It’s not hard to make the news cycle in August. No one really seems to want to and stories that really aren’t stories (or more to the point manufactured stories) get credibility when otherwise they wouldn’t.

It’s with that in mind that the award winning Memory Division at Y’allPolitics brings you Linda St. Martin – version 2.0.

In this version, Linda goes to a meeting of Gulf Coast constituents that Haley Barbour has appointed to do some long term planning in the wake of the BP disaster. While Haley is addressing the group (with the cameras rolling), St. Martin, this time ostensibly on behalf of fisherman, goes into an attention-seeking, camera-preening screed.

For his part, Governor Barbour handled it gracefully during and after.

Does the name Linda St. Martin sound familiar? She should. She was the one that heckled Governor Barbour during his speech at Neshoba in 2008.


courtesy of Keith Plunkett

So who exactly is she? Well, that depends on who you ask. She is certainly a Democrat “activist”. She’s on the State Democratic Party Executive Committee. In 2008, she was working for Joel Gill. During the oil spill, she has recently donned her Sierra Club hat (see also her appearance in the tv package in the same story). She also showed up to a meeting in Mobile with former MS Govenor and current Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, but didn’t appear to show him the same amount of hysteria and disrespect that she apparently has reserved in her heart for Haley Barbour.

Given her history of making public scenes in Governor Barbour’s presence, her concern over the treatment of Vietnamese fisherman coupled with her concern over oil spill environmentalism and formerly the governor’s pardon criteria (while all might merit some concern on their face) smacks of manufactured outrage and attention seeking behavior in the extreme. With all of the outlets she has to get her message out at her disposal (Democratic Party, Sierra Club, blogs, etc.) it’s certainly curious that she has to resort to these public displays of hysteria for seemingly no better purpose than to embarass or disrupt. I highly doubt that she attempted to make her concerns over the various issues for which she seems so passionate known to Governor Barbour privately or just through regular channels.

I was surprised (and a little excited) to see that AP put her efforts in a little context.

Linda St. Martin, who has been affiliated with the state Democratic Party and coast environmental causes, told Barbour fishermen should represent a third of the 34-member panel.

Of course, something called the Better MS Report (coincidentally run by the former communications guy for the State Dem Party – don’t worry, there have been several) seemed to treat it like this woman of conscience was organically outraged at some unplanned moment without any hint of context. Just to tie the loop completely closed, Cassreino and St. Martin sat right close to each other during the Neshoba speech in 2008.

It’s just Astroturf 2.0.