Wednesday, November 22, 2006

North Idaho News Media

Well, very interesting news has come my way…. For all of you who might be considering a move to north Idaho, I especially want to invite anyone from the independent news media. We definitely need you up here!

First, a background on local newspapers, all owned by the Hagadone Corp. (you know, the owner of the Coeur d’Alene Resort and Republican extraordinaire):
Several days before the election, the Bonner County Daily Bee published a COMPLETELY MADE-UP STORY about a local candidate, Steve Elgar. It seems that the story said that Elgar hadn’t really committed any campaign illegalities in spite of “blogs” reporting that he did. Guess what – NO SUCH BLOGS EVER EXISTED! The publisher, ever in the good graces of the Hagadone Corp., made the story up! He made it up, and then convinced a reporter to write about it! I spoke to both of them and they couldn’t even get their stories straight! And that’s just a tip of the iceberg for Hagadone media operations. This is just one of many examples of how completely Republican our news media is in north Idaho.

Now, the latest story! The most recent editor of the Bonners Ferry Herald, Robert James, was fired! According to Huckleberries Online (the north Idaho reporting for the Spokesman-Review), he was fired for endorsing Democratic candidate Jerry Brady for Governor of Idaho! Don’t you just love partisan news reporting…..

I genuinely feel sorry for the guy. I wasn’t thrilled with his editing – he frequently did not publish any LTEs from Democrats. But he did write several good articles and opinions about the Democrats, a real change from the past 20+ years. Now it seems that his editorial opinion on Jerry Brady was just too much for Hagadone et al, and the poor man and his family, who moved from Colorado to north Idaho for this job, just had their Thanksgiving ruined and may soon be parting for a less vindictive community.

Hey, I’ve been there, my name on the front page, a slam from the mayor (oh my god), and the whole bit. Not all Republicans are rotten apples, but in north Idaho they certainly seem to be arrogant about how rotten they smell….. Well, if the latest election results are indicative of anything, many people would now like to see a BLUE IDAHO! And it will happen!

So independent media, WE NEED YOU HERE!


Julie Fanselow said...

Hey IdahoRocks,

The independent media exists in Idaho, albeit more so here in SW Idaho than up your way. But nothing we write makes a difference unless the mainstream media picks it up.

In addition to three years of writing my Red State Rebels blog, I just got done with a year blogging for Larry Grant. Our campaign blog is offline and archived now, but let me tell you, I had TONS of very aggressive reporting on Bill Sali's campaign finances and his constant and egregious misstatements of Grant's positions, but the MSM barely touched any of it.

Another blogger, Idablue, published several extensive posts about Sali's personal injury lawsuit of several years ago, in which he apparently tried to fake the seriousness of his injuries to get a bigger settlement. Dan Popkey of the Idaho Statesman wrote about this years ago, but for whatever reason he would not revisit it this year, when people most needed to know.

Thank you for passing along the word about Robert James' firing. That is an outrage. Keep up the blogging.

Mary Lou said...

This is an ABSOLUTE fabrication. I am an insider who knows what happened...I can't get into the specifics because if I said what happened, although true, he could sue me. Mr. James's firing was justified. And he WAS NOT FIRED FOR WHAT HE SAYS HE WAS. What he did to get himself fired he ought to be ashamed of.
It's not an outrage. It's simply the consequences of his choices.
Don't waste another minute crying for him.

Robert J said...

To Mary Lou --

What did I do? I am Robert James. I was the editor at the BFH. I am not ashamed of ANYTHING I did at the Herald. In fact, I am proud to have turned that paper into an actual independent-thinking, LOCAL-NEWS driven newspaper, albeit for a short, short time. The publisher of the paper actively searched out a replacement for me starting the DAY AFTER my editorial comment ran, hired that replacement and then met with me twice in person without saying a word. He then fired me by phone. How nice. So, Mary Lou..have some guts and identify yourself. Oh, but I'm not crying over my situation and nobody else should, either. Perhaps be up in arms and realize that Hagadone is BAD for independent thought and seems to engage in lockstep journalism, though. Just a thought.

Linda/IdahoRocks said...

Wow mary lou, you made the "seen 'n heard" section of the BF Herald. I wonder who you could be.... I love Idaho, but Hagadone's rightwing news reporting isn't fair to the people who live here. Think about it, Hagadone is a big corporation and obviously doesn't care a bit about the people who actually pay the taxes. Look at the kind of wages they pay at the Kootenai River Inn. That's Robin Hood in reverse, a policy that seems to suit the Republicans in power, including our local legislative candidates. Well, I don't know about what Robert James did, but I do know that his firing because of his endorsement for Jerry Brady was about as low as it could get. I've got my eye on the reporting that's coming from Hagadone publications....