We recently received a comment about a candidate. We won't name the candidate (Jim Gordon). That comment arguably went 'too far.' It was funny, but we chose not to publish the comment. Later, that same person admitted they went too far and understood why we chose not to publish said comment.
We'd like to thank him/her for the admission that there are lines that one should not cross. It showed a maturity that is not always found on comment threads.
Our policy of not posting potentially defamatory statements is designed to protect the person making the comment as well as ensuring this publication doesn't devolve into nothing more than a juvenile pissing contest. Juvenile pissing contests are fine but we would like substance as well.
Unfortunately, we've had to block otherwise worthy comments due to one word or sentence that we believe steps over the line. We acknowledge that the line is not always clear. Lets see if we can come up with a few rules:
1) Racial, religious, ethnic, sexual preference slurs - out (once again, Belgians and United Methodists excepted);
2) Stay away from candidates spouses, children etc. unless they have joined the fray, which means more than being by the spouse's side;
3) Rumors of any the candidate's (all 73 of them) marital problems, infidelities or out-of-wedlock children, drug use, participation in Dungeons and Dragons games, Zamfir CD collection... won't be published. Now, if they are funny, clever, subtle and not directed to a specific candidate, we'll think about it. We're only human;
4) Obviously, allegations of political machine corruption, dirty tricks etc. are fair game. As is a candidate's temperament for the job.
5) We reserve the right to be arbitrary and capricious.
6) Comments about the Tutunjian Administration are now (wink, wink) strictly prohibited (wink, wink) and any such commentators will be blocked (wink, wink) from posting anything (nudge, nudge) so don't even try it! We dare you!
The white elephant in the room, or in the post, is the infamous 911 call made from a certain house, to a certain Police Department. What appeared in the press is fair game. The spouse of a candidate felt the need to utilize city resources to intervene in a domestic dispute. That is all we know. It's fair to comment but going beyond what is reported would be mere speculation and at this juncture unfair to all involved. We do think it would be good to clear the air and reassure voters. To that end, perhaps the participants involved in the police visit could consent to the release of the 911 tape. Voters can see that the events reported in the press match the actual events recorded and we can put this all to rest. That benefits not only the Gordon campaign but all the campaigns. We don't know why the Gordon camp wouldn't want to take that step.