In a letter to the editor published in The Gazette on January 4, 2007, Ms. Marie Yurchuk expresses the hope that the Croton Democratic Committee website will no longer advise residents to seek information about the village from “a local internet chat-room” and cites a link on that site that “takes residents to this chat-room where Democratic officials post commentary and where misinformation and other strangeness are abundant.”
Ms. Yurchuk’s letter is itself so full of “misinformation and strangeness,” Crotonblog hardly knows where to begin. Crotonblog has visited the Croton Democratic website and can find no place on the Democratic site where such a link appears. After signed informational comments were posted by Democratic trustees on Crotonblog, Crotonblog specifically addressed e-mails to Messrs. Schmidt and Brennan inviting them to post similar comments and messages for the edification of residents. Twice Messrs. Schmidt and Brennan did not respond to these invitations.
In her letter, Ms. Yurchuk makes several references to Crotonblog as a chat-room. Ms. Yurchuk and other critics, including Maria Cudequest and Richard Pellicci, persist in mischaracterizing Crotonblog and making similar wild charges about the content of its postings. They need to come into the 21st century and familiarize themselves with blogging practices and with blogging’s vocabulary.
Crotonblog is not, we repeat, not a chat room. A chat room is, by definition, a site on the Internet where a number of users can communicate in real time. A blog, on the other hand, is an online chronological log that makes provision for readers to make online comments anonymously and outside the control of the blog operator. Like it or not, anonymity is a feature of the blogging universe
Because Ms. Yurchuk’s other charges are so wild and nonspecific, Crotonblog will not even dignify them with a defense or a rebuttal—except to say that Crotonblog cannot be held responsible for anonymous letters sent to political candidates through the mails. Many of the comments to which she takes exception were part of satirical postings, an accepted form of expression in political commentary and, incidentally, outside the reach of libel laws.
If Ms.Yurchuk’s letter is intended to be the Croton Republicans’ first salvo on behalf of Messrs. Schmidt and Brennan in the upcoming political campaign for mayor and trustee, Crotonblog respectfully suggests that next time the Republicans get a bigger gun than a peashooter.