NBC Correction: We Blamed The Tea Party

Aaron Flint posted on June 15, 2011 09:09 :: 2579 Views


As an update to my post on the Montana Human Rights Network and their attempts to take advantage of a manhunt in Western Montana to push their political agenda, we have an update and a correction from NBC Montana.  

The bottom line: NBC Montana basically told viewers this- MHRN didn’t blame the Tea Party, we did. 


We work hard to get the facts right in stories, and when we fall short we set the record straight. So we want to correct a statement made in our Tuesday 10 o’clock newscast and Wednesday’s Montana Today.

We aired a story that described how the Montana Human Rights Network’s had been following activities of David Burgert.

We said Travis McAdam of the Human Rights Network had said rhetoric from the Tea Party movement had set off Burgert after his release from prison.

After reviewing video recordings of the interview, we can now say that statement was not correct and McAdam never mentioned the Tea Party.

He did say anti-government activism fueled Burgert’s beliefs. Our reporter incorrectly made the connection between anti-government activism and the Tea Party.

We apologize and regret the error. We will work harder to get the facts right in stories.

Don’t be too quick to feel sorry for the Montana Human Rights Network, though.  They’re politically motivated rhetoric was clear: link talk radio and conservatives with one lone mentally ill ex-con on the loose in Western Montana.  NBC Montana knew exactly who they were referring to.         


The Montana Human Rights Network typically tries to portray themselves in the Montana media as defenders of human rights, the holy warriors taking on discrimination in any form.  Yet, given all their claims of fighting discrimination, MHRN’s Travis McAdam is wasting no time to paint a wide discriminatory brush against thousands of Montanans.  As law enforcement engages in a sweeping effort to rein in a mentally ill ex-con in the mountains of Western Montana, McAdam is engaging in a sweeping effort to compare this man to the thousands of peaceful, law abiding, law enforcement loving, and patriotic Montanans who consider themselves members of the Tea Party and who listen and engage in talk radio.  

NBC Montana took the bait, with no response from Tea Party leaders, and aired this report: (NBC Montana article no longer available)

(Travis McAdam from MHRN to NBC Montana) Burgert spent eight years in prison on an assortment of felony charges. He got out last year. He then came to Missoula, with the Tea Party movement in full swing in western Montana.

McAdam says it’s the perfect thing to set Burgert off.

“If he kept his belief system that he had going in, which it very much much seems like he has, then being in Missoula he had a whole menu of options to choose from if he wanted to jump back into groups that were promoting that type of ideology,” says McAdam.

Did NBC Montana ever think to call any actual Tea Party members while they broadcast this left wing, discriminatory propaganda from Travis McAdam?  Given all of their passionate pleas to prevent discrimination, you would think MHRN would quickly call on McAdam to retract his discriminatory rhetoric. 

While MHRN appears to be taking advantage of the manhunt to further their political agenda, The LA Times reports on the background of the suspect:

In 2002, he faked drowning in an attempt to evade capture, and only surrendered after holding a gun to his head and threatening to kill himself, Flathead County Sheriff Chuck Curry told the Associated Press.

This man obviously has a mental illness.  But, leave it to the Montana Human Rights Network to seize on one man’s mental illness as an opportunity for them to promote their left wing agenda and bash decent, law abiding patriotic citizens. 

Back to the news, the latest is that Montana has scaled down the manhunt.

Montana authorities on Tuesday scaled down a search for a militia member accused of firing on two sheriff’s deputies, saying the practiced survivalist and ex-convict could easily have traveled dozens of miles through the state’s jagged western mountains.

Fox News also covered the manhunt, click below to watch the video.

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