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EDITORIAL: Let's turn our backs on extremists
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EDITORIAL: Let's turn our backs on extremists


Like many people in the Region, Eric Krieg, of Munster, was active on social media.

Krieg frequented online message boards and groups, including on Facebook, that regularly spew incivility and venom.

Krieg now is charged with federal felony explosives counts for allegedly mailing a pipe bomb to an attorney with whom he'd reportedly had both legal and political differences. He is being held in federal custody pending trial.

Krieg also is accused of mailing a bullet and threatening note to a Hammond municipal employee with whom he'd had arguments in online message boards.

Obviously not everyone who associated with Krieg online deserves to be branded as suspect. He also has a right to defend himself in court and is innocent, under our system, unless proven guilty.

However, his case can serve as a stark reminder for society to resist individuals and websites that engage in extreme rhetoric or uncivil behavior.

In one online social media group in which Krieg was known to participate, one group member posted that other members should begin a Go Fund Me fundraising account for Krieg's legal fees.

Others in the group took Times columnist Marc Chase to task for referring to the allegations surrounding Krieg as domestic terrorism.

That group member told Chase that the real examples of "domestic terror" are taxpayer-supported economic development projects often advocated on our editorial page.

It's the height of diluted logic to liken a pipe bomb, which injured an innocent postal worker, to the support of economic development initiatives aimed at growing Region prosperity.

And it's a clear example of how society should be turning its back on the extremists among us.

If you belong to one of these social media groups, consider leaving it — especially if your only reason for joining was spectator value.

There should be nothing entertaining about the environments in which such rhetoric is fostered. In fact, it can be quite destructive.

Some segments of our society are so off point and extreme that the reasonable majority must work together, regardless of idealistic or political differences, to pull our nation back to center.

A good place to start is a cleaning of social media friends lists and dropping of online groups that further nothing but vitriol and divisiveness.


Members of The Times Editorial Board are Publisher Christopher T. White, Editor Marc Chase, Deputy Editor Kerry Erickson, Regional News Editor Sharon Ross, Assistant Deputy Editor Andrew Steele.

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