If you've ever read an article at Cleveland.com, then journeyed farther south to the comments section, you know that it's a reason-free zone. Most discussions (heh) are dominated by the unspeakably angry disenchanted who seem to be killing time before Rush Limbaugh comes back on the air, to whom all news is evidence of corruption, liberal/socialist/ACORN conspiracies, the homosexual agenda, etc. Their rants are typically broken up only by posts from obvious trolls ("I think the Medical Mart plan is awesome!!! Dig baby dig!!!"). It's draining and resembles informed discourse in the same way that Jimmy Dimora resembles an inspiring leader.
Local blogger Christine "Really Bad Cleveland Accent" Borne has this funny idea that these animals can be tamed, or at least shamed. We were skeptical when she floated that theory last year, but now she's claiming success:
Today's cleveland.com story about tuition at Oberlin is the best example I've seen yet about why you should take my cleveland.com challenge. After a few typical knee-jerk potshots, the discussion starts to approach intelligence! Why? Because intelligent people join in the conversation — and the stock negative one-liners peter out considerably.
We see her point, but still maintain that reading the cleveland.com comments is bad for the soul. — Frank Lewis
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