Irrelevant. What difference does it make if Ramzy or anyone else on the staff of a free website gets paid?
In the original article, Ramzy uses that as a justification to distinguish the conduct of a professional journalist (like Birm, in his example) to that of the common, misguided fan (like Jeff), so I'd argue that that makes it entirely relevant. That's exactly my point too. Us plebeians, we can sit here and troll, degrade, insult one another as much as we want (for the most part), because hell, we're Amurricans and that's within our rights to. But, as a paid journalist covering recruiting for a credentialed media organization that gets millions of hits a week during the offseason, as Ramzy points out with his example of Birm, this affords them certain privileges and powers. He's absolutely allowed to publish whatever he wants as a paid journalist covering recruiting for a credentialed media organization that gets millions of hits a week during the offseason--I'm not saying he's not. But how is using your position as a professional journalist to publicly humiliate some misguided fan at all emblematic of the integrity of the work that you claim they feel the need to preserve? Did Jeff somehow discredit their body of journalistic integrity with his nonsensical commentary? No. Bottom line: Jeff and all the other Jeffs out there, their behavior is embarrassing and problematic--but I guess I find the need for a professional journalist to publicly flame Jeff even more problematic, particularly when he's a fellow Buckeye.
I would like to reiterate that I'm drawing a clear distinction between the misguided commentary from fans like Jeff and the disgustingly dehumanizing commentary from fans like Skid21. That I think we can all agree on, is just wrong.