Comical style. The Bozeman Daily Chronicle led off their Sunday paper with news of the Iraqi elections, (of course) but devoted the rest of the front page to a charming human interest story about one of Bozeman's up and coming celebrities, and a companion piece to support it. Yes, clients of the local paper were treated to an inside look at Kevin McGuire, Bozeman's mouthpiece for the National Alliance, (previously mentioned here, and here).
The article is interesting enough. It's often good to know who you disagree with and where they come from. I've been somewhat curious about Mr. McGuire since the City Commission episode, a curiosity that intensified last week when I walked past a car with a National Alliance sticker in the window. A couple of quick content notes: McGuire is either very duped or a superb liar if he wishes to contend that the NA is an organization that does not advocate violence. I've posted the links previously, and you're welcome to look at them, showing how this just can't be the truth. Second, Mr. McGuire was arrested on Jan. 19th by campus police and must jump through many administrative hoops to be allowed back on campus. This is stupidly wrong, on two levels. The first is that it is unfair. We have apprehended shoplifters where I work who haven't had to appeal to the Dean of Students to retain student status, even though it is clearly spelled out in the student handbook that if you are caught stealing on the campus you are expelled, pending a review. And yet they would suspend/expel a student for handing out leaflets? I'm sorry, but that's just screwed up. Secondly, it validates exactly what the "white rule" folk (and most Republicans) believe, that there is an agenda to silence their beliefs, and this proves ~somehow~ that their beliefs are correct. I'll leave you to work that one out on your own.
But what really caught my attention, as I glanced at the paper down at the corner store, is that this is an obvious and elegant example of monster making. The kerfuffle over the recent flier drops has died down. The march for tolerance was attended by about a thousand people, and met by all of 13 NA members. Effectively, this episode should be over ... but quiet doesn't sell papers or garner response. McGuire knows that, and so does the Comical. So, a story that should have appeared 3 weeks ago in the local section graces the front page of a Sunday edition.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not "blaming" the BDC for choosing to do what could be called shock journalism. I would be surprised if they didn't. They want to sell papers, and get response. Fair enough. In all due fairness to Erin Nicholes, the writer of the pieces, she does do a good job of supporting what I have claimed before, that these NA folks are just people who espouse ideologies that most of us find abhorrent. But the timing and venue of presentation speak of assumed agreement with a pre-supposed fear. Nope, this is monster making, presenting the face of horror such that people can respond with pitchforks and torches. And that's precisely what I expect to happen.
If you want a good show, watch the opinion pages of the Chronicle over the next two weeks. It's gonna be a fun ride.
UPDATE: In what is perhaps the sweetest irony for one amused by such things (as I am), this letter appeared in today's Chronicle. (I didn't bother to check them before posting the above.)