MontanaPBS Scrubs U.S. House Debate Coverage

Ryan Zinke cited a scheduling conflict in pulling out of the Sept. 29 event in Billings

By Associated Press

BOZEMAN – MontanaPBS has canceled its plans to broadcast a debate in Montana’s U.S. House race because one of the candidates isn’t planning to attend.

Republican Ryan Zinke cited a scheduling conflict in pulling out of the Sept. 29 event in Billings. That left Democrat John Lewis as the only participant.

The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports a debate invitation sent to the candidates by media organizations said the event will be held even if one of the candidates didn’t participate.

On Aug. 27, a Billings Gazette editorial said what should have been a debate would be an hour-long panel discussion with Lewis.

Aaron Pruitt with MontanaPBS says a debate with only one candidate isn’t a debate.

Gazette editor Darrell Ehrlich said PBS was concerned about Federal Communications Commission requirements that candidates receive equal air time.

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