This story might already be stale in Montana, but I only just got wind of it here in Baltimore:
[T]he three men were sitting in the Billings airport waiting for their flight when [Sen. Conrad] Burns approached them with an outstretched hand and asked if they were firefighters.
"I shook his hand and replied yes," Templeton wrote. "He shook my hand, introduced himself and then replied, 'What a piss poor job' we were doing. I replied, 'Have a nice day.' The senator mentioned that we were 'wasting a lot of money and creating a cottage industry.' He also told us that we needed to listen more to the ranchers. I replied that 'we are pretty low on the totem pole.' Then he walked off."
A ritual apology soon followed, in which the senator declared that firefighters do "the hard, tough job of battling one of Mother Nature's toughest beasts." That's the difference between Washington and Hollywood: A mere movie star would have blamed the bottle and suggested darkly that the firemen were Jews.