Singer, Coobs and Klindt Collide: The Tribune on Montana Blogging

Gwen Florio’s story today about Montana blogs was a little disappointing, repeating a lot of the Republican nonsense about the connection between Kos and Tester, and because it featured a look at the semi-official mouthpiece of the GOP without making the connection obvious.

Florio prints the same inane Klindt allegations that somehow suggests that Jon Tester agrees with everything that anyone has ever posted on a blog linked to Kos. Jason, ever the wit, with his deep understanding of the Internet, offered this gem:

“If you look at Daily Kos … a lot of these people (posting) are from places like San Francisco and Boston.

Yes, and people from Texas. And Missouri. And Spain. The tubes go everywhere.

And yet, even though the right wing blog mentioned in the site is dinged for having occasional negative comments, Florio doesn’t mention one salient fact: the Montana GOP has specifically endorsed the blog. From the MT-GOP E-Brief, dated 3/30/2006, and sent out by Montana Republican State Central Committee:

There’s a new blog in Montana that our Ebrief readers might be interested in.  The wacko libs have a plethora of whinny blogs, but they’re all put to shame by WHAT’S RIGHT IN MONTANA.  Check back often for updates.

Not only is the site endorsed by the GOP, it is clear to anyone who visits the site that it is driven by GOP talking points, and that at least one member of the anonymous writing team is a GOP operative, if not a member of the Burns staff.

So, what kind of things does the endorsed blog of the MT Republican Party have to say?  Here’s a sampling:

What Wolfgas dosnt get is that Jews control the media, and Jews favor Jon Tester. There are Jew websites in Montana that favor Tester. That should be why you vote against Tester. Fags and Jews love this liberal.

I hear he’s trying to help Bozeman find replacements for the two Negroes they recently lost because of police racism and bigotry.

I am going to guess that Bonnie has a whole mess of little fat half-nigger kids running around her trailor then.

And what does GOP host say about comments like that? According to the Tribune, it’s hard to tell if these comments cross the line:

“I have deleted a few comments, not too many. It’s very difficult to tell where to draw the line.

Look, connecting the Tester campaign to comments made by people on another blog is just about the least coherent campaign strategy of all time, but if we are too believe the ‘logic’ of Republicans, aren’t they culpable for these remarks? 

It would have been nice if Gwen Florio had actually looked into WRIM before letting Coobs get away with dismissing the site as having an occasional controversy.

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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About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba has been writing about Montana politics since 2005 and teaching high school English since 2000. He's a 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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  • Actually, she told me that she does read my blog.

    I guess you can call me a GOP operative, as I’m a member of the Midland Empire Pachyderm Club, and a Precinct Committeeman for my precinct.

    That being said, I’m not working with any campaigns or on ballot initiatives. If you recall, on my other blog when I asked for posters to start a conservative blog, all the liberals were chuckling at the idea.

    Now that I’ve surpassed them they’re not laughing anymore, are they?

  • Don, in all fairness, those quotes you took from What’s Right in Montana are all from comments. That’s like me taking some choice comments from Larry Kralj and claiming that it is representative of Montana Democrats.

  • Eric…you can certainly say that a blogger has to have a certain ego to do this but yours is super sized… every time you comment on a blog it’s to brag or make yourself seemed like the second coming of bloggers. That’s telling.

    And Brett…in all fairness, I think part of Don’s point was the editing policy. Eric chooses to delete some comments, but apparently references to “fags” and “niggers” doesn’t cross the line for Eric. That’s telling, too.

  • Yeah, Clark, I agree. Maybe my last paragraph wasn’t clear enough about that point. As silly as it is to condemn a candidate for the comments of another person, it’s even dumber to attack them for the comments of commenters. However, that seems to be part of the GOP strategy. Also, when the state GOP endorses a blog that permits (and almost seems to encourage)hate speech, maybe that is an issue.

    Eric, I don’t think she reads much of your blog. Would a reporter skip those comments?

    The truth is there are better written, more thoughtful  conservative blogs in Montana with more readers, better insight, and a longer history than yours. It’s awfully interesting that the article picked your blog to look at–and then didn’t do it.

  • One almost suspects that my own humble self is somehow suspected. I am not now nor have I ever been an employee of the Republican party. I believe that’s the accepted phraseology when someone throws around an unfounded accusation designed to create guilt by association?

    I have, however, done campaign work before, much as Matt Singer has done campaign work before writing for Left in the West. In my personal case, it was years ago.

    I confess, I did once work for Burns.

    In 1990.

    So clearly I’m right in close with those folks.

    As for my anonymity, I made the choice when I started this that I would be willing to accept the cost to my credibility. To be frank, it’s simple cowardice. I presently work for an organization where I feel my future employment prospects would be compromised if I were known to be speaking out on such issues.

    America has a rich and long tradition of anonymous political dialogue. Far from being ashamed of it, I actually chose my name based on it.

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