Though there might be a few of Montana's fine reporters who would disagree, I'm certainly not as harsh on the Montana media as some of my blogging contemporaries are. Or at least, not as consistently harsh. In truth, it's because the Montana media has given me no reason whatsoever to care about them. I don't take them seriously beyond the joke most media outlets have become. Examples:
Colter Nuanez, a UofM graduate, quickly became one of the absolute best sports writers the Bozeman Comical had ever hired. His work was tireless and exceptional. Showing no hint whatsoever of a Grizzly bias, he was 'the truth' concerning all things Bobcat. Unfortunately, he also had a penchant for talking truth about the state of journalism at the Bozeman Chronicle. On the Bobcat Nation forum, Nuanez wrote this:
“But you must understand that we are all handcuffed by money-hungry corporate f***ks who want to run newspapers as a business rather than an essential part to maintaining a free-flowing democracy.”
Yes, that got him fired. But it needed to be said. The firing didn't go over well, nor has his replacement, as the comments that City Desk editor Becker received can attest. My questions for editor Becker are a bit more direct. I wrote a letter to the editor chiding the Chronicle for firing Nuanez, and I know damned well that I am not the only one. To date, not a single one of those letters have been published. Why ever not? ass-coverer in chief Stephanie Pressly swoops in to tell us all that Colter was fired because he was "violating company policies". Translated from the businessese, that means that Nuanez was fired for pissing off "money-hungry greedy corporate fucks".
The short version of what I'm getting at is this: Nuanez wasn't a reporter covering the rich and powerful who upset some politician or powerful figure from a shadow control. The only ones he upset were those who expected him to be a mouthpiece for their will to profit, based on journalism. Sports journalism no less. Seriously people, if a sports reporter, an extremely good one, can get fired for the 'policy violation' of telling the truth of his employment what credibility does any journalism have left? Can I get a resounding "NONE"?
Fast forward to today. The Helena Incompetent Record had to "discipline" a copy editor for changing an AP story. The story of PRESIDENT Barack Obama's trip to Asia was changed from "Obama was born in Hawaii" to read "Obama was allegedly born in Hawaii". Did anyone at the Incompetent Record notice? Of course not. Tom Laceky, a retired Associated Press staffer sure as hell noticed, and pointed out that something needs to be done about this egregious lack of journalistic effort. So, an unnamed copy editor will be 'disciplined'. My faith in journalism is restored.
So here's the score: Tell the truth: -1 job. Tell a blatant and offensive lie: ???????????
Our media really stinks.