Sunday, July 22, 2007

Garcetti-Wakeland Relationship Defended

Council President Eric Garcetti has been in a long term relationship for over a decade with his partner, Amy Wakeland.

Recently, on one of the comment sections of one of our posts, someone alluded to the fact that Eric hasn't married Amy yet because marriage doesn't work in politics (as evident in the recent turmoil in the Mayor's office here in LA, as well as San Fransisco).

To their defense came strong words by someone close to them:
"The comment about why Eric Garcetti still hasn't tied the knot with Amy Wakeland? I know Eric and Amy very well. Eric and Amy always spend their lives in finding and supporting services that will help the better community of LA California. They are each others' support in doing what they truly believe in. Amy and Eric will get married when the right time comes along, but they are more feel in their hearts to help those around them. How do I know these things. I will tell you, I am David Wakeland, Amy's little brother and I am very supportive and proud of Eric and Amy in what they are doing for the people of LA, California."

Here we have a defense of a non-political sibling who happens to be personally connected to a public official. Is such a defense necessary? Furthermore, should people take offense to comments on a blog? We've made it a policy here not to have completely anonymous commenters, whereas Mayor Sam let's anyone comment without an identity. Kevin Roderick removed comments from the LAObserved site long ago, and LAist just started to require registration to comment.

Should commenters be more effectively screened? Should people take offense to another person's opinions or personal, yet public, reactions? Public discourse is good; even online. Better, though, is to take the debates - the comments - to the street. Perhaps an LA City Nerd meet-up is needed to have a public conversation about the hottest LA City topics (like gangs, traffic, and personal lives!)?


Urban Memo said...

I'd love an LA City Nerd meet up.

enhager said...

Let them comment. If you find their comments offensive or a personal attack, let people tell you and then you decide to remove them. If you don't it's like apriori censorship. Besides even in city council meetings everybody gets their 3 minutes.

And in this example there's especially nothing to complain about. He even identified himself.

And don't follow what LAO does, nobody wants a old fogey site like that ;)

Anonymous said...

I think that folks should maybe have a little more discretion about posting a letter written by someone's kid brother that could have significant (all-be-it unfounded and no one's business) consequences. Usually when public figures have to defend their personal lives they have the benefit of answering in their own (read commuicatinos director's) words. Not a kid with bad grammar.

Sahra Bogado said...

I stopped visiting LAObserved because of their "no comment" policy. You'll notice that LAists comments have dropped from two or three per post to no comments per post.

Regardless of the reason, when a site wants a fake name and email address from you to place a comment it typically has one outcome: people stop posting comments.

Here is an effective suggestion for limiting comments to people you might be more or less interested in hearing from: a grammar-based CAPTCHA.

Anonymity on the net allows a lot of terrible stuff to be said. Anonymity on the net allows a lot people with important information or views to share it without hurting their reputation or social standing. I take the good with the bad.