Haters Gonna Hate

I posted a column late Thursday night after learning of the death of my former boss, U.S. Senator Conrad Burns. The Great Falls Tribune picked up the whole column and it was published in their Saturday paper.

Overall, the comments to my column were pretty good. I heard from people all across the fruited plains via email. It was nice to hear from some old friends, too.

Former press secretaries for Burns, Matt Mackowiak and Derek Hunter, wrote columns about Senator Burns in the past few days. You can read Matt’s column HERE and Derek’s column HERE.

One comment posted in the Great Falls Tribune from gadfly Howard Strause brought up some things from Burns’ past, and he closed his comment with “By the way, a Burns staffer was caught deleting some of Burns statements from Wikipedia and inserting glowing comments. Wonder who that was?”

I guess I must confess; it was not me who edited the Wikipedia entry. So that leaves about 500 other suspects.

I don’t know what on God’s green earth that has to do with the death of a U.S. Senator, but if Howard Strause wants to come over to my yard, TheWesternWord.com, and leave his cheap comments, he is more than welcome. School is in session.

I guess in the words of Taylor Swift, “Haters gonna hate.”

I have always thought it was in poor taste to go after people after they were dead. My parents taught me to not speak ill of the dead. I guess some folks didn’t learn that lesson. It’s been interesting to see the commentaries after the death of Burns.

Some liberal blogs had some nice posts, but some of the comments were not so nice. Over at the Intelligent Discontent blog, Pete Talbot wrote:

Burns was a down-to-earth guy and, from what I’ve heard, he provided excellent constituent services. Never underestimate the value of constituent services. Having issues with Social Security, Medicare, Veteran benefits? A call to one of Conrad’s field offices and often, the problem was solved.

It’s nice that some folks understand that Burns is no longer running for political office. Some not so much.

The Great Falls Tribune editorial board disappointed me with their editorial in Sunday’s paper.

Tribune Publisher Jim Strauss recalled a meeting in 2006 with Burns after Burns lost the election.

I imagine Strauss was saving that little story and editing it over and over throughout the almost 10 years since the meeting hoping he could use it to stick it to Burns one more time – kind of like the last word.

Small people with small minds think that way. It was cheap. Most of the comments about the editorial seem to agree with me, too.

Remember, the Tribune is the same newspaper that hired a “handwriting expert” to try to help Brian Schweitzer beat Burns in 2000 because they felt there were too many similar pro-Burns letters being submitted. Then a “bright mind” at the Tribune posted the two similar letters on the front page of their newspaper, which was better for Burns than having them on the Opinion Page.

The Tribune editorial board in their recent editorial said it’s a relief Malmstrom Air Force Base and the Montana Air National Guard “roll on” in Great Falls.

Sure it’s a relief that those assets “roll on” in Great Falls, albeit with three wheels. Tester and the delegation since 2006 have managed to lose F-15s from the Guard and a squadron of 50 Minuteman missiles. That’s not even counting the housing and other associated jobs. So it’s all good, right?

What kind of great things can we expect for Montana’s military in the next 10 years?

Most of the reporters or people posting comments ‎were against Burns from the beginning. Many reporters tried during most of their little careers to beat him up with their “reporting.” They finally succeeded in 2006. If you’ve read my columns very much, then you know who they are.

Former Lee Newspaper reporter Ed Kemmick couldn’t let the moment pass without his recollection. Since Lee Newspapers seems to be throwing most seasoned reporters overboard, Kemmick runs a blog/website called “Last Best News.”

In one of the photos Kemmick used in the story the caption read:

The late Sen. Conrad Burns in an official photo. Cowboy hat? Check. Flag? Check.

That was actually what Kemmick posted under Burns’ official U.S. Senate photo. Seriously?

There are other things I did not like about Kemmick’s column (or opinion), but it’s not worth the time to write about it.

The folks who run the newspapers and report for newspapers try to make people think that they are neutral in their reporting. If anyone still believes that I have some ocean-front property to sell you near Geyser, Montana.

Some people just seem to be born a-holes and ‎can’t shake it. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s OK to report on the issues of one’s life and career (good and bad), but going after a dead man one more time just to stick it to him is just plain hateful.


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6 thoughts on “Haters Gonna Hate

  1. What would Great Falls do without Malmstrom?

    It’s alright, Jackie, I’m not expecting you or anyone that visits to answer that. But for those of us that’ll be here in, oh, maybe 30 years, when that $20 trillion federal deficit has had its way with us, then yes, we will be asking this.

    Because you see, Great Falls is no different than Colstrip is now or Butte was in the 80s. You’re a town that’s allowed itself to become dependent on one thing. The thought of that one thing going away scares the hell out of you.

    Far from doing anything to obviate the loss of that one thing going, however (such as diversifying with other industries), you fight tooth and nail for it…even when it’s not needed.

    So continue being defensive about Malmstrom, it’s funding, and the jobs there. I’m sure Great Falls’ long-term will really thank you.

    • Greg-

      Thanks for your comments.

      Great Falls would survive without Malmstrom; it would just be much much smaller. The population of Cascade county (where GF is located) is about 82,000 people. If the base closed, I think you would see the loss of about 30,000 people from the county.

      Everyone would like to see a world without nukes, but that isn’t going to happen. We have fewer nukes than in the past. We have fewer nuke (ICBM) bases than in the past. I am a “Peace Through Strength” person.

      As for closing bases, it takes years and years and much money to close a base. If you look at the budget for the DoD, you’ll probably find that they are still paying for the last round of base closures which happened back in 2005. They may even be paying for the one before that happened in 1995. I do think that every 10 years they should have a BRAC (base closure) round – and it should include overseas bases.

      I am pro-military and pro-Malmstrom and pro-Montana National Guard. Unfortunately, the folks who are running the show now are not as energetic about the military as I think they should be.

      Thanks again for your comments.


      • Greg – Because having nukes mean you automatically have a seat at the big dinner table with the adults – like the USA, China, Russia, etc. You can use nukes as leverage for other things – to make life better for your citizens. -JmB

      • I feel nukes have made our lives worse. Maybe it’ll improve the 1%’s life, but I haven’t seen any improvement in people’s lives for decades. I guess we can keep lying to ourselves that our massive military makes us safe. Rome thought that too. Didn’t work out too well. Oh well, what can I do? Not like the 1% and their arms dealers care about me (or you).

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