Billings editor withholds documents that paint senator in “harsh light”

Montana Senate Majority Leader Jason Priest (R–Billings) in soft light

Montana Senate Majority Leader Jason Priest (R–Billings) in soft light

First of all, what happened to Jason Priest’s shoulders in this photograph? He looks like he was in a Delorean accident that prevented his mother from falling in love with his father. Second, what happened to the charging documents in the Billings Gazette story about Priest’s arraignment for allegedly throwing his toddler and beating his wife’s boyfriend? It looks like editor Darrel Erhlick didn’t run them because they featured a state senator saying the c-word. That can’t be it, though, because knowing Priest used British language with his wife cannot possibly damage his reputation more than knowing he (allegedly) committed a domestic assault, right? The good news is that all charging documents have vanished from crime stories on the Gazette site since Erhlick’s explanation. The bad news is that Lee papers seem more conspicuously in the pocket of the Republican Party than Montanans imagined. You can read all about it in my column for the Missoula Independent, which is what you get instead of a blog today. Maybe if you fudging coconuts stopped acting like white trash in front of the house, I’d treat you nicer.

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