to sober up. Workers dumped food on him and posted the humiliating video to Instagram.

Compelled to work without pay, federal employees sue Trump for violating 13th Amendment

Father of DNA still believes in a link between race, intelligence. His lab just stripped him of his titles.


11 thoughts on “Rhyme and Reason?

  1. Sad, isn’t it?

    The story about the gymnast was entertaining, but hardly worthy of commenting as the expense of other more pertinent articles regarding the incredible political turmoil affecting our country.

    I haven’t even bothered to post at the Pilot with a couple of minor exceptions.

    We just need to get more of the posters to jump ship and join us.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. If there is a conspiracy, it’s The Pilot’s own doing. Editors announced that comments would not be allowed on syndicated content, yet a few pieces manage to sneak through with commenting enabled. Why should we be allowed to comment on an inane story about a gymnast in California but not on a highly relevant op-ed about polling?


      2. P.S. For years, The Pilot has touted a “digital first” strategy, but this archaic new policy is the exact opposite. Perhaps the editors want to encourage more letters, but I’m afraid the unintended consequence is simply driving readers away.


        1. I was actually directing my comment to Chessie. You pointed out a valid inconsistency that reflects, who the hell knows what. I don’t think it’s a conscious selection process based on an agenda. My experience leads me to believe it’s more about insuffient staff and haphazard attention to detail.

          And yes, they are behind the curve and driving readers away. IMO.


  2. The two WAPO stories that allow commenting are similar in addressing race relations. One shames an alleged racist while promoting the ideological view that race is not a legitimate phenotype of the human species. The other celebrates an extraordinary young athlete while pointedly — except for the photograph — ignoring her race, which also demonstrates an ideological bias in promoting colorblindness.

    The Waffle House story has a video that shows, mainly, people of one race mistreating other people of the same race. Race relations are not the obvious issue.

    The other seven stories are a mixed bag of issues wholly unrelated to race relations.

    Two points make a line, but they are not enough data to reveal motive and method on The Pilot’s part. We need more observations like Mr. Roberts’s to figure out the trend.

    In the meantime, the philosophical question remains interesting: Is it legitimate or wise for The Pilot to leverage its news reporting in the service of an ideological agenda?

    My answer to the philosophical question is no.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. From my standpoint, there are two issues: 1. The Pilot is publishing too much Washington Post content; and 2. The Pilot is being inconsistent in what syndicated content it opens for commenting. As I said when the policy was first announced: If it’s important enough to share with readers, it should be open for commenting–period. Being able to comment on an inconsequential story (like the one about the gymnast) and not on more important pieces (like Trump “news” and op-eds) raises a red flag.

      And don’t get me started on the Waffle House piece. The only purpose in sharing that is get a piece of the viral action.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. RE: “The Pilot is being inconsistent in what syndicated content it opens for commenting.”

        I propose the hypothesis that The Pilot is not behaving inconsistently. They are performing audience analysis, presumably in a predictable manner. Here, for example, they seem to be studying the topic of race relations.

        Audience analysis is a necessary function in journalism and every other type of communications. You can see how the commenting tool might be applied selectively, if only to improve data quality.

        Newspapers are certainly free-speech agencies, but I don’t think they really have an obligation to prove discussion forums to their readers. I’m more concerned about how they use their position of superiority over readers.


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