The bullies who bumbled an attempt to recall Fargo School Board members are trying to define themselves as “victims,” because they are being criticized for their foolishness. Their whining is as laughable as it is pathetic.
Prior to rejection of their flawed petitions, they characterized themselves as really smart women (mostly) who had brilliant insights into what they saw as an unresponsive school board and administration. They said they were advocates for transparency and the health and welfare of children. Now they complain they are victims of a barrage of unfair opprobrium. Give it up, ladies. They boldly (and rudely) put themselves out there. Now they should stand up straight and deal with the slings and arrows of self-made defeat.
The facts of their failed campaign are clear. They could not manage a simple and straightforward petition process. They tried to mask their real aims, which were stated in their online messaging until they realized they had exposed themselves, and took it down. The original posts were the stuff of racism, classicism and clumsy misrepresentations of science and public health.
The recall cabal should be relieved that, at this point, incompetence seems to be their only offense. However, a case could be made that they violated the law. They submitted petitions that were not just marginally in error, but rather included thousands of invalid signatures. How could they not know? They presented themselves as really smart people. If so, they purposefully gathered signatures they knew were from signers who did not reside in the school district. Not a few. Thousands of them. Thus, they were either ignorant (after telling us how bright they were), or they thought they could get away with it.
If only to alert future petitioners, prosecutors should take a hard look at this one.
What to make of the tumble of Chris Berg as the vacuous host of Valley News Live’s “Point of View” television show into the relative obscurity of 1100 AM radio The Flag’s “The Chris Berg Show”? Other than cheering from viewers with brains, not much.
Berg’s refusal to get vaccinated against COVID got him crosswise with VNL’s ownership. Get the shot or get out, said station owner Gray Media of Atlanta, despite a plea by local station management to save Berg’s job. Maybe the attempt was not all that vigorous since Berg’s boilerplate banality charted ratings lower than “Big Bang Theory” reruns on the local Fox affiliate.
Berg surely is a hero to the small but noisy anti-vaxxer crowd. So be it. Stupid is as stupid does. However, his audience on The Flag will be miniscule in the Fargo market. First, he was relegated to one of AM radio’s black holes, the 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. slot. Second, The Flag hardly makes a blip on the AM ratings scale now. Berg’s fake conservatism won’t help.
Berg’s exit into well-deserved insignificance is good news for viewers and listeners who long for a thoughtful, informed, honest conservative voice on a local broadcast. He was not that. There ain’t one now. There’s room for someone.
Zaleski retired in 2017 after 30 years as The Forum’s editorial page editor. He is the author of a new history of Forum Communications Company. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 701-241-5521 or 701-566-3576.
This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.