I'm not saying that Donald Cyphers of the Montana News Association didn't deserve a shove from former Police Chief Ron Tussing during a news conference on Wednesday. But I will say that the incident raises more questions in my mind about how well the chief could handle moving from the office of police chief, where tough guys are in demand, to the relatively weak office of mayor, which requires considerable diplomacy and tact to get anything done.
Cyphers is far from the toughest problem a mayor has to face. And I think I know what I'm talking about here. Until Chief Tussing came along, I was the Montana News Association's No. 1 target. See, for example, here and in mysteriously anonymous letters here and here.
Why me? It might have had something to do with things I wrote here, here, here and here.
For whatever reason, he's been gunning for us for better than three years. He's threatened to sue us for removing copies of his newspaper that he placed without our permission on our racks. He's threatened to sue us for bad-mouthing him to his customers. He's threatened to sue us for things we've told people who called us to ask for information about his business.
It may not quite be in the class of the attacks he's made on Tussing, but it counts when you're operating a business so fragile that any lawsuit, regardless of its merits, is a threat to take you under.
But you know what, Chief? It ain't that bad. As headaches go, Cyphers is one aspirin in the morning and go about your business. He's a gnat. Mayors have elephants to shoot.