Too much time on my hands here …

Still trying to shake this New Zealand bug, a persistent little bastard.

My wife says that the last line of this email to William Marcus of Montana Public Radio is uncalled for. I responded that genuflection at the door is not in my nature, that Mr. Marcus would not be in his position had he not already made the necessary compromises required to advance in the journalism profession. As Chomsky once told a British editor who was proclaiming his professional courage, “If you sit in that chair, you buy in.”

Maybe it was better said by the late Alexander Cockburn, describing Obama, and I roughly quote, that any time bombs that existed in the man were long defused before he ever got the nod to be president. The “buying in” process precedes advancement in both politics and journalism. People gotta have their mind right, or they become UPS drivers rather than MTPR director.

Maybe that’s why I like these UPS guys that come to our house so much. They are making an honest living.

To: William Marcus
Director, Media Broadcast Center
Montana Public Radio

Dear sir: Senator Tester was caught telling a huge lie on your network. After a thorough working over by the Washington Post fact-checker, even the Missoulian was forced to report Tester’s remark that all timber sales in Montana were blocked by litigation.

This is Timber Lobby talk, of course, and Tester is but a mouthpiece. Because lawsuits are effective in curtailing government agency abuse in our commons, the Lobby would like to see lawsuits, and not abuse, curtailed. Ergo the meme: Lawsuits are the problem, and not agency and industry abuse.

The forum to correct the lie is the one on which it was told. This means that MTPR is now morally obligated to call out Tester on the same platform on which he lied. Otherwise, you are an enabler. No doubt if you do, he will punish you by shutting off access to his office.

Are you going to call him out, sir? Do you have moral courage? Do ya, punk?

Mark Tokarski
Morrison, CO

3 thoughts on “Too much time on my hands here …

  1. FYI: MT Public Radio did run/read this story on air two times the day after Senator Tester made the entirely false claim on their radio program. MTPR also sent out this link on Twitter a few times. Based on what I know, MTPR did actually attempt to fact-check Senator Tester’s lies, and literally did so within minutes of being informed of the, but it was tough because Senator Tester just issued more incorrect statements and then the USFS dragged its feet….then the weekend hit. Then there was more total silence from Sen Tester and the USFS. Finally the WaPost Fact-Checker article appeared on Wednesday AM. I’m not sure if MTPR has done anything on-air with the WaPost fact-checker story, but again, in my opinion MTPR’s newsroom did a good job trying to uncover the truth, especially when up against a US Senator and USFS that clearly just wanted to sweep all this under the rug.


    1. That story is he-said-she-said, and they’ve not utilized one resource to get to the bottom of the issue. I’d be curious too if they report the WaPo Fact Checker story, as it contains one of the essential elements of journalism, a search for truth. (Another, find out what powerful people are doing and report back to us, is rarer than an honest politician.)


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