CINCINNATI (TDB) -- U.S. EPA Deputy Director Marcus Peacock says he's been encouraging other federal officials to start blogging. So far, not much luck. They are nervous about the rough-and-tumble of the 'net. Peacock says he's been called names and doesn't mind. He'll be blogging away despite the insults.
On his EPA blog, Peacock writes:
"I'm trying to get other federal officials to blog. One official fretted about being called names. They noted that another blogger had called me a 'weasel.' Big deal. Every senior EPA appointee since 1970 has taken all kinds of criticism from all corners. It's understandable. EPA's work touches deeply held convictions regarding everything from property rights to the morality of contaminating nature."
Contrast Peacock's view to that of Kentucky State Rep. Tim Couch, who has filed a bill to ban anonymous comments on blogs. Couch doesn't like the unrestrained nature of the Internet. And contrast Peacock's view to that of Cincinnati Enquirer editorial page editor David Wells, who calls those who post anonymously on blogs "cowardly blowhards." Wells says he hates -- yes, he used the word hate -- both the commenters and Couch's attempt to curb them:
"But they have an absolute First Amendment right to be cowardly blowhards if that's how they prefer to communicate with the rest of the world. Couch's objection to anonymous postings is that they often are nasty. He said he's been the subject of anonymous online nastiness himself. That's rude, but it's no reason to rewrite the First Amendment."
Peacock, at the EPA, seems to have a better handle on the debate over Internet comments. He says live with the warped views. And he added a poem:
Never tease a weasel
Not even once or twice
The weasel will not like it
And teasing isn't nice