Senator Jon Tester seriously misstated the effect of lawsuits on logging projects in Montana, causing a minor public furor and earning him “four Pinocchios” from the Washington Post . . .
Our inbox started flowing with e-mails from outraged residents of Montana shortly after Montana Public Radio ran an interview in which Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) asserted that “every logging sale” in the state was “under litigation.” The complaints also reached the radio station, as within a day, Tester’s staff offered a revised statement that focused on “volume” rather than sales. Marnee Banks, his spokeswoman, apologized for the original statement, but Tester himself made no comment.
But when we asked Tester’s staff for evidence to back up the revised statement, they simply directed us to the U.S. Forest Service, rather than explain the data themselves. It’s taken a few days to unravel the numbers, but this is a case of apples and oranges, with a few limes thrown in.
What’s the actual effect of litigation on logging in Montana?