Montana Politics The Media

Charles Johnson Covers for Denny Rehberg

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Another case of megaphone journalism today for Charles Johnson, who, while reporting on the story about Denny Rehberg’s decision to send out blatant campaign materials just before the Congressional franking deadline, managed to let the story slip from a look into the mailings into the cheap, diversionary attack politics that Montana’s Republican Party is increasingly known for.

The Democratic press release questioned the veracity of some of Rehberg’s claims. Rather than investigate those claims, or you know, actually ask Rehberg’s Chief of Staff Erik Iverson to answer the allegations, Johnson saw fit to turn the last half of the article in a platform for personal attacks by Iverson, who managed to work in three references to out of state politicians without answering the charges.

I think reporters have a choice about what they choose to write. I suspect that Mr. Johnson has the capacity to filter out information that is irrelevant to the story, like attacks on the Democratic Party’s director. Further, I believe that Mr. Johnson has access to a computer and the Internet, where the veracity of Rehberg’s claims in the mailer can be examined. Unfortunately, all of the things I believe are trumped by what I know: some reporters find it much easier to just print whatever they’re told, in the hope that what they write will appear balanced. In reality, it’s just misinformed.

 And, seriously, Chuck…the Wikipedia? I love it too, but shouldn’t your sources be a little better?

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.

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