Sometimes you read a comment so dumb, it’s worth making fun of

Yesterday NPR posted something re-explaining their terms and conditions for commenters on their site after inappropriate comments were posted regarding the tragic attack on Lara Logan. Apparently, you can’t just write idiotic, sexist or racist things anonymously. Why? Surprisingly, it’s not because NPR is run by well-meaning communists obsessed with elitist manners (look no further than Stalin and Mao Zedong for proof). It’s because it doesn’t help the dialogue — and they frown upon libelous personal attacks. Still, one anonymous commenter was disappointed in NPR’s trite, age-old message of not blaming the victim. Oh liberal, public radio when will you see how much women endanger themselves by not taking more karate and being so pretty? Below, is the comment:

Look, most of us don’t know what it’s like on the ground in Egypt or war-torn regions in general. But you know who probably does? Lara Logan. I bet she has a pretty good idea of the levels of risks involved, because she’s traveled all over the Middle-East reporting on conflicts for many, many years.

But this is almost not what annoys me about the comment. It’s the idiotic example he uses as a parallel to the situation:

“If I (a middle aged white guy) hang out on a Harlem corner at 1am with a bag of dope and $2500 hanging out of my pocket and get robbed and/or killed, I suppose I should scream victim. Oh the humanity!”

First of all, does this person not know that’s a dumb thing to do anywhere in the world (except a forest or private boat), mostly because you would be arrested by police-people who are on the lookout for just that type of thing? Also, does he think it’s the 1970s? Would it have killed him to use the much more contemporary example of Baltimore (though still dumb) and not an area of New York where Bill Clinton works? I think if an older white-guy stood on any corner in NY City holding a bag of “dope” (it’s slang for drugs — in 1964) with money hanging out of his pocket, people would assume he was insane, dangerous, or a particularly terrible DEA agent. But I think if this guy really wanted to put himself in a dangerous situation, he should go to the suburbs — where there is heightened fear of the unknown — I recommend the corner of Lowell and Woburn Streets in my home town of Lexington, MA. I’m sure a very concerned parent would call the police right away (unless a mix of white, Jewish, Asian and Indian teen hockey-players on skateboards robbed him first).

Regardless of where it’s dangerous to stand around visibly holding drugs and money, I think that is such an incongruous analogy to entrenched journalism which is fairly vital to the function and flow of democracy. However, if that middle-aged white guy did stand around doing that in Egypt, was mistaken for a Jew and then brutally, sexually attacked, I guess he’d think it was to be expected.



  1. Tweets that mention I read a dumb comment a reader left on NPR's site about Lara Logan and wrote a blog entry about it: -- says:

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Eugene Mirman, Katherine Lanpher, Lee, Tim Stephans, Chris and others. Chris said: RT @EugeneMirman: I read a dumb comment a reader left on NPR's site about Lara Logan and wrote a blog entry about it: [...]

    February 17th, 2011 at 6:33 pm (#)

  2. treece says:

    Nice post, Mr. Mirman. That commenter is just an example of a typical short-sighted, knee-jerk, idiotic dildo. Plain & simple. Thanks for helping to point out the what-should-be-but-is-not-so-obvious.

    February 17th, 2011 at 7:11 pm (#)

  3. Adam says:

    Hi Eugene, the comments looked lonely so I wanted to help.

    February 17th, 2011 at 7:26 pm (#)

  4. ilya says:

    Wow – what a douche. (Not you, Zhenka – the douche that wrote that comment.)

    February 17th, 2011 at 8:16 pm (#)

  5. Adam says:

    Wasn’t trying to be a douche :( apologies.

    February 17th, 2011 at 9:13 pm (#)

  6. eugene says:

    Not you Adam. Ilya meant the guy who wrote the comment on NPR’s site. Thank you for making the comments less lonely, Adam.

    February 17th, 2011 at 9:23 pm (#)

  7. Tariq says:

    With this douche’s logic, any victim contributes to his or demise. Maybe if I walk up to him and slap his face I can shrug it off as his idiot comment contributing to his red cheeks. Or maybe he is right and Lara is just the type of weirdo who goes to greap epic length to get some sexual gratification.

    February 17th, 2011 at 9:48 pm (#)

  8. Adam says:

    Thanks Eugene, good post :)

    February 17th, 2011 at 10:05 pm (#)

  9. Lindsay says:

    I find it strange that NPR’s comment section will house so much ignorance. We just over look it sometimes because it comes with the complete sentence structure and some semblance of grammar that the entire Internet seems to lack. I’m glad you pointed out his sad, misguided man. I hope he’s vain enough to Google himself and find it.

    February 18th, 2011 at 12:00 am (#)

  10. Katie Levin says:

    In addition to the ridiculous Harlem example, what struck me about that comment was that the writer called for personal responsibility while choosing to remain anonymous.

    February 18th, 2011 at 12:22 am (#)

  11. davis6 says:

    Look, most of us don

    June 1st, 2011 at 5:23 am (#)

  12. annand87 says:

    Look, most of us don

    June 1st, 2011 at 6:31 am (#)

  13. Ninja R says:

    Yes indeed, *some* of us don, but certainly not most of us. Most of us paul instead.

    June 13th, 2011 at 3:36 am (#)

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