Hateful Haters and the People Who Hate Them

The word “hater” has been thrown at me a few times lately.

And to that I say: Oh, please.

These days, anyone who expresses disdain, dislike, or disapproval is labelled a hater. Offering criticism? You, sir, are a hater. Pointing out hypocrisy? Hater. Poking fun at someone or something? Hater, hater, hater!

My feelings aren’t hurt, I just don’t like that the word hate has been so devalued.

Hate is a powerful word that should be reserved for serious things. Hate is rooted in a visceral response that often rises from prejudice or ignorance. Hate leads to ugly acts. A lynching? That’s hate. Me saying I don’t like someone’s ridiculous sports column? That’s not hate.

Oh, and by the way a bit of advice: If you are an adult male, do not ever use the word hater, because if you do, you will sound like a teenage girl. And I’m sure you would hate that.

14 thoughts on “Hateful Haters and the People Who Hate Them

  1. Just to elaborate on my point about adult males, it’s exactly like when you hear affluent middle-aged white women shouting out, “You go girl!”

  2. Anytime I hear someone talk without irony about “haters,” I tune out and try to find anyone else to talk to or think about. Because talk of having “haters” is a flag that the person is insecure, self-centered, and delusional.

    1. People use it to be dismissive of their critics. It’s less of an ego blow to think that someone simply hates you than to accept that they may be on target.

  3. I have a 14 yr old daughter, and have yet to hear her use the term “hater”. As you explain Rob, it’s a pretty heavy term cheapened by overuse. How ’bout middle-aged (or any age over 16) women (and men) using “seriously?” or “really?”. Like nails on a chalkboard.

    1. Didn’t mean to paint teenage girls with a broad brush (that just sounds WRONG, doesn’t it?).

      I should have said it will “make you sound like a teenage girl who is not particularly bright.”

  4. These men who say hater are probably the same sort who enjoy reading about (as you put it) “high heels and handbags.” Oh, I’m sorry. Does that make me sound like a hater?

  5. There’s something really perverse and weird about the amount of psychological and emotional energy that gets embedded in blogging here in the Albany market. Using the word “hate” to refer to anything associated with community blogs infers a degree of importance to the act of blogging that is completely out of line with the actual content being discussed. This seems to me to be a local phenomenon driven by the over-the-top online competitiveness that the TU behemoth inspires hereabouts, where all bloggers are equal, but some are more equal than others. With precious few exceptions, nothing that any of us write around here is important enough to be hate-worthy. I’ve been advance scouting the blogging community in Des Moines, and while the usual anonymous trolls are in force there (as they are everywhere), there doesn’t seem to be the same degree of petty sniping, smug dismissiveness, and conscious comment-mob incitement among the actual higher-profile bloggers that takes place here . . . . I think it will be nice to live in a market where people actually understand that having a blog doesn’t make one special, since anybody can do it . . .

  6. It was suggested, both by people inside and outside the TU, that I harbor some sort of hatred toward the paper.

    That’s nonsense. I like the Times Union.

    Sure, I’ve criticized the paper. Is it wrong to cast a light on such a big and powerful institution? It’s ironic that an organization that considers it their role to be professional skeptics have such a thin skin when someone discusses their motives or actions. Just as it’s their responsibility to question the powerful, it is our responsibility to question the media.

    Here’s what’s really odd: when someone who operates a huge and succesful blog casts me as their nemesis, as if I have any influence over what people think. That’s hilarious.

    The difference between me and them is that I have a realistic view of my place in the world. I would never be so conceited to think that my opinion has that sort of power — and anyone who walks around concerned over what I write needs a reality check.

    1. Rob, here’s a reality check: Go read some of that garbage in the TU’s blog section. That will answer any question you may have about where all this comes from.

  7. What I’ve noticed is that the print people seem to be the most touchy. Maybe it’s because they think they are smarter than everyone.

    Like you, I worked in TV. It was my experience that TV reporters and anchors took TONS of abuse and criticism and always (well, nearly always) took it with grace and humility.

  8. I always wondered why TV people, when I see them in public and I acknowledge their presence (with a smiling nod or a ‘Hi’), look at me like I’m wearing a suicide bomber vest. It wouldn’t have occurred to me to be critical of them – – they’re just reading the news.

    1. They get nasty email — especially these days — about things like their hair, weight, and other things like that.

      As I said, most of them respond graciously, but there’s one former local anchor who used to love shooting back at critical viewers, often calling them idiots and such. Can you imagine if you wrote to GE and complained about your dishwasher, and someone wrote back calling you an idiot? Amazing.

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