Folks in our little corner of Paradise are proud of their friendly, welcoming approach to newcomers, and this is largely true. But as relative newcomer Jeff Gale discovered over the weekend, this Paradise also has a viper pit known as Sierra Foothills Report.
Gale was responding to a post on the blog, “Why more people don’t run for local political office,” and detected a note of hypocrisy in the comments of the author, Jeff “Podunk” Pelline. (Gale is a quick learner.)
“I wouldn’t be throwing stones. It appears to me that you have an obvious grudge against the Union and relish fanning the flames just as much–if not more–than the ‘good old boys’ you decry. Maybe the criticism is deserved, but it most certainly doesn’t contribute to anything productive. I think you should ponder your last statement about reaping and sowing just a little.”
Gale soon learned you don’t challenge the Lord High Executioner in his own domain. “I’m just holding up a mirror,” Podunk responded. But that was just a warm-up for what was to follow.
Next up was “brucelevy,” who many people think is one of Podunk’s sock puppets. He had a less than friendly greeting for Gale:
“As you are ‘newish’ here I’ll assume that you don’t know what you’re talking about, unless you have some connection to The Union that you are not mentioning. The Union is a bad joke, and has been for at least 15 years. Maybe you should inform yourself before spouting off.”
Welcome to the community! (As an aside, “at least 15 years” includes Podunk’s tenure as editor of The Union. “brucelevy” is apparently a hard man to please.)
While “brucelevy” was extending his warm welcome, Podunk launched his dragnet. He discovered that Gale is a graduate of the McGeorge School of Law, handles death penalty appeals, and has defended people charged with various cannabis crimes. (He apparently isn’t delinquent on his property taxes or Podunk would have mentioned that too.)
I won’t go into a dreary blow-by-blow of what followed, including some unsolicited advice about guns, but Podunk found fault with much of this, and even suggested a link between Gale’s defense of cannabis cases and The Union’s “promotion” of pot (don’t you love conspiracy theories?).
Gale finally had enough: “You’re an idiot!” To which Jeffy responded: “Is thst (sic) admissable (sic) in court? Lol.” He even professed to being offended: “Jeff Gale is criticizing a lifelong journalist for criticizing podunk journalism. I’m offended based on my experience.”
He shouldn’t be offended. Podunk hasn’t worked in journalism since he left The Union almost eight years, and nobody appointed him cheap shot critic of The Union. But Gale has learned a valuable lesson: Podunk cited “personal attacks, whisper campaigns” as reasons people don’t run for office, and Gale now has a personal example of how it works around here.