Congressional Quarterly’s Take on the Debate


Congressional Quarterly has a thoroughly mystifying take on the Tester-Burns debate, headlined by the opinion of “Craig Harris”, Montana State University political science professor. (What are the odds that both the Washington Post and CQ would misidentify the same person, in the same way?)

Wilson (known in the article as Harris) suggested the debate was a draw, but this passage was hard to understand:

Harris (sic) said Tester did a “respectable job” addressing the issues, although he needed some more time getting up to speed on the national security issues that featured prominently in the debate.

Hmm. I guess the guy who thinks imaginary ‘starin’ is a chemical weapon, who flip-flopped twice on his own position on port security in the course of 10 minutes, and who fundamentally misunderstands Sudan (the more I think about it the more convinced I am that he thought Sudan was Somalia) is the one who needs to work on his understanding of national security.

Harris, Wilson…can someone explain this to me?

If you appreciate an independent voice holding Montana politicians accountable and informing voters, and you can throw a few dollars a month our way, we would certainly appreciate it.


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  • I thought that perhaps we were all confused and maybe there really is a professor in the MSU system named Craig Harris. But ‘”Craig Harris” Montana’ only calls up about 500 hits and the political ones are all about the Washington Post story, indicating that the dude probably isn’t real.

    My guess is that the CQ reporter is lazy, saw the Washington Post story, got the guy’s name from the WP reporter, called him, and just assumed the WP got the name right.

    Still, the Beltway reporting on this race is apparently going to be a joke.

  • I received this response from CQ’s editor:

    Thank you for alerting us to the mistake. Marie Horrigan, who wrote the story, explains that she had picked up the mistaken reference to “Craig Harris” from that Washington Post story you mention and entered it that way into her potential source file, missing the later correction. Although she knows the professor’s name is Wilson and interviewed him on June 27 for the quotes used in the her story, she inadvertently copied the incorrect reference when she wrote it, and none of us picked that up during the production process.

    While I assure you that it was an innocent mistake, we try to limit all mistakes. The story is being corrected.

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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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