November 19, 2007

Cheryl Nelson as Fox News host

I was a little surprised to find a comment from losing Republican Supervisor candidate Cheryl Nelson here last night, but the more I looked at it, the more it looked like she's learned well from the kind of Republican story-telling that's common on Fox News.

First, make sure you don't reply to the most direct charges against your side, but to something softer.

Begin with a friendly greeting:

Hi Simon,

Next, dismiss your opponent completely, conceding only that their foolishness is fun to watch.

Reading your blog is like seeing a car wreck - you know you shouldn't look, but you just can't help yourself.

Expand that dismissal to a broad and unsubstantiated claim about your opponents' party.

Now I know why the Dems. are against people that actually work for a living instead of wasting their time doing this all day.

Shift gears from accusations of childishess to an vague but plausible accusation that has nothing to do with the original posting.

Maybe instead of playing with your blog all day, every day, you might think about getting your outdated campaign signs removed from all yards.

(This has the additional benefit of ensuring that I'll spend a few more hours driving around Dryden to find what we missed before. Of course, there's no detail on where they might be.)

Then convert that accusation into a public concern - using the always helpful "People are saying" formula:

People are commenting that they are polluting the visual environment!!!

And turn it into an accusation of hypocrisy, however minor:

Due to your strong environmental stance, I am sure that you wouldn't want that, would you??

Next, broaden it into a claim of how much better your party is, of course:

Maybe you could learn from the Republicans professionalism in expeditiously removing signs.

For symmetry (?), make sure to get in another attack on the value of the site you're commenting about, and make people wonder how honestly comments get reported:

I am sure this message will get posted to your site, so hopefully you will print it in its entirety instead of your half-baked, one-sided versions that you seem to post regularly.

Finally, make sure you close friendly:

Thanks and have a good evening,

Fortunately, we're not on Fox News here - Cheryl can't shout me down or cut me off. I replied very briefly yesterday, but here are a few responses.

  • That's the first time I'm ever heard Living in Dryden called a "trainwreck", even by an annoyed Republican. Most of the complaints that I get are that it's too calm, and most people seem to come here for the content, not for a weird spectator thrill.

  • I don't consider Living in Dryden a "waste of time" - I consider it a community service.

  • I don't spend all day on Living in Dryden. Most posts are written before I start work (at my full-time job) in the morning or after I finish at night. Sometimes I manage to get a short post or two in at lunch. Some days I just don't get to it.

  • There may still be some signs out there - I'll have to double-check again, as noted above - but most of them disappeared within a few days of the election.

  • I heard a few complaints that signs generally are visual pollution during the election. I've heard zero since, though "people are commenting" somewhere else is always possible.

  • Republicans have left scattered signs around too. The State Supreme Court candidates (on both sides) seem to have been the worst offenders, but there's been a Clauson sign at Pro-Lawn on 366 for a long time.

  • Comments that aren't obviously spam get posted as submitted, unless there's an obvious problem with the content, in which case I contact the commenter. I do my best to ensure that everyone real who comments here gets heard.

We'll return to our usual programming shortly.

Posted by simon at November 19, 2007 8:45 AM in
Note on photos


Gag Halfrunt said:

Well, the town Republicans have pretty well guaranteed that I won't be voting for them in any future election. Which is not to say the Democrats have a solid grip on my vote either.....
Whiny politicians = annoyed Gag = no vote for you! Ha!

Brenda Gifford said:

Just wanted to say, I used to live in the village of Dryden (until 1982!) and your column is a bright (and free) spot for me to use to keep up with what's going on down there. On another note - though I am still registered as a Republican - may consider changing due to the way things have gone with them at the helm (in any jurisdiction). Anyway, keep up the good work! It is probably more appreciated than you could imagine.

Linda Clougherty said:

"Welcome to the online front door of a friendly public-spirited group of your neighbors — the Town of Dryden Republican Committee. ..."

The losing Republican candidate for supervisor, and Dryden Republican Committee member (according to the website), Cheryl Nelson, doesn't seem friendly at all, does she?