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Lee Enterprises launches another journalistic assault on Gianforte

Another Sunday ruined by another Billings Gazette Op/Ed, this time demonizing and denigrating our lone Congressman, Greg Gianforte. Does the Gazette find Montanans so ignorant and stupid that we can’t see these pitiful partisan diatribes for what they are? This time it’s about more petty whining from that paparazzi Guardian reporter, Ben Jacobs. I say paparazzi because every time I think about Jacob barging in on Greg’s interview with Fox News, causing the ensuing dust-up, it reminds me of the paparazzi hounding Princess Diana, ultimately resulting in her death.

Michael Goodwin, now the chief political columnist for The New York Post, gave a speech to Hillsdale College titled “The 2016 Election and the Demise of Journalistic Standards.” In my view, the standards have been going downhill since the JFK days. There were none during the 2016 election. Not from The NY Times. Not from The Washington Post. Not from the Lee Newspapers in Montana. Even President Carter, a Democrat, says he’s never seen a candidate, now president, treated so badly. The same goes for our lone Congressman.

Lee Newspapers have been right in the thick of it, typing barbs against Republicans at every opportunity. I think it’s time the Gazette, and Lee Enterprises in general, get a little dust-up themselves, and a good place to start is with anti-trust proceedings. Sure, it’s a steeper hill to climb when dealing with the First Amendment, but freedom of the press assumes a press with journalistic integrity, and that has become a contradiction in terms since Reagan beat Carter out of a second term.

Lee Enterprises has papers in four key Montana cities, reaching nearly 40 percent of Montanans. There is no denying Lee’s influence in Montana, good and bad, but we can change that. All we have to is start climbing that steeper hill.

— EA Johnson, Butte

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