A couple of people wrote this week, asking why we allow anti-conspiratorial writers to comment on the site.
Answer: Because of a certain philosophical premise we embrace:
It’s called the free exchange of ideas. We’re in favor of it.
Not just some of the time. Not just for people we like. Not just for people we agree with. Not just for people who are right. For everybody all the time. If you adhere to the minimal requirements of the the comment policy, you are welcome, regardless of opinion.
Both complainers cited the style of argument used by “photon’ and John McAdams. They are said to be mean, unfair, biased, wrong, and disruptive. Maybe they are. Readers can decide for themselves.
(Most of the time, IMO, I think their reflexive denials, habitual defensiveness, factual gymnastics, and supercilious tone are informative. If we censored their comments, readers might be unfamiliar with the factual weakness of their case. But that’s just my opinion.)
Other times these and other dissenters offer new information and perspectives.
I take their constant presence on the site as a compliment. I think John McAdams comments on this site because he knows the most important debate about JFK’s assassination on the Internet takes place here. On that point of fact, McAdams is indisputably correct.
As comments editor Peter Voskamp said: “If we’re going to be an open forum for all comers, I don’t know how we can operate any differently.”