Inside the Paulick Report: A Comment on Comments

by | 08.09.2011 | 4:31pm

Part of the cornerstone of the Paulick Report has always been an opportunity to have a free exchange of ideas in front of a international audience on the issues most affecting the Thoroughbred industry both at home and abroad. And with a bevy of industry influencers and decision makers being among our many readers, commentary on the Paulick Report has at times actually been directly responsible for some changes or at least heavily influenced the national discussion.

In order to support that philosophy and allow the Paulick Report to continue to be a bridge for all who care about Thoroughbred racing and breeding, we feel a need to maintain a certain decorum in the comments section. In an effort to grow together, we'd like to take some time to illustrate the line between constructive conversation and destructive dialogue.

1. Stay on Topic – Some of our readers have an idealogical slant that turns every story into a reason we should listen to their bailiwick. The argument for banning Lasix or reducing takeout does not have a place in every story. And if we are writing a light-hearted piece about giving an actor the chance to be cast in the HBO series Luck, that's not the time to bring up an on-set horse fatality. Stick to the subject at hand.

2. Excessive Language – Even though this is a largely adult crowd, we keep a certain standard of language. Dropping F bombs and calling people lewd names will not be tolerated.

3. You Are Not the Only Person in the Room – We have some folks in our readership that seem to believe the sun rises and falls on their opinion and feel the need to demonstratively and aggressively opine on every subject. They suck the oxygen out of the room with a know-it-all attitude and end up discouraging others from speaking. We can disagree without being disagreeable.

4. Presenting the Unproven as Fact – As our business grows, we have an increasing responsibility to make sure that everything on the Paulick Report is on the up and up. We also hold a legal obligation to keep unsubstantiated rumor to a minimum, even in our comments section. We won't allow you to come on this site and call people criminals, thieves or cheats unless they have been outright proven to be so. At least at the Paulick Report, people are still innocent until proven guilty.

5. A Commenter by his Real Name Actually Smells Sweeter – First of all, my apologies for the Shakespearian stretch here. Sometimes I can't help myself… Using your real name does not guarantee what you want to say will be allowed and using a fake name will never be grounds for dismissal, but using your real name gives your comments an extra degree of credibility. Again, we won't penalize you for using a pseudonym, but there is more consideration given to those who dare back up their words with their integrity.

6. Your Mama Only Gave You One Name – If you use several different aliases in our comments section, we will catch on and you will be blocked. No one wants to listen to someone talk to themselves which coincidentally is why no one wants to ride in the car with Ray Paulick.

We will continue to offer up the most diverse and buzz worthy opinion in the Thoroughbred industry. It's part of what we do. But as the Paulick Report grows and grows up, all we ask is that you join us in doing the same. This platform will always be a place for people in our industry to discuss the issues of the day and this will cause disagreement. But just like in society at large, there are rules of conduct that we must all abide by in order to make the Paulick Report a more perfect website.

  • Bob Hope

    well stated and overdue!!! keep up the great work!

  • Kelso

    Put a “Like” button for the postings on this site…. C’mon already!

  • stillriledup

    Good stuff PR. Explain to me #5 and why pseudonymns have less ‘credibility’ than a real name? Personally, i think the opposite is true, if a person’s identity is unknown, they don’t have any reason to be PC, where as a person signing a real name has to watch his or her Ps and Qs. I’d rather have a person’s comment who doesnt care about Ps and Qs over one who does. Maybe that’s just me?

  • Barbara
  • Brad Cummings

    Very funny Barbara!

  • Ron Taylor

    Iagree with most of this but i would also like to add that if you call the truth as you know it to be then you don’t have to remember a lie. I sign my name because for a long time that i spent in this business i was not worried about being “politically correct” and i did not want people thinking i meant something else…I have paid the price sometimes but at least my soul is my own….

  • SayWhat????

    “We won’t allow you to come on this site and call people criminals, thieves or cheats unless they have been outright proven to be so. At least at the Paulick Report, people are still innocent until proven guilty.”

    Say what?? Smelling salts, please!! You let a self-absorbed, resentful pundit like Andrew Cohen come on here to spew his jealous, UNFOUNDED poison, and now you say you don’t allow this?? Nice try, kid. Leave the B.S. at home and start making this forum classier by keeping evil people like Cohen off the site.

  • Indulto

    “A Commenter by his Real Name Actually Smells Sweeter … Using your real name does not guarantee what you want to say will be allowed and using a fake name will never be grounds for dismissal, but using your real name gives your comments an extra degree of credibility.”

    “… we won’t penalize you for using a pseudonym, but there is more consideration given to those who dare back up their words with their integrity.”

    “Credibility” — to whom? “More consideration” — in what way? “Integrity” — how will this be determined?

    BTW have you bothered to count the number of pseudonyms, first-names-only, and imposters as compared with full names of recognizable, living individuals? I suspect that any attempt to treat posters in the latter group more favorably would be hitting an own-foot-shooting bullseye. but that’s just my opinion.

  • Brad Cummings

    Indulto (if that is your real name) that was not meant to be a knock on anyone who doesn’t use their real name. Think of it more like extra credit on a test in high school.

  • stillriledup

    #7 what did Cohen say you disagree with?

  • Glimmerglass

    I’ve been using “glimmerglass” on horse racing sites for well over a decade plus. It’s not going to change for me.

