All mockery aside, a good thing:
On the matter of my apology to Syed Soharwardy...
The comments that prompted the human rights complaint appeared on an un-moderated blog, posted anonymously by someone who was not a Western Standard staffer or freelancer. I removed the comments when they were brought to my attention as they were offensive and did nothing to advance genuine discussion or enhance the reputation of the Western Standard. And I apologized to Syed Soharwardy as I am ultimately responsible for comments made on this forum, and, again, those comments were indefensible.
Just as the Western Standard magazine content was edited, the Western Standard website content will be edited. We simply want to provide our readers and advertisers with the best product we can.
Moderating the comments on our website will also protect the Western Standard from unfair attacks. For example, as online reader "OBC" noted, tonight we were forced to ban an IP address with 6 user names. This individual was actively working to discredit the Western Standard with anti-Semitic and racists comments that would never have come from any of the thousands of thoughtful readers who visit us online. I removed the comments and reported the IP address to our webmaster.
One point I should like to make, though, concerns the notion that the WS' new editor Matthew Johnston removed the comments "when they were brought to my attention". This is not a particularly credible claim. As Mr. Soharwardy has pointed out, the comments in question remained posted for more than two weeks, and as anyone who has posted to the Shotgun Blog can tell you, while perhaps their forums are technically speaking unmoderated, if the editors want your comments gone, they will be deleted within minutes.
But that aside, Mr. Johnston's actions are a necessary first step if the new editors want their product to be taken seriously beyond the ghetto of far right kooks that currently hover over the WS website. There ARE in fact areas where a Conservative critique can serve as a useful corrective to main-stream thinking, but only if their authors cannot be summarily dismissed as lunatics. I look forward to the day when this is the case at The Western Standard.