When we called up City Council candidates this week in a last-minute attempt to round up some political ads, Ron Tussing turned us down. His reason: He said that I am “an apologist” for Al Garver.
I can’t think of anything I wrote in The Outpost that would deserve that label, and I assume he wasn’t referring to this. So it must have to this, in which I labeled a loaded question posed by a Tussing supporter as a “cheap shot” and “dumb.”
Since Tussing ran a couple of 2-by-4 ads before the primary, and since we charge a flat $10 per column inch for political ads, my comment may have cost me $160 or so. That makes it the most expensive opinion in the history of the Montana blogosphere, I’m guessing. Can anybody top it?
I’m working on a freelance piece that, with luck, may pay me 20 cents a word. My three-word “apology” for Garver may have cost me $53.33 a word. If Larry Kralj had to pay those kind of rates each times he gives offense, he would be bankrupt after a paragraph or two.
I wrote the offending lines about 13 hours into a 22-hour day. If I had been a little less tired, I might have been more circumspect. But after considerable reflection and discussion, I haven’t found a reason to doubt my initial judgment about the question. It was dumb. And, since the bill already has been paid: dumb, dumb, dumb.
At any rate, this development has put a serious crimp into the profitability of this blog. The latest P&L:
Compensation to author $0
Gross income $0
Intemperate opinion penalty ($160)
Total net income: ($160).
As usual, my business plan appears to have some holes in it.
The oddest thing is that Tussing seems to think I have something against him and his campaign. Nothing could be further from the truth. I need him in the public eye. Until he came along, I was Donald Cyphers’ public enemy No. 1.
Heck, I probably should apologize. But then Garver might pull his ads. I don’t think I can afford any more apologies.