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EDITORIAL: Singing like a hillbilly

“You got to have smelt a lot of horse manure before you can sing like a hillbilly.”

-Hank Williams


An unmistakable odor wafted from Washington into Loudoun County last week.

The disclosure of text messages between FBI agents who were involved a relationship ignited a new round of conspiracy theories that demeaned residents of the county.

“Loudon (sic) is being gentrified, but it's still largely ignorant hillbillys [sic],” FBI agent Peter Strzok texted FBI attorney Lisa Page. “Good for her for running, but curious if she's energized or never again.”

The text apparently refers to Loudouners who voted against Jill McCabe, the wife of then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. Jill McCabe, the medical director for pediatric services at Inova Loudoun Hospital, ran and lost a 2015 campaign for state Senate against incumbent Republican Dick Black. The McCabes live in Ashburn.

The text message is undeniably disparaging, but it’s not exactly the smoking gun that discredits the FBI’s investigation into Russian meddling in U.S. elections. Still, some partisans regard it as nothing less than evidence of a conspiracy by the FBI and Washington elitists against President Trump.

The text was regarded as so important by Fox News that it invited Loudoun Supervisor Geary Higgins (R) to defend Loudoun’s reputation on national TV.

No disrespect to Higgins, but we would have preferred a citizen who better represents the achievements and aspirations of a diverse county. Perhaps a Czech-born neuroscientist from Janelia Research Campus. Or the first African-American woman to attain a net worth of at least $1 billion. Or a Vietnamese-American technologist who’s developing a “Smart City” around the Ashburn Metro Station. Or the first woman to become secretary of state. All can be found in Loudoun.

But Fox gave us political misdirection and the supervisor who represents the rural Catoctin district of the county.

“I think people laugh it off,” Higgins said, addressing the hillbilly comment. “They figure this is what is going on inside the beltway, it's a shame. Loudoun County is a great place to live, and I don't understand why people want to assume things they don't know anything about.”

We don't entirely disagree with the supervisor – laughing off a snarky remark that’s lifted from a private text between an FBI couple is an appropriate response to the hillbilly comment. But it’s the part about people wanting to “assume things they don’t understand” that gets complicated in Loudoun.

Partisans contend that Strzok’s text message discloses bias in the FBI that undermines investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. They assume that since the McCabes are married, then-deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe was compromised. A $500,000 campaign contribution to Jill McCabe from Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s political action committee is cited as further evidence of bias since McAuliffe is a friend and supporter of Hillary Clinton.

Political misdirection is at the core of an odorous campaign to discredit two Loudoun citizens long engaged in public service to the community. Power couples are not uncommon in the Capitol District, which can bring accomplished people together in unexpected ways. It is politics at its ugliest that demeans them for the crime of being human as they engage in civic service.

The hillbilly comment should remind us to be more concerned with character than reputation. Character is the mental and moral quality of an individual. Reputation is merely what others think.

There’s no need to dignify a snarky text message that besmirches Loudouners. We must, however, decry unfounded attacks on the character of people in our county who are dedicated to keeping us safe, healing our children and engaging in public service.

There’s only one lesson from sticking a nose in horse manure. It stinks.


The authors are mad because I exhorted this paper to dig into this story well before it became the national story it has become. 

They missed their chance at greatness and it is there own dumb (biased) fault.  Their Watergate moment passed them by.

Look below to see the partisan whackery referred to in this editorial :)

The person who writes these editorials is a liberal idiot.  Of course the first person Fox News would call would be an elected official?  How are they going to find “perhaps a Czech-born neuroscientist from Janelia Research Campus. Or the first African-American woman to attain a net worth of at least $1 billion. Or a Vietnamese-American technologist who’s developing a “Smart City” around the Ashburn Metro Station. Or the first woman to become secretary of state. All can be found in Loudoun.”  How many times does this paper seek out conservatives to balance your stories who are within a phone call or email?  Probably never.  So, Supervisor Higgins was a great spokesman and it seeems this paper’s liberal Anti Trump bias is showing here because you all wanted Dick Black to lose.

Any reasonable person who is genuinely interested in McCabe’s involvement in the Russia thing can see that he was exposed as a partisan hack and rightly forced to resign. Any reasonable person who is genuinely interested in whether FBI folks friendly to the Obama and Clinton camps conspired to damage the Trump campaign/administration sees the Funes memo as strong evidence that they did just that. The media, god love them, has done their best to dismiss the memo as nothing more than partisan politics, but anyone with a legitimate curiosity and an internet connection knows it’s true.

First of all can the writer of this editorial get quotes correct? Higgins is quoted correctly saying “assume things they don’t know anything about”. Two sentences later the writer re-writes the quote (using quotation marks) “assume things they don’t understand”.

Secondly, you purposely use several ethnic examples of achievement in Loudoun and discount Geary Higgins own vocational accomplishments (his day job). The impression you leave is that any white man from rural Loudoun is not the best argument against the ignorant hillbilly charge. Are you sure you want to make that argument?

Third, whether the text messages between these two high ranking FBI agents is indicative of their bias favoring Clinton and against Trump is still to be determined. You treat it like no big deal or that there is no connection. I find it shocking that the editorial staff of a newspaper would not be more cynical about potential partisan bias taking place in a governmental agency, particularly one that is responsible for legal and justice matters. Or is your cynicism only reserved for Trump?

Your liberal bias is quite clear.

It is clear that elitist liberals have a deep disdain for anyone who doesn’t espouse their ideology / point of view.

I will never forget the meeting where AT&T bigwigs met the residents of Lovettsville, Pville and surrounding areas. They clearly didn’t know they were up against people from all careers-the room was filled w/knowledge and corrections to AT&T assertions. The look on their faces. I’m not going to address the FBI, party politics or any of it. It’s a nonpartisan pile of manure and we all should be united at brushing it off.

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