So what’s really in a name?(II of II)

Nevermind, for a moment, that internet message boards are founded on avatars and screen names that make many posters anonymous to most readers. And nevermind the cognitive dissonance of people who administer and write for an online publication implicitly arguing against the founding principle of the very medium (the web) they’re using: namely, that online, discourse is emphasized over personality or identity, which is why they’re called message boards and not people boards. The real point is this: It’s unclear to me how knowing MY NAME changes the thrust or (de)merits of my ideas and criticism in the DeeAnn Bailey case (or any other, for that matter). For it to really have any impact on my argument, I’d have to be a) someone who knows and has a personal beef with Bailey, or b) that person’s secret agent, or c) working or doing contract hit-jobs for the Singing News (which ought to be obviously untrue to anyone who has spent any amount of time on this site; and let’s be honest: it’s not like my site is or ever will be any kind of serious competition for either sogospelnews.com or the SN). Bailey’s post and the entire thread on “credit or responsibility” is definitely worth reading, though it’s too bad you can’t respond to anything said there anymore, since Susan Unthank promptly locked down the thread when the discussion threatened to become unmanageably free-flowing, just as the thread that introduced and discussed this site on the message boards has been locked down (Sogospelnews.com: where the fans have a voice, except when administrators shush them up). In that thread, Bailey certainly seems to imply that she is owed a certain amount of unearned credibility and “get out of editing-and-writing jail free” cards just because her story was bylined. But what does that mean? I would have had the same problems with her reporting had it been done anonymously. Likewise, my comments on this and other topics retain their force as arguments about ideas and claims about issues independent of what my name is. I’ve long since conceded that I’m willing to take a credibility hit for being anonymous. And I’m not suggesting bylined news is bad. But it’s ridiculously disingenuous to say “that guy arguing for basic standards of editing and writing and accuracy in sg news reports, he doesn’t sign his name, so we can disregard everything he says because I signed my name.” Huh? Ding me all you want, I guess I’m saying, for remaining anonymous, but don’t confuse that issue with the (in)validity of the arguments I’m making.

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