Every Republican candidate in Montana is walking around saying that the problem is the Democrats’ spending and taxes in Helena. Of course, anybody who actually informs themselves in a smart way knows that this is the complete opposite of reality. Montanans waited for thirty years for tax cuts and spending reduction from Republicans who talked a big game, before Dems finally took over and did it, and returned a nice rebate check to every homeowner and have reduced spending so efficiently that the Wall Street Journal, the right-wing rag, has credited them for it.
But you wouldn’t know it by reading the Billings Gazette, because it’s owned and run by conservatives. As an example, let’s look at a headline and article today about a recent issue.
To review, here is John Kerry’s Goose-gate coverage in 2004 in the Gazette. Not an unfair article at all. It calls him out for what he was, a wealthy urban ivy-leaguer trying to burnish his “regular guy” credentials, not to mention a terrible campaigner.
Flash forward to Roy Brown’s identical blunder, a 2006 goose hunting photo, all decked out in camoflauge. At the time he took the photos he had not ever hunted in Montana, at least not as far back as license records go, which is 1989, and probably further.
Knowing that the press would not cover this, a Democratic group called Values, Energy and Growth PAC brought Roy’s fraudulent photo to the attention of voters by running TV ads and mail. And here is how it was all covered in today’s Gazette: with the headline, “Dems paid for attack ads, fliers.”
And of course, it doesn’t even mention the TV commercial, nor the incriminating goose photos, nor the fact that Roy never hunted or fished until he needed some “gun crowd” photos produced on the eve of his run for Governor.
Rather, the story in the Gazette is all about how a Democratic Party-funded group went after poor Roy. In a previous about negative mail in the Van Dyk/Brown race, the Gazette quoted Roy as saying that negative mail was making his wife cry.
Worse, there is little discussion in today’s article of the fact that the GOP is doing exactly the same thing to Kendall Van Dyk, under the direction of several GOP veteran operatives and their shady groups called “Montana Business Leadership PAC” and “Jobs for Montana PAC” and “Better Government PAC”.
What is especially troubling about this lack of fair coverage is that Roy is walking around Billings saying that Montana democrats are “spending and taxing too much”, which is the complete opposite of reality. Just ask Denny Rehberg and Newt Gingrich, who are on record crediting the current administration for miraculous fiscal restraint, enabled by legislation that Democrats in the legislature presented to the Governor, not to mention the help of a full slate of Democratic state-wide officials who cut their own budgets too.
Not a single article in the Gazette has addressed this basic “taxing and spending” lie that underlies Roy’s entire campaign, and that underlies also the third-party campaigns against Kendall Van Dyk by the GOP and its associated conservative groups, and that also underlies the entire GOP legislative campaign around the state this season.
We are all getting goosed by the Billings Gazette.