Montana Blogosphere Melodrama, Pt. 2
In highlighting some of the best political blog posts of 2013, the discontent that bills itself as “intelligent” is hosting spillover from the mess of Cowgirl, a blog Don Pogreba loyally describes as “the best insider coverage of Montana politics in the state.”
I’ve been pretty clear about my opinion regarding the melodrama emanating from the Cowgirl. As national attention prepares to descend on Montana politics this year, the one blog that has received a few stabs of the national spotlight will probably be the go-to source for pundits trying to gauge the political climate of our state. I hope they don’t read the comment threads.
I’m going to bring up (again) the problematic behavior of the primary commenter at Cowgirl, Larry Kralj. Maybe I don’t understand because, like Larry has pointed out, I’m an out-of-stater who has only lived in Montana for 13 years (my response to Larry never made it beyond the intelligent discontent “moderation”).
The notorious environmental ranger has been doing his schtick for a long time. I poked around the 4&20 archives and found this post from seven years ago. From that same time period, I also found an entire post from David Crisp, titled Corraling Kralj. Here is how Crisp opens his post:
I’ve been lax about letting Larry Kralj use this space to insult and demean other visitors here. Frankly, I find his stuff so painful to read that I skip nearly all of it, and I have been letting things get by that shouldn’t. This is my house, and people who comment here are my guests. When one of those guests becomes rude and abusive, it’s my job to stop him.
Don Pogreba and whoever pens the Cowgirl these days obviously have different ideas about what their role is regarding moderating comments. As long as you’re a party loyalist, rude and abusive comments are just fine.
In the Cowgirl’s most recent post, Looks Who’s Back, Larry has made a comment that I think warrants a little extra scrutiny. Here it is:
Can I be serious for a moment? You see, I don’t like to talk about it, but it is a serious topic. Yes, the Rangers have been threatened a time or two, and it’s not pleasant. But we had a very unique way of dealing with it. You see, when someone threatened a Ranger, we went straight to the person that we thought was most responsible, in person, and informed that person that even though you weren’t the one the pulled the trigger, you would be the first to go! And we meant it! For you see, the bad guys have lots of psycopaths, and we have some very tough guys who mean business. They are NOT guys you want to cross! So, when I read something like this, I wish that they had some Environmental Rangers back there by Georgetown U. It’s a whole LOT harder to call for the assassination of the president when you KNOW that you will be next to go! Think about it. It makes one a whole lot more accountable for treasonous remarks!
At the end of this invective, Larry links to this story about a Georgetown professor making some very dangerous comments regarding president Obama. I’m assuming a combination of testosterone and alcohol inspired Larry Kralj’s response.
If Larry was a Republican making these kinds of incendiary comments on an anonymous Republican blog, I guarantee people like Don Pogreba would be outraged.
I don’t expect principled consistency from partisans, so I assume the selective tolerance and the selective outrage will continue. Whatever. We’re just bloggers, anyways, so I doubt anyone takes any of this petty crap seriously.
Why should they?