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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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