Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Hey, CNN, What About Montana?

I am watching CNN at nearly 2 am Chicago time. And I'm fascinated by how little anyone at CNN knows about my home state of Montana. As someone born and bred in and near Fort Benton, less than an hour's drive from Democratic Senate Candidate Jon Tester's home in Big Sandy, I was bemused to observe how little they knew about the state.

One commentator sent to Billings talked about how the "east side" of Montana favored incumbent Conrad Burns while the "west part" of the state favored Tester. I was bewildered by these designations. Montana, as anyone remotely familiar with the state will tell you, is a huge and elongated state in which "east" and "west" would be very poor designations to describe anything. There is northwestern Montana, with Glacier Park and Flathead Lake; there is eastern Montana, with... well, not a lot of anything except vast expanses of Great American Desert. And then there are the many other portions of Montana, including North-Central Montana, from where both Jon Tester and myself originated. It is a beautifully understated sort of geography and a fiercely independent sort of person you'll find there.

CNN? Most painful was their ignoring the data I was pulling from their own website. The race between Tester and Burns was heating up, the Democratic challenger's lead slowly being eaten away. While they prattled on about Virginia (which was, after all, looking close most of the way until an over 10,000 vote lead opened up for the Democrat in that race) Montana's race was getting very hot.

Right now, two percentage points and only 7,000 odd votes separate the two Montana candidates. Ah. They just mentioned the Montana race, giving it half a sentence. And why? Because they don't know thing one about the Treasure State, that's why.

I'm giving them a few more minutes before I go to bed in disgust.

Or maybe not.

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