Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.
Over here at the World Headquarters of the Reno News & Review, we’ve always received a certain number of angry letters delivered by snail mail, email, Tweet, Facebook posts, messenger pigeons, searing telepathic visions, what have you. It comes with the territory. Journalism is not for the thin of skin. And honestly, during those halcyon days when no such angry screeds arrive on our doorstep, we start to feel we’re doing something wrong.
But we’ve noticed a definite recent uptick in angry messages— much of it more explicitly hateful than what we’ve received in the past. The comments are often blatantly racist, sexist or homophobic. It’s almost as if the racists, sexists and homophobes have, for some reason, felt suddenly emboldened since sometime last November. Not sure why.
For example, one recent morning I arrived to work to hear a voicemail: “Tell Bynum and van Dyke that the Democrats lost. Get over it, you fucking pussies!” Funny thing was it sounded like the same dude who called a week or two ago to complain about the “foul, obscene, disgusting language” in our paper. I thought he meant “fuck,” but apparently he meant “feminism.”
That same morning, I noticed a Facebook message which is reproduced here with its nontraditional approach to spelling and grammar fully intact: “Their is no such thing as gay nevada 99 percent of lbgt are not from here or their parents and grand parents and great grand parents and great so on i will never again look at your homo trash.”
I responded by asking the guy if we could run that message as a letter to the editor. I figured he’d back away, but nope, he doubled down, and said yes we could run his comments, and he even appended a long rant about drivers on Virginia Street.
I don’t want to normalize his attitude or perspective by actually printing his letter, or give the guy the small thrill of seeing his name in print. So there it is—no name but internet troll.