CHW blog continues verbal assault on elected officials' dignity

Warning: this post might constitute feeding the trolls, something to which I am adamantly opposed. However, the blog Chapel Hill Watch has continued to push the boundaries of taste with their strange personal attacks on politicians with whom they disagree. In their recent "Roll Call" post, CHW speculates about the personal relationships of Chapel Hill Town Council Member Donna Bell and Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt in light of their absences at a Council meeting that was held on Valentine's Day.

If Nancy (and husband Don Evans, who co-authors the blog) are really concerned about attendance, they could easily contact the Clerk of the Town who would tell you that Mayor Kleinschmidt was watching the meeting at home while nursing a sprained ankle. (I knew this because he tweeted about it quite publicly.) I don't happen to know why Donna was absent, but we have every reason to assume it was for important and unavoidable reasons - just as we assume for any other elected official who hasn't given us cause to think otherwise.

But what I found most shocking was Nancy's decision to comment about whether or not Mark was wearing his wedding ring at recent meetings. I have never, ever heard anyone publicly comment in polite company on whether someone else was wearing a ring - unless they were trying to pick that person up. Assuming Nancy Oates isn't interested in courting the Mayor, she has gone way over the line. She has left the political arena and entered the field of playground taunts.

I simply can't imagine this kind of remark being made about any other elected official. Eg: "Oooh look, Sally Greene doesn't have her ring on!" This would never happen. Reasonable people would assume that she has a hand problem, and that it's none of their beeswax anyway.  I have to wonder what makes CHW think this is meaningful, relevant, or even appropriate. I hope it's not because Mark is gay or that Nancy finds it somehow acceptable to make fun of him for not being legally married.

These immature personal attacks are exactly why I make a point of not reading CHW and other similarly childish blogs (this one was called to my attention by several outraged friends).  I will reiterate my request to all reasonable to people (and reporters ;-) ) to stop encouraging them by reading and commenting on their outrageous ideas.

I'd also like to call on CHW to apologize, and to focus future commentary on the issues with which they are supposedly so concerned, or risk losing any remaining credibility they may have.



Given all the personal attacks on elected officials and candidates that
have occurred on OP over the years Ruby, I think you are way over the
line on hypocrisy here. Since you say you don't read CHW, how do you know all this information about what is posted there?

Terri, I think there is a difference when attacks focus on issues vs. someones personal life. We are all human, and when a marriage fails it hurts. There is no need ever to publicly assault anyone on a so call political blog about their personal relationships. This was done for shock value only. It is not funny. 

I'm sorry to see that Ruby removed her response. It was a good and honest response that I was looking forward to discussing further.For purposes of full disclosure, I want to make sure anyone reading this knows that I am one of the writers for CHW so I am not a disinterested party.I happen to agree that the recent post on Mark's personal life was over the top, and Fred Black and I both said so publicly. I had a further discussion privately. And any one here could have done the same thing, directly, instead of coming here where Nancy and Don probably won't even see it. Obviously, the intent of this thread is public humiliation. What is most interesting to me is that it is just a variation of what Nancy is being accused of--intentional public humiliation. That's hypocrisy. Intentional public humiliation is not acceptable for CHW or OP; it's not acceptable period. 

I didn't publish (or unpublish) a response earlier, not sure what you're referring to, Terri. I visit even my least favorite local web sites a few times a year to see what's going on there, although I hadn't visited CHW since you started writing there. I've found that while the comments there are sometimes reasonable, the blog posts have been frequently angry, snarky, and uninformed. I like to think that I limit myself to just being occasionally snarky here on OP, and even that is moderated by the fact that I know I'm talking about real people with real feelings. I'm not perfect, nor are other particpants on OP.  Last summer, I changed the overly-snarky title of a blog post about the OC School Board runoff because I thought better of it.  And as you probably also know, I do enforce some guidelines about both content and behavior on anyone who blogs or comments here, and I maintain an even higher standard for anonymous comments. If you are so certain that I have written things that are comparable to Nancy's "over the top" blogging (of which "Roll Call" is only one of many examples), please share the links and we can compare.

In order for hypocrisy to exist, there has to be some sort of a double standard. I feel reasonably certain that were such an asinine statement about someone's personal life made here, it would be responded to in the same way. But even were that not the case, I don't think Ruby has any responsibility to play "politeness police" with every statement anyone ever makes on OP. If that responsibility exists, it belongs to the whole community - no one of us can do it all. Instead, she posted her personal opinion about a statement made publicly that she felt was rude and distasteful, as any of us have the right to do.  For the record, I found it rude and distasteful as well.

Wait. Can we go back to the part where Nancy Oates is trying to pick up Mark Kleinschmidt?


Glad someone appreciated my attempt at humor.

OP used to attract more diverse voices. Shortly before Ruby announced the new "Blurts" I was thinking how debate on OP has become boring. I'm not talking about the people currently blogging on OP. I refer to those who are missing. I suppose having more blogs in the community is a good thing, but for me, it's a bit like cable TV, there's more words flying around, but, less substantive debate (Please note: I said less substance, not zero).  OP was a place where people who would not ordinarily meet would shoot a few ideas across the bows of each others ships, (the more outrageous, the better - thank you Mark M., Jose, .....) Ruby's clear about how she runs the site:"And as you probably also know, I do enforce some guidelines about both content and behavior on anyone who blogs or comments here, and I maintain an even higher standard for anonymous comments."I think the site would return to being the place to kick around local ideas if she enforced MORE guidelines. I think more people would start posting again, maybe even moderate democrats, independents and republicans. Any log cabin republicans care to join the fray? About now I can see old school local dems spewing their coffee as they read this.  :)Maybe this would require more work from Ruby than she can or cares to put forth. Maybe others could help. Maybe others do help already. Maybe OP does NOT want to do such a thing. What do I know? I would rather see OP move along these lines rather than line everyone's scabs up in a row, shine a laboratory light on them, rip the skin back and see which pus is more putrid. And like Ruby, I say this with a wink.BTW, I've never actually met Fred Black.

I agree. Flame wars have driven some great posters away.Subject matter has definitely been lacking on this site. There are some great topics floating around such as the OC commissioners talking about another sales tax vote this next election. Problem is from what I have read there are only municipal elections coming up in 2011 pretty much shutting out county voters outside of municipalities. Historically county voters don't turnout for municipal only elections. Since county votere defeated the last go round,this next go round if 2011 pretty much assures it will pass. Doesn't say much for county representaion.  I believe in order to correct this massive property tax growth problem in the county we need comprehensive tax reform.Let's address the whole problem and propose new tax sources (ie sales, transfer, income etc ) combined with property tax reform all in 1 package. Also combine with adequate education to show voters that property taxes will decrease and taxation will be spread over a more fair distribution of sources.

...I hope you all know what to do:

OP is heavily moderated and boring as hell.


Community Guidelines

By using this site, you agree to our community guidelines. Inappropriate or disruptive behavior will result in moderation or eviction.


Content license

By contributing to OrangePolitics, you agree to license your contributions under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.

Creative Commons License

Zircon - This is a contributing Drupal Theme
Design by WeebPal.