As a journalist and summer Westerner, I tracked coverage of the militia occupation of an Oregon bird sanctuary, and I am appalled at how the liberal media portrayed these brave patriots: It called them "ranchers."
I have met ranchers, who are strong, law-abiding people.
They have to be. For one thing, handling livestock is a real pain, especially if it kicks you or catapults you into a tree.
For another, you need the law to protect your investment, to jail people who trespass on your land, cut your fences and steal your stock, so you don't have to shoot them.
Ranchers are the cowboys actors in Viagra ads try to emulate.
They earn respect.
For instance, I have learned to ride (catch, feed, clean, saddle, trailer, calm) a horse, but I don't own a cowboy hat.
That's because out West, only ranchers and posers wear cowboy hats.
Were I to wear one, there or here, much ridicule would ensue.
Another thing about ranching is it's seasonal: You must make hay while the sun shines, so you can bale it for winter. You have to think ahead and lay in provisions.
The Oregon occupiers did not.
According to the liberal media, and their own Facebook posts, they were not geared up even to stay warm. They were ready to shoot someone -- they had lots of guns and ammo -- but not to endure the cold.
Having pledged to hold the birdwatcher check-in for years, they had to appeal for supplies.
A list one rebel's mom reportedly posted to Facebook asked for warm blankets, sleeping bags, long underwear, wool socks, snow pants, snow boots, food, coffee, cigarettes, chewing tobacco, Miracle Whip, soap and tampons.
Facebook folks instead sent sex toys and candy shaped like male genitalia.
This would have been cruel, had the liberal media not reported these freedom fighters could go to the store and buy their own supplies, had they not left their jobs.
The feds ignored them: no roadblocks, no SWAT teams, no helicopters.
The New World Order shrugged them off its Atlas shoulders, but social media did not.
When this benefit for the bravehearts rebelling in birdland caught on, people thought it was funny -- until one of the occupiers posted a video displaying obscene objects delivered to his Valley Forge.
Then people thought it was hilarious. A guy with a grand to blow sent a 55-gallon drum of personal lubricant.
Were this not "Brokeback Mountain" enough, a music star tweeted homoerotic fiction based on the brawny bootcamp, and fans responded with lines such as: "And lo, on day 4 of the Oregon standoff, a call went out for fresh hands and Hot Pockets."
So far the only occupier arrested thought it would be cool to drive a federal vehicle into town.
If only obscene candy came in the mail, maybe he needed a smoke.
Tim Chitwood, firstname.lastname@example.org, 706-571-8508.