Here's another edition of "The Stupids," written by Tom Grubisich. The newest straw man is an attack on the pseudonym. First it was the civility of our commenters (Read Howard Kurtz on The Huff Post) and now this. It's really simple. Some people feel the need to protect themselves when they express a "freedom of ideas." Others are working in an environment that doesn't allow them to reveal themselves publicly and want to speak out. Why are certain reporters so afraid of blogging?
Grubisich thinks the public square has become too open, and he wants to erect some new barriers to entry. That's what the pseudonymity discussions are always about: Privileged members of the media feeling great anxiety that they're no longer set apart simply by access to microphones and looking for ways to keep the barbarians off the stage. But whatever, I'm willing to meet them halfway. I'll start running background checks on my readers if Grubisich and his colleagues consents to some symmetrical constraints: If they write something stupid, inflammatory, or wrong, they will lose their jobs. If what you want is for new entrants to the public sphere to feel more vulnerable when participating, it's only fair that you do the same.
Duncan: This is it in a nutshell. And, as Ezra suggests, the club that they want to use is the "consequences," which for most of us is about having current or future employment prospects threatened because someone googles our names and discovers that we don't like George Bush enough, or we hate her favorite rock band, or some other reason. This, of course, is a barrier too high for plenty of people. Which is the point.