Friday, May 8, 2009

Guest Commentary: Is the Repository's Jeff Gauger Showing Favoritism Towards Octopuppet?

I Hate Canton is thrilled to feature our first guest blogger: Anonymous. (Hey, if anonymity is good enough for the Rep, it's good enough for IHC! As our audience grows we hope more readers will submit commentary.

As readers of the I Hate Canton blog are well aware, Octopuppet has been tireless lately in her quest to attack and destroy the good reputations of those people she dislikes. And as she appears to like no body except for her buddy the “handsome, young mayor” (Octopuppet’s words, not mine), she is kept rather busy.

Recently, her attacks have taken a disturbing turn. What used to be harmless and annoying little jabs at her enemies has now escalated into a full scale attack on people’s reputations. In the last week, alone, she has lobbed accusations of drug use, pedophilia, and election fraud.

One can almost forgive Repository Executive Editor Jeff Gauger for his inability to control the Octopuppet. She is, after all, quick on her keyboard and ruthless in the steps she will take to demean those she does not like. What can not be forgiven, however, is Gauger’s lack of compassion for the victims of Octopuppet.

Lack of compassion? Surely I am overreacting, you might be saying. What else would you call it when Gauger blatantly ignores multiple reader complaints about Octopuppet. He does not even afford his readers the courtesy of a response. This is customer service at its worst! This blogger even has it on good authority that Gauger hung up on a concerned reader who called him to complain about a recent libelous attack that Octopuppet had been allowed to post.

Additionally, this blogger finds it curious that while all but the very worst of Octopuppet’s insults seem to be allowed to remain actively posted for hours or even days, any time someone tries to defend themselves against an Octopuppet attack their comment gets removed nearly instantly. Does Gauger show favoritism towards the Octopuppet? It sure appears that way.

While we understand that banning an Octopuppet personality from commenting would only delay her attacks for as long as it takes her to set up a new username, it still baffles this blogger as to why Gauger will not ban a username that insists on repeatedly posting inaccurate and libelous statements. Such lack of action does not seem to be on par for an editor of a major newspaper.

So what is Gauger’s agenda?

Apathy? A strange thrill from all the controversy? A savvy business mind that sees Octopuppet’s antics as a way to drive website traffic?

This blogger believes it is a combination of all the above.

And while in the short term Gauger’s lack of action on the Octopuppet situation might not have any significant negative effects, in the long term it is our belief that such actions will lead to the downfall of the Rep’s reputation as a legitimate news source and Gauger’s reputation as a leader in the journalism industry.


BD said...

What puzzles me so much is the swiftness by which non-offensive comments in defense of attempted character assassination and personal smears are removed, while OP's initial attack stays on or is removed at somebody's leisure.

A Resident of Zero Toleranceville said...

This is a good editorial. I agree with BD - why is it that whenever someone tries to defend themselves from Octo Puppet their comments seem to be instantly deleted yet the attacks on the innocent are allowed to remain. It's a mystery. Why won't the Rep ban users who insist on calling people pedophiles? That is probably one of the worst character assassinations possible but yet the Rep doesn't seem to care. It's sad. Thank you for the wonderful blog, I Hate Canton!