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Everybody likes being right, but sometimes being right is a lot more like a severe depressant than an ego boost.  Such is the case with today’s look at the world’s widest web:  I have always maintained that, even in comparison with such internet sewers as IMDB and YouTube, the comments sections on Yahoo! News are the best proof anyone might want that, of all the ways it has changed society, the primary impact of the internet has been to shatter the illusion that the vast majority of the population does not consist of morons.  Yahoo!, whose commenters take the site name all too seriously, is so bad that I have made the claim that you can pick any news story on any subject completely at random, and not only will the first ten pages of comments contain statements that would make Joseph Goebbels join a monastery, but the very first page will feature someone saying something you would never consider repeating in decent society.

The thing is, I always intended this more or less as a joke.  But recently, housebound by bad weather and unemployed, and obsessed with the peoples’ struggle in Egypt, I found myself reading more news than usual, and I decided to actually test my theory, and it turns out, I was completely right.  You can literally pick any story about anything and the comments section is almost immediately infested by goons, salivating over everything as if web architecture were made out of steak, and raving on and on about their insane causes or paranoid fantasies whether or not they actually have anything to do with the topic of the article.  Take, for example, this article.  It’s pretty innocuous by news standards — it’s about a crime, but not a particularly violent, senseless or stupid one; it doesn’t involve terrorism, black people, or Mexicans (to name three typical triggers for a commenter moron tsunami); it’s apolitical, it doesn’t take place in a foreign country, and it doesn’t involve women, homosexuals or the mentally disabled in any obvious way.  It’s in every way a generic piece of news reporting, of an arrest in a major but uncontroversial crime.  And yet, and yet:  scroll down to the very first pace of comments, and watch the assholes expand, release and contract.

it was harry reid.

Obama wants 1/2 the chips to redistribute to deadbeat theives and unemployed gamblers.

Probably Nancy Pelosi upset about the tax extensions

My guess it was one of Harry Reid’s union thug buddies picking up some payola under the guise of a casino robbery.

So your government prints TRILLIONS in counterfeit money and you peeps get excited about chump change like this?

An armed bandit in Vegas? Must be Harry Reid. I for one, will never go to Vegas again after those nutty people re-elected him.

It was probably Senator Henry Reid. He’s the biggest thief in Nevada.

In the old days the suspect would be found out in the desert with a bullet hole behind his ear—- now the just call their insurance agent and PR man. Sure miss the good old days!

he on his way to dc to pay down the usa debt to china a god fearing american patroit

I keep reading “he”,I see a person wearing a helmet.I don’t see any facial features.I see a heavy black leather jacket again no body features,  How do we know this isn’t a woman in disguise?

Who owns the casinos/ and Vegas itself? The Illuminati.They will find this robber and bury him in a sand dune.

You yahoo censor nazi’s make me sick! stinkin ghestapo!

What about the real lcrooks in Washington DC ? We know who they are and yet they continue. None better than our own Harry Reid. What a bas tard scum bag crook he is and the brown skins voted 99 % to put him back in office last November. Shame on all of us.

$8.0 Billion of “Pork” or the nicer word “Earmarks” in today’s Omnibus spending bill ($1.1 Trillion) to keep the government going. $300,000 to control pig crap in North Carolina, $300,000 for Polynesian Juice study, $300,000 for some Potato bug in Wisconsin and the list goes on and on with the idea that none of you will notice $300,000 in the government..This Bellagio guy is small time. The real thieves are in DC stealing your money right now when we just had an election screaming at them to stop spending our money!!!!

I guess he was just taking back HIS money from the big, bad, greedy rich casino – like, redistributing the wealth; kind of thing! Following Obama’s plan, as it were! A very good Democrat, I bet!

..he is to make double compensation. Exodus 22:4  From the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures, the inspired word of Jehovah God.

Start firing the lazy security bums. They are probably in on it. Eyes in the sky and cat walks and they let some punk lift 1.5 big ones. That guy will be a desert dart for sure….Get some real security not some outsourced rent-a-pigs

Another silly dimocrap tries to strike it rich.

Was he hispanic or………

Even the large denomination chips can be laundered. Some Chinese or Arab dude will be happy to pay 50% on the dollar.

it was an illegal muslim that robbed them lol

As a retired pit boss and former Naval Green Beret kaptain with a 4th degree black belt in Judo I would like to have just 5 minutes alone with this guy in a locked room.

just like Capone said jack-booted-thugs

Where was Obama

OSKAR GARCIA — You’re not Jewish…who the hell did you get an article published? Congrats.

google chemtrails. planes are spraying the air you breath. why dont they evaporate? because its metal.

I think the bandit was Harry Reid. Afterwards, he gave the chips away to crack hores, ACORN and Juan.

Sounds like a hispanic name.

Them EYE-tah-lians are a real hoot, ain’t they?

