Thursday, April 11, 2013
Coyotes, Agenda 21 and Doug LaMalfa
And then it was April.
Things have been busy here in northern California. Both personally and professionally. The piece I wrote on the Coyote Hunt in Adin did very well. It raised quite a ruckus and the reaction was both friendly and hostile. On line, the thing got almost 800 "likes". There were multiple letters to the editor that both complemented and vilified the piece. Bob Speer, the soon to be retired editor of the Chico News and Review, and a very experienced and talented editor who always makes me look good (even if he tames down my style a bit), had some nice things to say about the article. And I did get a mention in the San Francisco Chronicle by Peter Fimrite (who has done excellent work on the coyote issue).
Having pissed off multiple hunting groups and ranchers, I moved on to taking on our new Congressman. Once again, I waded in where others didn't want to go and caught Doug LaMalfa stating some incredibly stupid, conspiratorial things. The piece I wrote ran as a Guest Comment last week in the Chico News and Review. This one didn't quite foster the response that the coyote piece did. But Bruce Ross, the editor of the better than average Redding paper, did report on it in his blog. Doug LaMalfa did comment on the thing by way of his highly unethical Chief of Staff, Mark Spannagel. Essentially, they try to bury the statements in tedious detail (but they didn't deny it). This all made me think of that famous quote by Claud Cockburn (himself a former Commie journalist) that: "never believe anything until it has officially been denied".
I received quite a bit of criticism regarding the coyote piece. That didn't really matter because I felt for weeks after writing the thing that I had thousands of coyotes looking over my shoulder, giving their approval. I felt like I had done something right and good and important.
And the LaMalfa comment didn't garner as much attention as I had hoped. One letter to the editor (but a good one). No other outlet picked up the bizarre statements by LaMalfa. I had hoped that the Chico ER would follow up on it; nope. A conspiracy of silence. Oh well, give him time. Watching LaMalfa is good political theatre. I intend to keep an eye on the guy.