Except for a brief mention in the Springfield News-Leader, the traditional media has not picked up on the challenge to Seventh District Congressman Roy Blunt by white supremacist Frazier Glenn Miller, who filed on the Democratic ticket Monday.
The story was first broken Tuesday by Springfield blogger Ron Davis on his Chatter site.
The Miller story presents a slight problem for the media. How far do you go in writing about this candidate without giving him an avenue to spread his hate-filled message? He is a fringe candidate, unless the Democrats fail to field someone else to oppose Blunt, in which case Miller would become the candidate of one of the two major political parties. That is not likely to happen since the rumblings of Jim Kreider's potential candidacy have been out there for months, but it is still a possibility.
Candidates from the kook fringe are usually recognized as such and quickly dismissed, but that does not always happen. I still recall a few years back when my old friend Lou Rix was serving on the Barton County Health Department Board of Trustees and perennial candidate James R. Montgomery filed for her seat. A few of Lou's old political opponents thought it would be humorous to drum up support for Montgomery and embarrass her a little bit. It was a close race, but fortunately for Barton County, Ms. Rix was re-elected. Montgomery would have been a disaster.
Montgomery, for those who do not recall, was the man whose chief contribution to this area was his "death" in the early 1980s. It was covered by the Lamar Democrat, where I was working at the time, the Carthage Press, the Joplin Globe, and other numerous other newspapers.
Readers were shocked a few months later when I broke the story of his miraculous resurrection, when I was walking down the street and saw him entering a Lamar bar. It turns out it was the same bar at which Montgomery, who ran for president in 1980, had written his obituary. He led a quite productive afterlife, running for the Health Department post at the same time that he ran for a Lamar City Council seat and was beaten by Democrat Publisher Doug Davis.
The name James R. Montgomery sounded like it belonged to a distinguished candidate and likely fooled more than a few people into voting for him. Politically, Montgomery was harmless.
The same does not apply to the hate-filled Miller. Hopefully, the news media will err on the public's right to know who this man is and what his record has been over the years. Bigots exist in southwest Missouri, but there are far more people who reject that way of thinking and deserve to know just who Frazier Glenn Miller is.