The Media

The Independent Record’s Fascinating Editorial on Max Baucus

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If anyone has spent any time on this site, they know that I am hardly a fan of Senator Baucus. That being said, the recent juvenile attacks that he was drunk on the floor of the Senate demonstrate the depths to which Republicans will sink to smear any Democrat, even one as conservative as the Senator. One would think, though, that a newspaper absolutely uncommitted to investigative journalism wouldn’t keep a pathetic story like this alive.

That assumption was wrong. Today’s editorial in the Independent Record is just a stunning example of argumentative gymnastics designed to justify publication and continued promotion of this salacious and no-doubt click enhancing story.

Let me see if I can paraphrase:

  1. Golly, there’s lots of talk on the Interwebs about this video. Sure, it’s driven by Matt Drudge, a known provocateur for the right, but golly, there’s lots of talk about it.
  2. There sure doesn’t seem to be any real evidence that the claims are true.
  3. Gee, right-wingers are going to be pissed if we don’t talk about it. We better talk about it. And, after all, the Democratic Party ran an ad seven years ago that was mean. That makes it fair. And balanced.
  4. It’s really the irresponsible voices on the Internet that are poisoning discourse, not the reasoned publication of the experts in the rarified atmosphere of newsrooms. Darn Internet!

Maybe the IR would be better served examining why the Lee Newspapers in the state sat on a truly newsworthy story about the Senator rather than spending their time promoting right wing hit pieces to appease some online critics who see a left wing conspiracy in every news story.

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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