Friday, May 11, 2007


As usual, Brad Molnar's take on the Mike Lange blowup is a bit different than anything else you are likely to read. Funnier, too. I especially liked the Bill Strizich anecdote.

If you look closely, you also can see on this page a cartoon by Paul Driscoll, who is back to drawing Montana-based political cartoons after a few years off. It's too small to read online, so you will just have to pick up a copy of this week's Outpost (it's small there, too, but legible).

UPDATE: In the comments, it's Kemmick vs. Molnar. Won't somebody please stop this fight?


Anonymous said...

What in the hell was THAT all about? Only molenar would be stupid enough to keep the Lange affair front and center! And then, in the Repubbie bizarro world, for every Repubbie screw up, there just HAS TO BE an equivalent Schweitzer screw up! At least in braddy's little mind there is one even if no one else sees it! Yep. That's bizarro world. But I agree in one sense. It is a funny piece. Well, not actually funny, more like laughable!......and pathetic.

Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers!

Montana Headlines said...

I guess I never knew how entertaining Molnar can be. He certainly swats a few good ones in this piece. Thanks for publishing it.

Anonymous said...

I can't go "tit for tat" on every example listed by Molnar, but Lange's tirade was beyond the pale. In any sport, he would have been ejected from the game. Equally bad is the lesser reported fact that quite a number of Repubs clapped. I still haven't figured out how it all fits into "family values."

Ed Kemmick said...

Molnar's take on this whole thing was bogus from start to finish. It didn't help that the headline was misleading, since the subject of his column was not really rough language.

Instead, Molnar tries to draw parallels between Lange's outburst and "similar" actions on the part of Democrats, concluding in almost every case that the press, that dependable whipping boy, always looks the other way when the transgessor is a Democrat.

But the only other obscene word he reports on is his own---"prick." To pretend that Lange telling the sitting governor to "go to hell" is on the same level as the governor saying "Hell no!" betrays a quaint misunderstanding of our language.

As for Strizich, he may have ranted, but he apparently wasn't even mildly obscene, or I'm sure we would have heard about it. Likewise with every other anecdote. Obviously, Molnar could not seriously expect anyone to demand an apology from Schweitzer for the garden-variety partisan comments he flung at Republican legislators, but Molnar pretends an apology is needed anyway, to make Schweitzer's comments seem as outrageous as Lange's.

Because Molnar could not produce a single example (except for his own "prick") of any Montana politician using obscenities similar to Lange's, all he did was prove that Lange's outburst was indeed unprecedented. I guess for that we should thank him.

Brad Molnar said...

Golly Ed, you miss the point entirely. The point was that politicians are in a very intense environment and often blow up. Not that Lang's blow up was to be forgiven. Rather that it is not totally unique other than the bye that Schweitzer usually gets. Further your insinuation that I said the press always lets Democrats go is refutable but anyone that reads my piece would recogonize that you were counting on them not doing so to actually maintain credibality. Apparently you don't read the papers so I will inform you that Sen. Laslovich (D) Butte, recently demanded an apology for the profane statements (with out profanity) that the Governor constantly puts out against all legislators not just Republicans. First time ever they have covered Brian's baffonery in a straight fashion.

As for Strizich, you unpartisian, unbiased son of a gun, he was chosen by Baucus to be the Federal Marshal then used the position to become a drug dealer. He was never charged with his crime only for lying to hide it and served no time. Was that just a "quaint misunderstanding" as well? Certainly you would want to use your investigative talents and delve into whether or not Baucus used his influence to shield his friend...Or have you already done a piece on that?

Frankly I believe that law enforcement selling drugs to kids is profane.

Ed said...

Still having trouble with definitions, I see. You can call criminal actions profane, but that does not make them so. And you can call the governor's statements profane, but that does not make them so. A good starting point might be a decent dictionary.

What stood out about Lange's tirade was the unprecedented vulgarity in a forum open to the public ... and young pages. The criminality or partisanship of other politicians, of whatever party, has very little bearing on Lange's profane improprieties. Your attempt to muddy the waters by drawing parallels that were not parallels was as lame as your subsequent attempt to "explain" what you meant.

brad molnar said...

Now now Ed, I expected better, though I don't know why. But, FYI, Profane: "to debase by a wrong, unworthy or vulgar use." Example, Gov. Schweitzer says to your wife and kids (while you stand there) that, "Since your dad came up here to cover the session all he did was drink aged whiskey with lobbyists, eat their steaks and write stories the way they wanted them slanted. Soon he will be back home so hopefully he will try to regain some credibility."

You of course would not feel that he had tried to "wrong" or "debase you." You of course would consider it a "garden variety" statement. I, on the other hand, would help him shove it. So perhaps our little tiff (which you instigated)is simply about testosterone levels...but I doubt it. Rather I believe it is about my willingness to harpoon Republicans to get out an accurate portrayal of a life I know and your blind rush to protect a political figure based on partisanship. Yup, I think that's it....Are you going to do the investigation? I knew I would take heat and spin (from both parties) for my piece. Are you willing to do the same? Anyway, Lang is gone, done in by his own hand.

Your concern for the young and innocent pages is well founded...but who the heck put that thing on the Internet version of the Gazette and therefor into every home in America anyway?

Jim Larson said...

If Ed had returned to Brad's prick a third time, I may have suspected an underlying sexual tension.

According to YPR news at lunch time, the Republican caucus agrees with Mr. Kemmick's assessment of Lange's outburst.

Bill Strizich said...

After all these years Brad Molnar continues to live in a world of his own design. His reference to myself is getting tiring at best and personally demfaming at worst.

I am incensed at his continuing to refer to me as a "drug dealer". This is plain old Montana bullshit. Please review the facts in my case to judge for yourself rather than the exagerated rantings of a partisan fool.

Regardless of his claim, I was prosecuted under a Republican administration and to the fullest extent of the federal law. I had absolutely no political cover and for many legitimate reasons was left in a very lonely position. If I were a bitter person I could go on about political abandonment, but choose to accept all of what happened as what I deserved.

In fact, I was convicted of a felony and received no preferencial treatment and in fact did serve 12 months of incarceration in the federal prison system. This, as the result of a severely punitive "upward departure" sentenceing.

Molnar's own behavior in the legislature was one of a bully. He used physical and verbal means of intimidation. His problem with me probably relates to my calling him on these tactics. However, in my failing to make this a public issue and dealing with him personally and within the his party's leadership and the legislative institution provided cover for him. In retrospect I regret not "going public" with this, but always found giving a person a break or second chance was the best policy.

But then, I'm sure his memory is hazy about those days.

If Mr. Molnar had even a modicumm of fair play and respect for his own intellectual honesty, I'd have thought he'd given me a call to fact check a bit.

To this point, I've hesitated to respond to this polecat, because I was always admonished never to engage a skunk in a peeing match. But, sometimes enough is enough and I intend to keep this bozo on my watch list.