Iconic Local News Commenters

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Capella Tower
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Joined: June 3rd, 2012, 10:11 am
Location: MSP

Iconic Local News Commenters

Postby Didier » March 16th, 2020, 11:27 am

If you're an intrepid local news watcher like Nick, MNdible and myself, you might have noticed that a few particularly active commenters tend to have an outsized influence on our discourse. Say, for example, the latest Eric Black Ink headline has you seething so you click into the MinnPost site for the first time in a while. In the comments you might see Hiram Foster and Dennis Tester going back and forth with dueling dissertations and, this being a respectable institution like MinnPost, your first inclination might be, "Hey, check out this educated discourse!"

What you might be missing, though, is that they're having the same tired discussions on every other MinnPost article, too. So whoever the hell these guys are, they're randomly having an outsized influence on readers. And operating under read-sounding names and under the MinnPost banner, their insights are inadvertently broadcast as being at least somewhat credible.

I'm pretty sure this trend exists everywhere comments exist, if you look hard enough.

Two of my favorites on the Star Tribune are noted contrarians rshackleford and redeye1. If there's a story with outrage potential and comments enabled, no doubt their populist curmudgeonly opinions are spread throughout. Sometimes, when you get deep into a discussion about why the not-yet-implemented minimum wage is causing all of the restaurants to shut down, you might find traces of a real discussion. Maybe a commenter such as suburbkarl (real name) is reading earnestly and trying to find some middle ground. In these cases you might see suburbkarl innocuously respond to a hot rshackleford take: "I mostly agree with this," it might say. Only suburbkarl doesn't realize that rshackleford has posted 15 other button-pushing hot takes throughout, and our prolific friend is not in fact looking to change minds or find common ground. He just likes to post a lot. And influence the discussion.

One of my favorite lately, though, is readingbylakeharriet. You'll see her swoop frequently into Minneapolis-related comment sessions, and initially you might look at her as a voice of good reason. After all, who could be behind this name? It must be a woman, you tell yourself; a mild-mannered one at that, probably single, maybe a librarian type. I bet she likes relaxing and reading books while looking out her window at Lake Harriet. It all sounds like a nice antidote to the outstate guys stating with such certainty that all of Minneapolis has gone to hell. But the thing is, if you've been following readingbylakeharriet as long as I have, she's actually bringing us the same message — except from the inside! From her abode in Kingfield, presumably, she's witnessing first hand just how far to hell we've already gone. It's a really dangerous situation.

So anyway, as we're all here quarantined, who are some of your favorite recurring characters in local news comments?

is great.
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Re: Iconic Local News Commenters

Postby MNdible » March 16th, 2020, 11:54 am

There's some crank that goes by Matt Steele who's all over the Strib comment section!

[I kid.]

Target Field
Posts: 507
Joined: November 12th, 2015, 11:35 am
Location: Philadelphia

Re: Iconic Local News Commenters

Postby alexschief » March 16th, 2020, 2:05 pm

I look for YolandoSmith in the Star Tribune comment sections to find out exactly where the bottom of the barrel is on any given conversation.

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Capella Tower
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Joined: May 30th, 2012, 9:33 pm
Location: Loring Park, Minneapolis

Re: Iconic Local News Commenters

Postby Nick » March 17th, 2020, 8:16 am

0.) I will never log off

1.) this guy is a recent favorite https://twitter.com/nickmagrino/status/ ... 35905?s=21

the other scott
City Center
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Joined: August 10th, 2012, 10:29 am

Re: Iconic Local News Commenters

Postby the other scott » March 21st, 2020, 5:11 am

Ray Schoch has commented quite a bit on MinnPost, thoughtful albeit wordy comments. He has, though, said on multiple occasions that it takes him 3 buses and two transfers to get from his home (N. Mpls? Robbinsdale?) to downtown. I've challenged him on that assertion, but he's never responded.

(edited for clarity)

the other scott
City Center
Posts: 31
Joined: August 10th, 2012, 10:29 am

Re: Iconic Local News Commenters

Postby the other scott » March 21st, 2020, 5:23 am

I need to add that I really enjoy Monte Castleman's comments on this forum's sister site. I don't always agree with him, but one really needs to think about what he says. Plus his series on things like streetlights and the history of highways are awesome.

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