Friday, May 25, 2007

Article on Mike Lange

Today, the Billings Gazette published a piece on Mike Lange's personal financial misfortunes, as if the poor guy hadn't been beaten on enough.

We assume, though, that this is part of a series of articles, and that tomorrow's edition will feature a prominent Montana Democratic politician, alternating between a discussion of the details of his personal financial situation and a discussion of his past and future political career.

If it doesn't appear, not to worry -- it probably just means that reporters are still busily doing background research.

In other breaking news, just in case someone missed it, the article tells us that Mike Lange had a YouTube moment in the closing days of the regular session of the Montana legislature some weeks ago.


Anonymous said...

My opinion, sad to say, is that the Gazette might be doing the Republican party a favor if it persuades Lange not to waste the party's time in running for higher office (although there there might be something to be said for the fun fireworks that would occur in a race between Lange and the governor).

But your comments do, in an amusing way, point out how reporters always see to be short of time on their schedules when it comes to investigating the folks on the other left side of the aisle.

This was driven home the other day in the the comments section at the Gazette when a few of the commenters remarked on how, during the governor election several years ago, the Gazette never did report, I believe, on Brian Schweitzer's claim that his opponent had supposedly accused him of having "sex with a goat" or some such thing. I think the Gazette ran the AP story that originally had the quote, but the quote mysteriously disappeared from the story that ran in the newspaper.

I always wondered why that happened. I know Ed Kemmick sometimes reads your blog, and perhaps he'd be gracious enough to explain the reason. Maybe someone at the paper thought they should protect their readers from such an outrageous thing since they run a family newspaper. But then, as their handling of the Mike Lange comments shows, the Gazette is perfectly willing to print comments that will shock the socks off anyone.

And if the newspaper decided the BS comments about sex with a goat were too outrageous to run, shouldn't they have at least let their readers know that the Democratic candidate for governor had said something so shocking that it could not be printed in a family newspaper?

Of course, I probably am just lacking the journalistic training one needs to know that a top political figure talking publicly about having sex with a goat is not a news story.

Montana Headlines said...

Be a little easy on the Montana media -- don't you know that they reported it when the governor told the Australians to go ride a kangaroo the other day, even though it was probably a euphemism for inviting bestial carnal knowledge?

Regardless of whether MH's tongue-in-cheek interpretation of the kangaroo comment is correct or not, rest assured that if Conrad Burns or another Republican had made a similar kangaroo comment, Montana Democrats and editorial boards would be publicly shaking their collective heads.

They'd be saying, "how embarrassing for our state -- they're going to think we're a bunch of backwoods hicks," even if the Aussies were reported as finding the comment amusing.

Don't remember the goat comment, but it certainly is an interesting one.

MH is already on record in an earlier post that we would like to see Lange run again -- but only for the state legislature, and only if he has a good chance of winning when 2008 rolls around.

Right now, in our humble opinion, the Montana GOP doesn't have room for error, especially in uphill-battle state-wide races -- so that doesn't include running Lange. So yes, the Gazette may be doing us a favor.

The motivation for this particular post was just that the piling on was getting a little too gratuitous for our taste -- call us squeamish.

Anonymous said...

You probably don't remember the sex with a goat comment because I don't think the Gazette ran it. At least, that's my recollection.

I remembered it because it was one of the strangest things I'd ever heard a candidate say. If a remember right, the AP interviewed BS about some criticsm of BS from the Bob Brown camp, and BS complained that it was like being accused of having "sex with a goat--how was he going to prove that he didn't have sex with a goat"....or something pretty close to that.

I saw the comment in the Tribune and thought it was so odd that I wanted to see how the other papers would handle it. But I couldn't find it in any of the other Montana papers, at least online. The Gazette ran the entire AP story, except for the goat quote, which had been cut out by an editor there, I guess.


The Tribune, by the way, while it did use the quote, also ran a short editorial that basically said the goat comment was no big deal and was just the sort of colorful language you'd expect from a down-home, plain-speaking Montanan. Not surprisingly, the Trib wasn't so forgiving of Mike Lange.

Montana Headlines said...

The "sex with a goat" comment sounds like it was just another way of accusing his opponents of asking him if he had "stopped beating his wife yet."

But I would agree that any such comment by Conrad Burns would have gotten press and wouldn't have been treated as "just a colorful politician."

Look at the "pull a rifle cartridge out of his pocket by mistake when reaching for a pen" stunt.

A. I've owned and shot guns all my life and own my nice collection. I've never carried around rifle cartridges in my pocket, nor do I know anyone who does.

B. Had a Republican done that, he'd be considered a dangerous gun-nut doing something careless at best, threatening at worst.

What is perhaps most bothersome to someone like me is the fact that for the Montana Press and for Montana Democrats, it's OK for a Democrat to put on a country-boy act -- all the while with a little wink that says, "don't worry, I was a hit on Colbert last week, and I'm doing the Daily Show next week."

But it's not OK to actually be a country boy with rough edges.