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.
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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