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« Gays Are the New Jews | Main | “Oh Moses, You Stubborn, Splendid, Adorable Fool!” »

April 05, 2006


I hate to say this, but what does it say about the Huffington Post readership when they love you when you write a post saying it's OK for gays to adopt (What reader of that blog is going to object to that?) and insult you when you write something mildly (and I mean MILDLY controversial) about circumcision, a ritual performed on Jewish men for ages.

As for the Hollywood development woman, that exchange was VERY unusual. I've pitched different projects many times, and people are rarely rude to you. If anything, you are usually encouraged to death and never get a straight answer. (they never know who you might become next week) It is a life of waiting by the phone rather than rudeness. In a way, that nasty woman was a refreshing change!

Even though I only did TV for a little while here in New York, I learned to despise a lot of the industry. And although I've been blogging for going on two years, I've also come to despise a lot of the internet.

I don't think I have a point coming for this, but now I'm depressed.

I don't know why people feel the need to go so far out of their way to spew hate, Danny. I am sorry that happened to you. Still, your blog entries are so intelligent and measured that I don't see how you could ever come out looking like the bad guy to anyone in their right mind.

Congratulations on moving forward with your writing projects. I know there will be more great things from you in the future and I can't wait to read them.

Wait, does this mean that there's a book coming from the Miller typewriter?

"I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody." – Bill Cosby

"Consider the source..." - my dad

"Easy for you to say..." - me

I don't blame you a bit for yanking the article. It wasn't the forum for it and there is nothing wrong with protecting your creative self from a landslide of crapola. You might want to revisit the issue after putting on a pith helmet and waders.

So write on.


PS I never write anything controversial in my blog... EVER. So I am jealous.

I say unleash mean Development Lady on the anti-Semitic, anti-circ crowd. Never mind a little snip -- they won't recognize themselves "down there" when she's done with them.

Just kinda warms me up thinking about it.

First, I confess that I never go to the Huffington Post and that it had been awhile since I dropped by here, even though I love your blog. But I just read over at Richard Lawrence Cohen's site that you have endured this horrible experience.

I am a Christian and an advocate of circumcision, not for religious reasons, but largely for those of custom and the disputed one of hygiene. When our son was circumcised twenty-five years ago, some people who learned of it derided us or treated us like the crazy aunt and uncle nobody ever talks about. But nobody subjected us to the sorts of unkind, malicious comments to which you have been subjected. (Nor were we, of course, subjected to antisemitism, although one Lutheran--and we are Lutherans--quizzed me somewhat mercilessly, disdainfully asking, "Does this have something to do with your religion?" A menacing antisemitic sentiment lurking beneath that question seemed to carry another one, "Why are you doing what those Jews do?")

I don't know that you were wrong for deleting the post and the comments. I might have been tempted to delete the comments, given their irrationality, and left your post online. It's one thing for people to disagree with a blogger and to express their disagreement. It's another thing to be a bigot. I delete bigoted comments from my blog without any hesitation or remorse.

As to the assertion of some of your commenters of a link between liberalism and antisemitism, I'm sure that there are antisemites among those on the left as surely as there are in the ranks of the middle and of the right.

Danny, you and I don't always agree on things...and I've enjoyed corresponding with you on our differences in the past. Maybe "enjoyed" is the wrong word. I would say "appreciated" might better describe it. But both words, enjoy and appreciate, do convey what I feel about your blog and from it, what I know about you. You're a caring, engaged person who doesn't take himself too seriously, one willing to engage in dialog, to hear other points of view, and even admit when your opinions may not be completely based in fact. (At least "the good Danny" you described some months ago wants to foster that sort of dialog. So does the good Mark, by the way.)

It's too damned bad--and I mean that it is literally damnably bad--when people refuse your good-natured invitation to dialog, preferring instead to engage in bigoted diatribe.

God bless you!

Mark Daniels

Oy, Danny. As your surrogate mother I'm pained to hear what you had to go through on the Huffington post. But in the same capacity, I'm proud of you for surviving and returning to the battlefield.

Many acts of spiritual commitment cannot be justified on a rational level. On the other hand, rationality is often used as a guise to justify hatred or hateful speech.

Let's hope none of the ranters follow you here.

The "Comments" section on every large politically-partisan blog reminds me of the "Two-Minute Hate" from "1984." It would make me nauseous, if it weren't so predictable. But when the comments are about your post, it's tough to shrug off. And in this case, it exposed some downright ugliness lurking in supposedly enlightened people.

The Huffington folks' comment about the majority of the people who take the time to comment being the ones who want to say something negative reminded me of something on Kevin Drum's blog a few months ago.

Kevin posted a "Getting To Know You" thread. Most of the people who posted on it, including myself, did so under their real names. They tended to be political moderates/independents and posted friendly, rational opinions. Whereas, many of the usual commenters on that site post under a pseudonym and rant so loudly that they probably don't hear themselves think for the ringing in their ears.

So either the usual commenters are multiple personalities, or the people who posted on the "Getting to Know You" thread are more indicative of Kevin's real readers.

The ranters are using their anonymity to get away with something. They think because they're not real people, they're not hurting a real person.

I like the Huffington Post but I must admit that I do not read it that much, the site is too busy for me.

Part of me wishes that you had not taken the post down, because I never got the opportunity to read it. I am sorry that you had to endure such hateful speech.

Anyway I love your blog and for a White straight :-) guy you always seem to be so sensitive and understanding of others, so I have a hard time imagining that you would write something that would incite so many people to be angry with you.

I was so sorry to hear about the nasty responses you received at Huffington Post. I don't blame you one bit for removing your article.
There seems to be an incredible amount of incivility and hate on the internet. Thanks for the articles in I read here. I love your intelligent sense of proportion.

