The Sewers of the Internet

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Goldblog reader Jeff Bergman writes, in reference to Michael Gerson's excellent column:

Here's a question -- has any good ever come out of the comments section of a major on-line content provider?  You don't provide a blackboard for every hater out there at the bottom of your blog -- why does the Washington Post think that it's a good idea?  Why not make these guys at least get their own damn blogs?

The thinking is that comments sections engage existing readers, and bring in new readers, especially the ones with big mouths. But I've only rarely read something in a comments section that was worthwhile. In my own case, I get enough anti-Semitism through e-mail; I'm not such a masochist that I would want to make myself even more available to douchebag Jew-haters.

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Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

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