Seattle Times columnist can’t stand commenters, retires

Seattle Weekly
Seattle Times sports columnist Steve Kelley has standard reasons for retiring at 63: “I find myself at a lot more games thinking ‘I’ve written this story 411 times now. Isn’t that enough?’” he tells Seattle Weekly contributor Rick Anderson.

But another complaint puts him squarely in league with former Ohio Rep. Steve LaTourette and fans of science writing: “”The reader comments section, it’s a free-for-all,” Kelley said.

“The level of discourse has become so inane and nasty. And it’s not just at the Times, it’s ESPN, everywhere – people, anonymous people, take shots at the story, writers, each other. Whatever you’ve achieved in that story gets drowned out by this chorus of idiots.”

Kelley says he won’t write a farewell column. His last column will run near the end of January, Anderson says.

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  • roadgeek

    Another journalist who can’t take the heat. For many decades journalists controlled the narrative; controlling the flow of information and influencing what was said and discussed. The readers had no way to respond.

    They do now. Technology has made possible a real-time response to journalism, and most journalists don’t like it one bit. They don’t like being corrected, and they don’t like being challenged. Many journalists, the older ones especially, can’t adapt and are having to leave.
    Too bad. My sympathy is limited, given the utter swill passed off as journalism by so many reporters and editors.

  • Howard Owens

    us, real names, enforced behavioral expectations, participation …
    weed, seed and feed … and we can discuss everything from abortion and
    gay rights to who has the best pizza in town without it getting out of
    hand. Why do comments continue to be a problem for newspapers online? It’s not rocket science.

  • sargeh

    He’s certainly correct about a lot of those who leave comments, but by grouping them all together, he shows disdain for his readers. It’s probably best for him — and his readers — that he does retire.