Some commenters in the blogosphere think that just because they have a keyboard, they have a "right" to be published. It's true, but they don't have a "right" to be published here any more than they, or I, have a "right" to be published on the editorial page of the Hartford Courant.

These misinformed folks confuse editing with censorship. Editing is a necessary function. Anyone who offers their writing to a publication faces the prospect of being rejected. It's a fact of life in publishing, whether it's newspapers, magazines, books or blogs. That's right: a person who runs a blog is a publisher.  

Even professional writers are edited and rejected regularly, and amateurs more often than not. The amount of drivel and obscenities that flows into the queue of any publication (and again, this blog is a publication) is astounding. If we published every letter to the editor, we'd bore our readers to death in a very short time.

The Hartford Courant and I have standards as to what will be published. They're not carved in stone and they are enforced by human beings, so they're not perfect. No obscenities, no abusive crap, no threats: these are some of the no-nos for this blog that are similar to the standards of the editorial page. I'm not looking for professional writing; I'm just looking for decent people.

The only "right" to be published that exists is the right for people to start their own blog and publish everything they write. I'm sure it's gold.

Stop by the Mark Twain House and Museum to see my exhibit of original editorial cartoon art. "Drawing Fire: Bob Englehart's 30 years at The Courant." It's free and will be up through May. For more information, call the Mark Twain House and Museum at 860-247-0998. As long as you're there, take a tour!

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