The Continuing Ethics of Montana’s Premier Republican Astroturf Blog


Remember The Hardliner? A blog that is so transparently a GOP astroturf operation that it resorted to manufacturing comments to make it appear like it had a vibrant community reading it? And then banning my IP from the site when I called them out on it?

Well, they are back to their old tricks. Yesterday, they breathlessly posted that “Tantalizing accusations abound in the comment section of this story published yesterday in the Billings Gazette,” referencing a comment that claimed that Senator Baucus had not only had an affair, but had also found a job for the woman.

Let’s see if I have this straight. The Hardliner, a faux grassroots Republican site written by a pseudonym, ran with a claim written by another pseudonym on an anonymous comment on the Billings Gazette. That certainly seems credible, doesn’t it?

I understand why Republicans would be desperate to turn the talk away from the fact that their party of professed piety is packed with philanderers, but using an anonymous comment as justification for a sock puppet site to make claims about Senator Baucus’s marriage is just pathetic.

The party of no ideas in Montana seems headed towards being the party of no ethics. How about fighting health care on its merits, instead of anonymously slinging mud?

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About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is an eighteen-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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