“[I] used to contribute horse racing opinions here, now I occasionally visit, like a dog returns to his vomit, to get a good laugh, and for the genius of a few of the commentators who have something to offer. Run by a leftist, censoring, tightwad, who’s beliefs regarding horse racing and politics are driven by which way the wind blows, it is not [sic] surprise where all the conservative and honest persons have gone.
“Chalk up another loser for Pricci, especially if the inquiry is unsuccessful.”
As the Church Lady, created by Dana Carvey for Saturday Night Live back in the day often said, “well, isn’t that special?”
I bring this up because it comes on the heels of a YouTube video in which the publisher of the Paulick Report, Ray Paulick, stated that the comment section on his popular Thoroughbred website has been temporarily suspended while he and staff evaluate whether or not to reinstitute it.
The policy decision, even if temporary, proved unpopular with many Internet regulars who, especially with respect to horse racing, love the give-and-take on, with apologies to The Jockey Club, matters pertaining to racing.
And the Deity knows there certainly is no shortage of material which racing fans and horseplayers can #hashtag over.
In his remarks, Paulick spoke about how much he enjoys reading the comments himself, that it has been a forum for ideas, whether ultimately good or bad, illuminating or not; funny or not-so-much, but now has grown weary of negativity for negativity’s sake.
Race-tracker trolls are, after all, not limited to the Twittersphere.
On balance, Paulick Report steers clear of politics, a subject which was included on PR’s comprehensive list of commenting policies for its site.
For its part, HRI has basically one commenting policy: No pointedly foul language and no personal attacks. Otherwise, have at all of it. No subject, preferably intelligently discussed, is out of bounds–and that includes politics.
The next comment appeared on HRI this morning, beneath the headline “Updated: Selection for Today’s Cigar Mile at the Big A” in the featured Latest Columns section.
In response to the HRI critical comment was this comment from another HRI regular, posted December 8, 2020 at 10:10 am:
“I would ask that we all keep HRI a place where politics are not discussed. This space is open for horseplayers and racing fans to discuss the sport without political commentary.
“There are plenty of forums to discuss politics, can we please have ONE place, HRI, where we can avoid any political discussion.”
Prior to the non-defensive response above concerning HRI’s editor in particular and HorseRaceInsider policy is general, I posted this rejoinder to the ne’er-comment-well author quoted at the top of this post from 9:26 am today:
“John Pricci – On the Line says: “The people decide what they decide, they will be the judge.”
Fair-minded HRI readers, even when disagreeing with op-eds, generally commend HorseRaceInsider for providing space for a free exchange of ideas, acknowledging that we monitor comments when this privilege is abused vis a vis foul language and/or personal attacks.
Paulick spoke of his impatience with a handful of commenters with agendas that “ruin it for everyone.” I couldn’t agree more.
As the owner/publisher of HorseRaceInsider.com, I make no apologies for any political commentary I choose to engage in. First and foremost, it’s family first. Next, for me personally, comes the nexus between my love of the game and for the democracy of my youth.
A hopeless romantic, I will always strive to find truth, justice–and a more perfect union. I can separate church from state. What I can’t separate is America from the rule of law.
Agree or not, it is my opinion that anyone who does not believe the current administration in Washington is little more than a criminal enterprise is either blind to the autocratic politics of division, where might is always right, or is narcissistically self-serving beyond the pale.
Does that make me judgmental? Damn right.
If my opponent has no wish to fight fair citing facts, if he chooses alternative truth to support his views by allowing talking points to blur the boundaries of conscience, I will allow him to tell that story walking. If, however, his weapons are fairness and truth, making a compelling argument, I will defer, as I often have.
The part of the criticism at the top that set me off–albeit not to the degree of eliminating the vox populi principles of a website that chooses to be an arbiter for fact-based truth–is that my views are “driven by which way the wind blows” is shamefully dishonest and a distortion of reality.
I am unabashedly and unapologetically progressive, a left-of-center pragmatist who will defer if your point is better than mine, if your solution makes more sense. Handicapping horses isn’t the only discipline that humbles a man. Responsibility and experience are excellent overseers, too.
Indeed, it is not surprising “where all the conservative and honest persons have gone.” Back into their bubbles, where truth finishes a bad second to hollow cries of “fake news.”