Last week, I began my column by asking: "Ever fallen for a satirical story on the web? You know, it can be really hard to differentiate between made-up crazy and actual crazy."
I got an answer. Turns out Craig Medred can't tell the difference between reality and hyperbole.
Medred objected to my column last Sunday because of the way I ridiculed Gov. Sean Parnell's selection of individuals to make state policy. After I explained why I thought Parnell's appointments to fisheries and oil policymaking positions were bad for Alaska, I expressed my outrage by suggesting, tongue-in-cheek, some other awful appointments Parnell could make: putting Exxon Valdez skipper Joe Hazelwood in charge of tanker transport safety was one, and picking serial killer Robert Hansen to chair Parnell's "Choose Respect" campaign was another. The latter was quite deliberate, because Sean Parnell's policies affecting Alaska women have been absolutely terrible. (More on that in a minute.)
Medred, whose only gear seems to be condescending outrage, thought the serial killer line was over the top: Shannyn Moore hates Parnell so much she's cuddling up to serial-killer rapists, he argued. No, Craig, I was trying to think of the most offensive policymaker possible for one of Parnell's signature issues. That was Hansen.
If I'd wanted just one more ridiculous appointment analogy, I'd have suggested Parnell put Medred in charge the Alaska Board of Quality Journalism.
Medred's rant then took off on some bunny trail comparing me and Sarah Palin. Really? Someone running for vice president of the United States is the equivalent of a girl from Homer writing a column for the op-ed page? Yeah, pretty much.
But buried in his word salad there was one line that got my attention: "As a woman, Moore ought to be especially ashamed."
Apparently Medred and his "mangina" know just what it's like to be a woman. So much so, in fact, that he's apparently a better woman than I am. (Isn't Medred always better than everyone at everything.)
As a man, Craig, when it comes to deciding how outraged any particular woman should be about state policies affecting women, you should shut your piehole. I can't imagine that many Alaska women appreciate your condescending man-splaining. I know I don't.
If you're looking for nutty analogies, Craig, I refer you to your column. You think I'm capable of being the grand inquisitor at a Nazi death camp? Now there's a model of rhetorical restraint. (And aren't you confusing the Spanish Inquisition with the German Third Reich?)
Now let's talk about the Parnell administration and why all Alaskans should be outraged by his failures affecting women. Here are just a few examples:
• Ignoring for FOUR YEARS pleas for help from women and men trying to stop sexual assaults in the Alaska National Guard. Eventually the governor asked for an investigation, the results of which we still haven't seen.
• Presiding over an increase in Alaska's horrible rate of sexual assaults, while engaging in lots of public posturing involving posters, parades and commercials. (These sexual assaults are mostly on women and children, Craig, rarely on old men like you, so I understand why you're so much less hysterical than me.)
• Doing little for dozens of villages without meaningful law enforcement to protect innocent Alaskans from sexual assaults and domestic violence. Our governor has had six years to address this.
• Appointing to the Knik bridge authority's top slot a man who assaulted a female trooper when he was arrested for a DUI. There have been other state hires of known sexual harassers.
• Allowing his attorney general to side in court with a man who beat his wife half to death because state opposition to limited tribal legal jurisdiction was so much more important.
• Signing a bill redefining the definition of rape for women seeking abortions.
• Blocking thousands of pregnant women from getting treatment under Medicaid just to prevent a handful of abortions, without apparent concern for the miscarriages that would occur, all so he could campaign as "Pro Life."
So should I be ashamed, "as a woman," for calling attention to the absurdity of some of the governor's appointments? No. Far from it. I plan to keep calling 'em as I see 'em. And if that requires hyperbole, you're going to see hyperbole.
And Craig? I assume he's watching his email for the announcement of Parnell's choice to chair the state Board of Quality Journalism.
Shannyn Moore is a radio broadcaster.
The views expressed here are the writer's own and are not necessarily endorsed by Alaska Dispatch News, which welcomes a broad range of viewpoints. To submit a piece for consideration, e-mail commentary(at)alaskadispatch.com.