This is editorial writing — or, rather, not writing — by focus group. Not exactly, we’ll wager, what Benjamin Franklin had in mind when he launched this grand experiment more than 200 years ago.

And in an unintended irony, someone just called the Argus Leader “brave” because it this week launched its own version of reader-written “Wikitorials,” an idea recently attempted and abandoned by the LA Times. Perhaps the Argus Leader is preparing to delegate to its readers the writing of all future editorials on those highly divisive topics that the newspaper’s editors are too timid to weigh in on.

Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.