The circumcision piece was the first of yours I read at Huffington. It was, as always with you, beautifully written, compelling, thoughtful and amusing too.

I didn't read the comments. I didn't even note how many there were at that point, because I never read comments on group-grope blogs, which is what Huffington Post is.

Actually, it's no more a blog than any print opinion publication is - really just a magazine done with bandwidth substituting for expensive paper and printing. They don't even have to hire anyone to edit the letters - just let anyone post anything whether it adds value or not.

A real blog becomes, over time, a community, and real discussion, argument (in the best sense of word) and a give-and-take takes place among the blogger and his/her commenters. Huffington just got her famous-name friends to write now and again and voila! she's a blogger? I don't think so. The entire tone of HP gives bloggers a bad name.

And I don't understand the purpose of encouraging idiotic vitriol - and it IS encouraged on such "blogs" as hers by not deleting offensive comments as real bloggers do when commenters are ignorant, bigoted and nasty.

Well, yes I do understand it - it draws traffic, but it doesn't add anything to the public discourse and in fact, detracts from it.

BTW - when I worked a lot in Hollywood, "development ladies" (you're SO polite) were referred to as "D Girls" and I never met one who wasn't as embarrasingly rude as the one you describe. They all think they're as important as the celebrities they work for and of course, they are eminently dispensible - as they all eventually find out.

How horrible for you, Danny! I'd have taken it down, too. I'm rather speechless.

I love you, Danny!(there, I thought you should have a nice comment)

How exciting that you are going for it with your writing. You have a lot of talent.

There is plenty of negativity out there, but there is no need to focus on it or cater to it.

The best of luck with your career--you are awesome!!!


Other folks in the world of blog have posted about your treatment.

That sucks man.

I actually stopped reading your blog for awhile after the circumcision post, but here I am, back again.
All those smutty comments are just over the top. I can't really blame you for taking it down -
Good luck, Danny.

I'm having a reaction to the use of the word "incite" used by TBLJ in the above comments. The implication of that word (to me, anyway)is that you brought this on yourself, purposefully. Which I don't think is the case. Also, I think using that word removes responsibility from the one who is speaking or acting in a less-than-civilized way. I think of all the violence that has taken place in the world, "incited" by the words or behaviors of others. We are all responsible for how we choose to behave, regardless of our emotional reaction to someone else's opinion or behavior. It doesn't surprise me that most or all of those who used your post to unleash personal attacks and anti-semitic comments didn't use their real names. I didn't know that bloggers can delete offensive comments, but I am glad they can, and do. I'm also glad that you have this forum to get a more balanced and reasonable reaction to what you have to say. That said, it does sound like this was an enlightening experience (for all of us reading this).

If those were the "nice" ones I'd hate to read the mean comments. In a group blog there is less control... I'd have deleted it too.

With your own blog, you can just delete any impolite people. Too bad there's not a similar real-life option that doesn't involve a felony.

Humorless trolls are everywhere. But political blogs tend to attract them in large numbers.

Good luck with the writing projects. I'll be first in line for the book. :)

And this reminds me of the film "The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz," in which Richard Dreyfuss tries everything to get the scratch together to create a lake development. Among the schemes is making a movie that includes a filmed circumcision.

I did not have my 2-year old son circumcised for all sorts of reasons - but you are OK Danny. Ok? Don't let those idiotic hate-mongers get to you. I don't agree with circumcision but I agree with YOU - the person you are. You're good. You care about children and will give your circumcised son a better life than all those uncircumcised hate-mongers ever gave their own. How can you raise a child with hatred like that? Now THERE'S something that ought to be outlawed.

Taking the post of the site was a reasonable reaction to unreasonable activity. AH should have a gatekeep process to weed out the whackers from the comment section. Free speech means free speech ... it does NOT mean that we have to listen. Also, I think that "incite" is a good desciptor for your post. Since communication is always related to perception from the communicator(minor, major, provocative, etc.) the reaction is always related to perception of the receiver(minor, major, provocative, etc.) so feedback will always be a mixture of praise, dissent, outright disregard for decorum and often direct and hurtful attack. If we are bent on putting information before the world -at-large we are not going to like everything we get back.

You seem intelligent, caring, and thoughtful in your writing, so I say ignore the extremes and keep going ...sticks and stones and allthat... :o)

Yes many believe in the socalled Jewish conspiracy which is planted by the Illuminati to cover up the role of the grey aliens.

No one should have to put up with comments, or commenters, like that. However provocative the post might have been to people, that didn't justify the manner in which they chose to respond.

Do you think I was wrong to delete the post and the comments? Does it have more to do with the fact that I suddenly felt I was the most despised person on the Internet? Who said our egos don't get involved with this stuff?

I don't think it's necessarily a matter of ego to want to preserve and protect one's dignity or to refuse to put up with vicious abuse. You were not wrong.

And it is nicer here.

The circ debate is probably the most devisive discussion on the internet. The anti-circ/anti-semites spend their entire days searching the net for anyone who posts anything about circ, just to blast them with their antisemetic, anti-circ diatribes. There is nothing one can do to defend oneselves against fanatics, and these people are fanatics. Recently a person I know had a son and their house was PICKETED by anti-circ folks during the bris. We had to call the police. It's crazy. My feeling is, your post on your blog was lovely and touching and did nothing to incite the kind of hatred you got. It just goes to show you that they don't even READ the posts before they start spewing their vitriol.

I think you did the right thing by deleting the post and the comments. Who needs that kind of dreck?

Oh, innocence played the guys in the swinger porn matter with the girls.

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