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.
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?