Left-wing columnist Mike McFeely has a column up today criticizing Republican North Dakota Senator Kevin Cramer for his defense of President Donald Trump.
That’s not unusual. He writes about Cramer a lot.
Just a few days ago, McFeely had another column criticizing Cramer for his support of Trump.
I could go back further, but I think you get the point.
Is this an obsession?
Not really. McFeely’s job is to write about politics in this region, and Senator Cramer, love him or hate him, is one of North Dakota’s most important political figures. Cramer is also gaining in national stature, so it figures that someone like McFeely would focus on him.
Critically, too, given the author’s ardent (if somewhat intellectually stunted) left-wing proclivities.
But you readers will probably remember when, last year, McFeely used a column to trash my supposed “obsession” with former Senator Heidi Heitkamp.
It was published amid what was one of the hottest U.S. Senate races in the country, which I was covering in-depth. In it, McFeely suggested I was “embarrassing” and “unprofessional” for writing and talking about Heitkamp so much. He even perpetrated some innuendo, suggesting I was perhaps paid by Cramer’s campaign.
I was then, as I am now, an employee of the same company McFeely works for (Forum Communications Company). He knew perfectly well I wasn’t paid by the Cramer campaign. But that sort of thing is par for the course with this guy.
This idea that I was “obsessed” with the erstwhile Senator was a talking point deployed by Heitkamp’s political allies. Among them McFeely and her talk radio host brother Joel (who employed McFeely, once upon a time). It was a way to convince people to ignore some of the genuine issues I was bringing up with Heitkamp’s campaign.
Like when that campaign outed sexual assault survivors for political purposes. Or when North Dakota Democrats, in support of Heitkamp, attempted to suppress the votes of North Dakota hunters.
The problem McFeely and others had with my columns isn’t that they were really unprofessional, or the product of some obsession, but that they were accurate and widely read.
What’s ironic is that McFeely is clearly intent on writing a lot about Senator Cramer. His incessant columns and podcasts probably won’t draw the same sort of ire mine did. McFeely has the right politics for many working in the news industry.
My sin is writing for a newspaper company while conservative. There are many working in the state’s media who aren’t going to forgive me for it. So it goes.
To be clear, I don’t have a problem at all with McFeely writing about Cramer. He could make every single one of his columns and podcasts from here to election day 2020 about Cramer for all I care. There’s probably a market for it. There certainly was for Heitkamp.
You won’t hear me complaining about it. I’m grown up enough to recognize when you’re in the political arena you’re going to come up against some arguments and facts you don’t like.
I just wanted to note the hypocrisy, because it’s so ripe I can almost smell it from Minot.
I’m mostly looking forward to all of my critics who will say that McFeely’s intense coverage of Cramer is fine because it’s different.