howler-monkey.jpgIn a recent blog post on SF Gate, a Chronicle staffer insults the site’s commenting community head on — but most of them don’t seem to care, instead complying with the reporter’s request for their contributions.

“Commenters on SFGate are generally a nasty bunch,” begins Chron staffer Heather Knight’s blog post discussing reader reactions to a Chron report on a new statue planned for the Transbay Terminal.

Describing the “vitriol” of the (at publication time) 87 comments responding to the design of artist Tim Hawkinson, who will make the sculpture using concrete pillars, jersey barriers and a street light pole from the site of the old Transbay Terminal as “striking,” Knight then encourages the “nasty bunch” to suggest names for the artwork in the comments.

And, amazingly, they do! At publication time, 161 commenters have entered the naming contest, with suggestions like “The Chronicle, personified.”

Only a single commenter, one “jerk_quake,” appeared to note the insult, saying that “Its funny that the article calls SFGate commenters ‘nasty’ but the proposed names are much more artful and interesting than one would imagine. SFGate commenters clearly aren’t nasty. They’re funny.”

Knight concludes the post by saying that they shall “announce the winner here next week…The prize is glory.” The glory of being the funniest of the nasty bunch? There are many kinds of glory in this world, it seems.

It takes a lot of balls for a Chron reporter to talk shit about the folks at least partially responsible for SFGate’s consistent ranking at one of the nation’s most trafficked news sites and, presumably, some of that reporter’s livelihood. It takes something more than balls to talk that same shit about someone, and to get them to lap it up.

Photo of howler monkey: Wild Facts

Want more news, sent to your inbox every day? Then how about subscribing to our email newsletter? Here’s why we think you should. Come on, give it a try.

the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at

Please make sure your comment adheres to our comment policy. If it doesn't, it may be deleted. Repeat violations may cause us to revoke your commenting privileges. No one wants that!