The Media

The IR’s Gone and Hurt My Feelings

It didn’t really hurt my feelings when the Indepdent Record decided to no longer print my letters to the editor. After all, I try to check my facts before I write things. I was okay with the decision until this morning, when the IR printed this letter:

Many football fans in our state already know that big cable companies are taking advantage of consumers and preventing them from watching their favorite football teams. How do they know this? Because they are being charged extra for the NFL Network or are blocked from watching the channel altogether.

Instead of carrying popular channels like the NFL Network, some cable companies are loading their schedules with cable-owned channels like Versus and the Golf Network, claiming that the NFL Network is just a niche market. Tell that to the 222 million Americans who watched NFL football last season.

The good news is there’s a way to resolve these disputes through arbitration so fans can see the programs they want. The FAN (Fair Access to Networks) Act would establish a fast, fair and cheap process so cable companies doing business in our state can’t discriminate against channels like NFL Network and hurt consumers in the process.

I hope my state representatives will stand up for consumers and football fans by supporting this common-sense solution. You can let your elected officials know you support the FAN Act by visiting

Or wait, was that this letter? Or this one? No, wait, it was this one.

Does it really take much of an editor to smell out a mass-marketed plant like this? It took me two seconds, and then one more for a Google search. Just a little tidbit: people typically don’t write things like “I hope my state representatives” and “Many football fans in our state…” if they are actually writing the letter themselves.

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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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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