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Journal Trickery?




Since the Journal's high-piled righteousness dwarfs mere fairness, I can't share many of my thoughts on Ryan Burn's odd article about HumCPR, which implied that fundraising and candidate-recruiting is immoral if done by anyone but Mark Lovelace. (Where did you come from, Clif Clendenen?) Oh well. I'll use my 300 words to play Marcy Burstiner, explaining one of Ryan's techniques on frequent display, for the amusement of readers. It's called the dog whistle.

Dog whistles in politics are manipulative coded messages, perceived by the target market but unnoticed by many others, originally used for race-baiting in the South. Ryan works his whistle hard, delivering his first blow in his headline: HumCPR isn't a citizen's group, it's a corporation. So Lovelace et al's 501(c)(3) corporations -- which secretly ("below the radar") got paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to inflict policy excesses upon rural Humboldt by other, out-of-state corporations -- are transparent corporations now? Pretty subtle stuff, from a paper published by an untransparent corporation. You might think only the most unthinking, blinkered zealots could take such silly labeling seriously. But that's who Ryan's high-pitching to.
Speaking of gratuitous insults -- not just of Journal readers, using false stereotypes -- as Ryan knows but readers wouldn't, it's because I've worked several jobs for so long that I can advocate for responsible ag practices and watershed protections in our county's biggest industry. While I don't expect fairness from a hatchet job, identifying me purely as a HumCPR-supporting pot farmer (in journalistic quotes, as if secondhand stigma's less cheesy than a direct dog whistle) illustrates fun facts: Karl Rove-style politics of division targeted at conservatives don't work here -- yet Rove's techniques are recycled by so-called Progressives, befuddling their own supporters. How flattering!

National Republicans proved this drives sensible people away from real concerns, but if you're out of ... 

Charley Custer, Redway

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