Merchants of Fear: Gottlieb and Cole

Something that has eluded Whatcom media (Whatcom Watch, Cascadia Weekly and NWCitizen excepted) for twenty years, is the concept of domestic terrorism under the rubric of the Wise Use Movement. From the commercial developers of the 1990s, to the industrial developers of the present, Wise Use terrorism has been the 800 pound gorilla no one in mainstream media wants to acknowledge. 
Book-ending our Wise Use hall of shame trophy wall at Public Good Project, are Alan Gottlieb (1994) and Craig Cole (2014). As Wise Use entrepreneurs, they, for the most part, sit above the fray, until some pesky journalist comes snooping around, and reveals their shenanigans. Jim Halpin and Paul de Armond bagged Gottlieb; Sandy Robson and Jay Taber bagged Cole.
 
Merchant of Fear, by Halpin and de Armond, ran in Eastside Week, a defunct publication based in Bellevue. While Capitalizing on Fear is Taber’s current summary of events at IC Magazine, it only gained traction due to Robson’s expose What Would Corporations Do? at Whatcom Watch in January.
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The Bellingham Herald was able to cover up Wise Use terrorism for five years in the 1990s; now, with the Internet and the outing by NWCitizen, the Herald cover-up only lasted five months. Think of it as progress.
 
Merchants of fear like Gottlieb and Cole come and go. Defenders of democracy volunteers and investigative journalists are forever.
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