Season of bitching

It’s going to be one long-ass lead-up to the presidential election

Campaign season tends to push me more to the center politically. That's because the extremists on both sides of the aisle irritate the hell outta me. I find the self-righteous liberals just as grating as the obnoxious right-wingers. That probably will come as a surprise to a lot of folks—the ones who think this paper's staff members are a bunch of Pinkos.

I have a love-hate relationship with election politics. On the one hand, it's exciting to get a look at the candidates and learn about their platforms. On the other hand, it's an annoying and frustrating time. I get so sick of the memes with nonissue propaganda, the kind that distract Americans from the real problems in our country.

Speaking of annoyances, we recently published a story about Bernie Sanders. We purchased it from a Vermont-based alternative weekly—a fellow member of the Association of Alternative Newsmedia. I picked up that story because I knew we'd be the only local media to print any substantive coverage of his campaign—and the author of the story, who is based in Vermont, actually spoke with Sanders. He had access to the candidate because he's a local reporter and Sanders is that region's representative.

However, that wasn't good enough for some of the folks on a local Facebook page supporting Sanders—the very kind of people we had in mind when we decided to print that particular story. No, a couple of them dismissed the well-written piece as “recycled” news. Evidently, we here at the CN&R ought to have flown out to Vermont to meet with Sanders. Right. The guy isn't busy or anything. Oh, wait, he was stumping from the Midwest to the West Coast around that time.

This is annoying in the way that sports fans get consumed by a team. They start saying “we” all the time, as though they were there on the field with, say, a certain Green Bay Packers quarterback. I'm not trying to be dismissive of grassroots campaigning. My point is, people get myopic and emotional and unreasonable in the year before a presidential election.

As another example, we were chided, albeit indirectly (through Facebook, not on our page), for not covering an organizational meeting set up by local Sanders supporters. I guess that's because they think there's nothing more interesting than watching a bunch of people sign up to do some future campaigning. Geez, I'd better pencil in the organizational meeting of the local Republican Party—that's going to be a hot story.

But enough snark—for now. I'm sure I'll have plenty more material to work with in the coming months.

Sanders' local contingent held its first rally this week. We were there—you know, because it was an event worth covering. I'll look forward to more griping from this group. But I'll say this: They certainly can't accuse us of partaking in the so-called media blackout of the Vermont senator's bid for the White House.