A post from pro-Democrat blogger Montana Cowgirl caused a ruckus over the weekend. In the post, titled “The Fundamental Difference,” the anonymous blogger published a photo of Democratic SD-25 candidate Kendall Van Dyk posing in camouflage with a dead mule deer buck. The caption on the photo is “Man.” Next to that photo, the blogger posted a photo of Van Dyk’s Republican opponent, Sen. Roy Brown. In the photo, Brown is shown wearing a sweater and carrying a bag over his shoulder. The caption reads “Man Purse.”
As Great Falls Tribune blogger John S. Adams points out, SD-25 is one of the most contentious legislative races in the state, and “the gloves have been off for a while,” but Adams says that many people feel that Cowgirl crossed a line with this post, perpetuating stereotypes and engaging in “gay-baiting.” Adams offers this:
I wonder if those who found this post funny would find it equally funny if the shoe were on the other foot? If, for example, a GOP-leaning blogger were to suggest that openly-gay Democratic HD 92 candidate Bryce Bennett was less of a man than Don Harbaugh, his Republican opponent, would Cowgirl and her supporters find it amusing?
I suspect not.
The Associated Press even picked up the story today, mentioning that the Cowgirl blog is written by someone who has used computers at the state Capitol to post (presumably) her political commentary.
AP writer Matt Gouras:
“The post by the left-leaning, anonymous blogger underlines questions of accountability in attempting to influence elections in the new media age. Especially with posts coming from inside state government.”
Today, Cowgirl’s original post has 67 comments, and her “apology” has 38 comments. Not a firestorm by national standards, but not bad for Montana, especially since the political blogging community here is fairly low-key. As ugly as this situation is, perhaps it will help bring political blogging in the state more into the mainstream? It certainly got me interested.
What Montana political blogs do you read? List them in the comments.