I can’t read the Missoulian comments section anymore, because I installed CommentBlocker. Its combination of comment-blocking power and arbitrary bugs prevents me from reading comments at the Missoulian even when I override it. So finally I have escaped the funhouse. Yesterday, the prosecution in Marcus Kaarma’s murder case argued that it was more a hall of mirrors. Objecting to Kaarma’s attorneys’ motion to move the trial because it had become “sensationalized” in local media, Deputy County Attorney Jennifer complained that much of defense’s evidence consisted of Missoulian.com comments. For example:
As an example, attached to one Missoulian.com article about the case a single user commented 31 times and another user posted 34 times, Clark retorted.
I wish that sentence were not a train wreck, because it confirms what we suspected all along.
Before we go any further: gutsy move for Kaarma’s attorney to argue that Missoula’s jury pool was tainted after a judge ordered him to cancel his public screening of the World Cup match between Germany and the United States. I’m starting to think attorney Paul Ryan is working the system. But acquitting an innocent man by moving his trial to somewhere more people love guns is not the issue, here. The issue is that we have finally proven, in a court of law, that Missoulian comments are bullshit.
My Theory of Multiple Screen Names has been borne out: it really is a half dozen people arguing with themselves. The good news is we can stop worrying that the whole town really feels that way about the homeless. But the bad news is our worst-case scenario: Anyone who reads the Missoulian.com website sees the convincing illusion of lively, utterly venal debate.
And let me assure the uninitiated that it is repellant. For example, here’s commenter BornMT arguing that homeless people are getting a sweet deal:
Why should parents have to explain to their kids the importance of education and good careers when all they get to see is drunks and druggies living their lives out of other people’s wallets. Where is the rights for the majority?
Where are the rights of the majority, indeed? Perhaps they left them in their houses. Anyway, we know now that BornMT is not a real person, or rather that he is a fraction of a person so small as to rate no concern
Yesterday in court, the Deputy County Attorney argued that Missoula contains a small band of idiots deeply committed to proving one another wrong on the internet. They are few enough in number that the mechanisms of civil society, e.g. jury selection, can still function normally. Thank god.