The son of a judge? I wonder if the judge supported Reid in the last election and if his son is an independent actor or part of a group that just didn’t have the luck that others have had. Wouldn’t it be interesting to find if he is also a union worker or a strong Obama supporter?

God this thief was dopey! Must be a liberal!

They should call this the The Obama Heist cause it sounds like something only a person with half a brains like Obama would do.

Daddy should give him 10 years for stupidity next 300lb Tyrone.

if you have three people standing around can you tell which 2 are democrats. answer the one reaching into ones pocket and handing it to the other person who will take it with a smile on his are hers face

Looks like Obama has a running mate…must be from Chicago!

Suspects name is Carleo fathers name Asaad ?Arab trying to be wannabe Italian.

life isnt good if you care about the rape,murder,and the cost of you illegal aliens,third world brain dead trash

His father is assad????? No records of his drug dealing?? Time to put this piece of s**t away !!!!

Assad isnt a “whitey” name retards. But it is a typical filthy muzzie name.

Muslims are the devils tools.

Why do greazey Arabs attempt to pass themselves off as Italians? His real last name is Assad. This isn’t the first time that I’ve seen this happen. I have a friend that’s Italian and watched her confront a guy at a bar regarding him telling her that he was Italian. When she got in his face he smiled and said that he was only joking and that he was really Persian. Persia has been gone long before this fool was born and she said “Persian? Are you a fuC&*% cat or a rug?” He said “Neither, I’m Iranian.” Too F’ ing funny!

Just another dirty “Assad”….

lol stupid. the illegals steal millions a day from the american people why isnt anything being done?

with a name like that he’s gotta be a terrorist rape him then hang him

Add this to about six billion Ocean’s Eleven jokes and a bunch of “who cares?” comments (a.k.a. the absolute dumbest thing you can write on the internet), and you pretty much get the idea.  Go ahead:  check any Yahoo! news story.  About football, about a dog show, about the weather, anything.  And see if you don’t get the same result.  Stay just the way you are, internet.

(Oh, and if you were wondering ‘Aren’t there a bunch of crazy liberal comments on there too?’, the answer is yes.  They’re the ones found under the heading “COMMENT HIDDEN DUE TO LOW RATING”.)



Feb. 3rd, 2011 09:13 pm (UTC)
"the primary impact of the internet has been to shatter the illusion that the vast majority of the population consists of morons."

Don't you mean the illusion that it *doesn't* consist of morons?
Feb. 4th, 2011 01:06 am (UTC)
I probably knew you were right about this, but I had to go check anyway.
Last comment, posted four minutes ago
::sounds like a democrat who doesn't want a real job, now he will be able to get three square meals, unless his father;s friends, help him beat the rap. Assad sounds like a muslim...better not get him angry...::

Feb. 4th, 2011 01:19 am (UTC)
Whenever I foolishly feel slightly optimistic about the world, I like to bring myself down a few hundred notches by reading CNN news comments. I see now that Yahoo comments will suffice as well.
Feb. 5th, 2011 12:03 am (UTC)
I've played this game for awhile -- trying to find the most uncontroversial news story out there, mentally trying to predict what sort of wacky interpretation outraged commenters will project onto it, and then seeing if I'm correct. I only score about 50%; my first instinct is to be sad that I'm not better at it, which is silly because if I consider it for half a second more it becomes clear that if I really could think like these people I'd be in serious trouble.

Anyway, two things: in reading those comments I was surprised that no one was advocating the death penalty, because that seems to be what about every third commenter on Yahoo! does -- suggests that any criminal or suspect referenced in the story should be taken out back and shot without trial, thus saving the commenter those precious tax dollars they are spending on useless things like jails and due process and the Constitution and all such fluffery. This seems to hold true for murderers and rapists right down to kids caught toking up outside the 7/11. In any case, I was going to say that I was surprised that none of the commenters had gone in that direction with this story, and then I got to the last comment you quoted. Oh well.

Secondly, when I went to view the story you linked I saw a story in the sidebar that seemed even less controversial: Falling ice injures at least 6 at Cowboys Stadium. There, I figured, we'll really test the theory.

Fourth comment:

"pity bush wasn't standing outside"

Reply to fourth comment:

"Or Obama"

Yeah, this country's in great shape.

(I also really like the comment from commenter "PC" stating "Clearly, a problem caused by global warming...or George Bush...or Y2K...", but that's a few pages in. There is also a lot of piquant commentary on your current state of residence, if you are interested.)
Feb. 5th, 2011 09:19 pm (UTC)
Well, there's perhaps some slight consolation to be found in that an inordinate number of internet commenters are probably 13-year-olds who will grow out of it. A lot of them probably don't even know or care about what they're saying, they just like to shock people.

That's what I tell myself, every day.


flavored with age
Gun-totin', Chronic-smokin' Hearse Initiator
Ludic Log


Leonard Pierce is a freelance writer wandering around Texas with no sleep or sense of direction. If you give him money he will write something for you. If you are nice to him he may come to your house and get drunk.

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