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Feb. 12, 2015, 3:32 p.m. -  NatBrown

#!markdown I don't have too much disagreement with what you've said here Cam, and thanks for replying to me. In my comment above I must concede that I'm bringing in some problems I had with the way NSMB handled reporting the two violent infractions that occured between the same two people on Fromme a couple of weeks ago. That might not be fair of me, but I think there's a common thread running through them. I'm not talking about the obvious journalistic problems with the initial reporting of that violence. You adequately accepted responsibility for that, and I've lauded you for it. That common thread is a degree of hype that is beyond what I'm comfortable with. This isn't my website though, and I appreciate you providing a forum for people like me to present dissenting views, and for giving me respect. Off the top of my head my recollection of NSMB articles on the sabotage were: 1) A matter of fact news story about the arrest and involvement of MTBers use of cameras. 2) A story that focussed on stereotyping that seemed based in large part on speculation and/or facts that were not publicly available. 3) The saboteurs husband article on Mr Kraal's comments to the local tabloid newspaper and email correspondence to the municipality (for which I'll outline my problems below, since you asked). 4) The Loam Ranger's article above, that to me seems like a reasonable analysis let down by the last sentence that frames the issue as hiker V MTBer. I do understand that this is an MTB website (the best as far as I'm concerned), but I think NSMB framing these issues as hiker V MTBer will very easily lead those who are unfamiliar to think that there are significant problems on that front, when there aren't as far as I'm concerned. I think that's the main problem with the reporting of the violence of Fromme too. It was framed as hiker V MTBer, but I'll go further on this to say that I don't think it was newsworthy at all and that just by reporting it seems like hype to me. Therein lies my accusation. Then there's two concurrent stories about conflict on Fromme that the MSM has beaten up to a point where people are talking about war in the woods. My main problem with the saboteurs husband article was how it connected your experience of damaged riding structures designed to cause injury, with Mr Kraal's admission that he had destroyed structures. I know you tried to make clear that these weren't connected (you even used blue text for emphasis, and at the time I wondered if it was for my benefit), but you did connect them yourself to accuse Mr Kraal of being disingenuous in his assertion that he was just trying to slow people down. I'm not so naive to be convinced by Mr Kraal on this, but in the absence of specific knowledge about what Mr Kraal did, I think there's insufficient information for you to make the call that he's being disingenuous. And that is where I think the hype is coming from. I don't think this destroys the stature of that article, I commented that I liked it and I do, but I think given the obvious conflict of interest we have as a group of MTBers protecting trail resources that we need to be rigorously fair. And, I see this particular aspect of the saboteur's husband story as be a departure from that goal. To answer your question of what I'd have done if I got that email from Mr Kraal, I'd have written something along the lines of my analysis that's in the comments. I think my comment is unparalleled in its harshness, but is supported closely by what Mr Kraal said and wrote. It also shows a willingness to forgive that you also have constantly advocated. I agree that you have said that there isn't a war in the woods both here and in the MSM. Pretty much anywhere that your opinion has been stated as such, it's been completely reasonable. I doubt you've had more comments complaining about NSMB being too moderate though. Sure, there's lots that are more hardline than what you advocate, but have you really had many saying that what NSMB has published are too moderate? Anyway, I'm trying to be reasonably nuanced in what I'm writing here. I don't think you've totally gone all out for headlines in the MSM, but rather have had what I consider momentary lapses that have had considerably larger outcomes than what you may have imagined. Sorry if I struck a nerve too. I generally feel like you and I have considerable overlap in our views, so of course I don't suggest you turn into the Fox of the MTB media landscape. I'm at the far opposite end of that spectrum. How about an editorial from the other side of these issues?

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