Montana Politics The Media

Baucus, Abramoff, and a Letter to the Editor

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From the Billings Gazette letters to the editor policy:

The Gazette reserves the right to edit letters for clarity, conciseness, taste, and to prevent libel.

From Saturday’s letter by Cathy Coe:

Max Baucus took money from Abramoff, and he returned it after Conrad Burns decided to return the money he had received as it was in the best interest of all involved in this sticky mess.

The MCA’s definition of libel:

Libel is a false and unprivileged publication by writing, printing, picture, effigy, or other fixed representation to the eye which exposes any person to hatred, contempt, ridicule, or obloquy or which causes him to be shunned or avoided or which has a tendency to injure him in his occupation.

Now, obviously no one would pursue a libel claim over a letter to the editor, but you have to wonder why the Gazette wouldn’t either not run the letter, or note the obvious error.  It seems like the GOP disinformation campaign (abetted by a complacent media) has had some effect; I wonder how many Montanans believe that Burns and Baucus are equally culpable?

About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is a seventeen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.

His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.

In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

1 Comment

  • The disinformation campaign was an utter and complete success.
    The Gazette is a part of, its why Montanan’s are so stupid on National issues.

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