This blog was started partially because of a grudge.
But like it or not, the Sentinel & Enterprise is our local paper, and as such is meant to reflect our local community.
Here comes the grudge part.
The Sentinel has its aforementioned marvelously hackable polls, and these come with a link to their Twin Cities Blog where you can "sound off". All well and good, right?
I've submitted numerous comments to the Twin Cities Blog. Being a moderated blog, they obviously must pass through some human being before being posted for the world to see.
Lately I've noticed that none of my posts have been getting through. Let me make it clear first that none of these were abusive postings. They did represent a strong liberal/progressive viewpoint (and in my opinion made a good argument), but were in no way offensive. At the same time, posts representing among the most ignorant conservative viewpoints made their way through with no difficulty. For example, a post I made arguing against making English the national language was rejected while the following posts made it:
Multiculturalism does not work. It will destroy this country. The Left knows this and this is why they support it.
-by "Padre Pio"
or this enlightening shout:
WHEN PEOPLE ARRIVED IN AMERICA MANY YEARS AGO THEY HAD TO LEARN HOW TO SPEAK ENGLISH. THEY NOW LIVE IN AMERICA AND WE SPEAK ENGLISH. IF THEY WANT TO SPEAK THEIR OWN LANGUAGE GO BACK TO WHERE THEY CAME FROM.YES ENGISH SHOULD BE THE MAIN LANGUAGE.
Don't you feel smarter just reading that?
This alone probably wouldn't have pushed me to create a blog. But apparently I'm not alone. A Google search (while trying to find an ombudsman for the paper) revealed the blog Unbecoming Levity and this post detailing the exact same problem. Apparently it's systemic. Viola! A blog is born!
Now let's discuss what's probably the most prominent Fitchburg blog.
While Save Fitchburg seems to overall be very well meaning, the comments section is a total embarrassment to any sentient being. While I don't agree with everything he says, the primary (only?) blogger Jason is a pretty reasonable guy. However, the comments attract not just city councilors and washed-up local politicians, but any number of local crackpots eager to disseminate hate-fueled rhetoric. I'm not sure which are worse.
I won't say I have a grudge against "Save Fitchburg", but it does have a degree of motivating impact. It's clearly a place where the right wing feels comfortable gathering and demonizing their enemy du jour. If only the left wing had such a place...
And that, my friends, is how Progressive Fitchburg was born.