    If for the Paulick Report you need my corporate email address with my real name once to enroll, to know exactly my name, so be it.

    However there are enough nut’s out there who are happy to harass and get their friends to harass that nobody wants it. Yet I am not trying nor have I ever been suggesting I am some named expert in anything behind a ‘user name’. That shouldn’t diminish the value or observations I’ve made from going to the track for decades, or owning horses, or riding horses, et al

    I don’t use profanity nor am I part of the one-tracked fools kicking out the “the rent’s too high”-esq remarks every opportunity possible. It gets tedious when zero thought is given by a poster who continually looks to spam a message (even one tied into racing) like the knock off Rolex watches or Nike shoes for less.

    I do like the variety of input from others in the community and how a link to a story will just be the start of a solid dialogue among users. Keep up the good work.

  • David

    Nice try and hopefully some will actually reel in some narcissistic urges to air opinions. That said, some would argue most anything with anybody regardless of credentials. Whether a debate with Ben Vernanke on the US economy or mechanics of the golf swing with David Leadbetter, some will inevitably want to weigh-in. Moreover, some will find a bridge to something when no span exists. The concept of never learning anything by talking simply doesn’t compute with some.

  • Barbara

    Brad, is there any rule against irony?

  • Brad Cummings

    Come on Barbara, you know we love irony

  • SayWhat????

    hey, Riled,
    you’re well aware of his smear campaign against a certain trainer and its all based on “industry insiders!!!” While that kind of rationalization may be ok for you, its certainly disappointing for someone with legal training. In any event, this specific blog is about how to make the site better and in my opinion, one effective and simple way is to keep evil people like Cohen off this site.

  • Google Act 71

    Ray, unfortunately some tracks choose to silence people by threatening to ban them for public comments so your quest for people to use their real names is ludicrous.

  • Brad Cummings

    Dear Readers,

    The intent of number five was not to dissuade people from using a fake name. We were merely pointing out that using a real name gives someone extra credibility points initially. The standard is to use a fake name and we’re not fighting to change that fact.


    The Management

  • Bellwether


  • Bellwether


  • I totally agree with your 6 points. My main issue is with the negativity of the comments posted by usually the same folks. Do they like/agree with anything?
    They take issue with everything and do not hesitate to voice their opinion, so we must all suffer through until we get to something logical!

  • Barbara

    And to prove the point, the previous comment was not made by THIS “Barbara”.

  • Tinky

    There is a deep irony embedded in the complaints of those who object to “negative” contributions. In fact, the irony is multilayered.

    First, those who are complaining need to learn to distinguish between “critical” comments, and “negative” ones. They are not synonymous. Secondly, as some complaints are obviously targeted at least partly in my direction, let me peel back another layer.

    Criticism is essentially positive, not negative. When any serious critic points out a flaw in perspective, or a flaw in an argument, it is meant to clarify and move the conversation forward. There isn’t anything intrinsically negative about such criticism.

    This industry has been on a disastrous course for many years, and until quite recently, there haven’t been any real outlets for public comment and criticism. The racing industry, like many businesses, unfortunately preferred to maintain the status quo, and mostly ignored or swept problems under the rug.

    Much like the current economy, the industry has no chance of turning itself around through the power of positive thinking, or the revival of “animal spirits”. There are many deep, structural problems that need to be addressed in order to right the ship. And in order to change the status quo, serious discussion – including criticism – is badly needed, and from all interested factions.

    I know that my tone can, at times, be harsh, and off-putting to some. But that shouldn’t be confused with “negativity”, because they are not the same thing.

    So, for example, when Ray posted a story entitled “FASIG-TIPTON SARATOGA PRICES SOAR”, and I (and others) responded with some critical comments, some readers, including Ray’s partner, suggested that we were being wet blankets. But that was not the case.

    I am well-capable of seeing positives in the racing game, and do so on a daily basis. But I strongly believe that highlighting (and in some cases exaggerating) positives – the approach which has been taken over several decades – is not going to help revive the industry. What may make a difference, however, is taking a look at and discussing problems facing the industry under a harsh light, and in public.

    Ray, to his credit, has provided the best, and least constrained forum yet for such conversations to take place. Readers who prefer not to be exposed to tough criticism have plenty of less lively options to consider.

  • Fake names discouraged? You guys must be bananas:)

  • Brad Cummings

    Where did we say fake names are discouraged?

  • Tinky, can you please explain the difference between harsh, off-putting and negativity? Do you include scarcasm in this?
    Posted by a different “Barbara”

  • Mac

    Now thats on the money Barbara!

  • Tinky

    Barbara –

    I’d recommend that you consult a dictionary, and I’m not being at all sarcastic.

  • anony mous

    “or the revival of ‘animal spirits'”—
    I’d settle for the revival of Animal Kingdom!


    How about posting the same thing 76,569 times whenever a certain topic is even tangentally brought up? When it comes to the nighttime BC and the Asia-Pacific handle, I think we know who I mean. Deserves a place on this list.

  • The Colonel

    This reminds me of when Barack Obama said he wanted to change the tone. Thats what you ask for when your arguement is exposed as weak and ineffective. Now we read that his campaign wants to “destroy” Mitt Romney. Paulick Report and Obama…change I wouldn’t believe in!

Twitter Twitter
Paulick Report on Instagram