The Wednesday Read: No Comments & New Campaign Ads

Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things. – Winston Churchill

Today the following items caught my attention:

  • Billings Gazette – No Comments
  • New Campaign Ad – Juneau
  • New Campaign Ad – Gianforte

Billings Gazette – No Comments:

In what is probably one of the more cowardly moves I have ever seen from a newspaper, the editor of the Billings Gazette, Darrell Ehrlick, announced on Sunday that the Billings Gazette would no longer allow comments on their stories posted at the

Before they shut off the comments, there were over 200 comments to Ehrlick’s “no comment” story. That’s 200 visits to their website they might not get when they stop allowing them. I imagine the advertisers will notice the decrease in web traffic, too.

It appears the negative comments were too much for Ehrlick and crew to handle (cluck, cluck). The no comment decision was to start on Tuesday.

Often I visit a newspaper’s website a few times to see what people are saying about the article – which now means I won’t need to come back to the Billings Gazette website to check what the readers are saying about the article.

Here at The Western Word, you’re always free to comment. I read and approve each and every one of them and most of the time I get to them pretty quickly. Of course, I don’t get nearly as many comments as the Gazette or other newspapers, but if I did I would not shut the comments down. I have a few rules that are listed HERE.

Maybe the Gazette and other newspapers who are considering shutting off comments should hire a blogger to review the on-line comments. It’s not that freaking hard to set standards on what you will allow.

Sadly, it’s another indication that newspapers are circling the drain and are losing touch with their subscribers and readers.

New Campaign Ad – Juneau:

U.S. House candidate Denise Juneau (D) has posted a new campaign ad called “Toughness.” The ad is about Juneau’s life in 30 seconds from Head Start to Browning, Montana, to Harvard and to being elected twice as Montana’s Superintendent of Public Instruction. At the end of the ad, Juneau says, “It’s time someone in Congress put up a tough fight for Montana. That’s exactly what I will do.”

I like campaign ads that tell a candidate’s story. I give this ad a nine out of 10 (9/10). You can view the ad HERE.

New Campaign Ad – Gianforte:

Republican candidate for Montana Governor, Greg Gianforte, has a new campaign ad posted called “Travis.” In it, a man named Travis Cottom talks about getting his start as an intern for Gianforte at RightNow Technologies. Cottom says that for 10 years Gianforte taught him what hard work and leadership can accomplish and the positive impact it can have on a community. Cottom then talks about starting a high-tech business in his hometown, which has two stop lights. He says that if we can create high-wage jobs in his two-stoplight town, with Greg Gianforte’s leadership it can be done all across Montana.

I like the direction of this ad – it tells the story of someone who has watched Gianforte over the years and can attest to his leadership. The ad is a little boring and that’s on the people who made it, not because of Tom Cottom’s story.

I give this ad a seven out of 10 (7/10). You can view the ad HERE.


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2 thoughts on “The Wednesday Read: No Comments & New Campaign Ads

  1. What do you think Darrell Ehrlick will be doing in a couple years when the Billings Gazette is no longer operating?

    • Greg – Hmmm…I don’t know, but I think the move to prevent comments on the Gazette website might haunt him for the remainder of his career in newspapers. -JmB

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