Conrad's Heart of Darkness

conradburns.jpgHas Montana's Conrad Burns (a.k.a. America's least popular senator) forgotten the lesson of 9/11? Namely, that you never dump on firefighters? The Associated Press has a report of Burns' conversation with a Virginia firefighting team that helped estinguish a disaster in Burns' state.

"The toughest part of the conversation was the point where the senator was critical of a firefighter sitting across from us in the gate area," Rosenthal's report reads. "I offered to the senator that our firefighters make around $8 to $12 an hour and time-and-a-half for overtime. He seemed a bit surprised that it wasn't higher."

She said Burns also was concerned and upset about overall "command and control" system for firefighting efforts and made "several comments about us 'not letting ranchers fight the fire on their own land.'"

She said she responded that landowners are an important part of firefighting, but that safety is always a priority.

"He replied, 'We're fighting a war on terror and we're concerned about safety there too, but we're out there doing it,'" Rosenthal wrote.

Wicked Burn(s)! But in the senator's defense, the firefighters were covered in soot and he thought they were black guys.

Agency report recounts Burns encounter with firefighters [Associated Press]

Senator Apologizes For Racial Remark [NYT]

-- David Weigel


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