Trust me, I rarely defend the Argus Leader and their executive editor Beck. I think in the past year he has really pushed the state’s largest newspaper in the toilet. I don’t think he knows what his readers want, and I doubt he knows what his page editors are doing.

Yesterday’s court hearing was about one thing; The First Amendment and it’s legal precedence.

Sure the parody piece he wrote about Dan Scott was vindictive, mean, and malicious, but it was legal. Scott’s lawyer ‘Wild’ Bill Janklow said that the column was a ‘Hit Job’ on his client. Janklow is right. I think it is safe to assume that it was payback for comments Scott had made at a legislative meeting by making the Argus Leader the butt of one of his jokes with the publisher Arnold Garson present. I’m sure it didn’t sit well with Arnie, so the newspaper shot back. They’ve done it to Kermit Staggers, Theresa Stehly, and even me (Nestor Ramos thinks I’m a stencil vandal, yeah right Maxwell Smart).

This is the one thing the Argus is good at.

Is it ethically right? That’s debatable.

Is it legal? Damn right it is.

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