Montana Politics The Media

Did the Government Shutdown Affect the Missoulian’s Editorial Judgment?

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I’ve seen some embarrassing, shoddy, terrible work from Montana newspapers over the past seven years writing this blog, but I can honestly say I’ve never seen anything this bad. It’s bad enough for Representative Daines to score political points while people who rely on government services can’t get them, but unimaginable that a newspaper would print word for word his office’s attention-seeking spin.

Real political journalism in Montana might not be dead, but it’s certainly on life support.

Representative Steve Daines Press Release:

Congressman Steve Daines today released information regarding his staff and office operations during the current partial government shutdown.

“Serving the people of Montana remains my number one priority, and my staff and I will continue working to serve the people of Montana and provide Montanans with needed information about the services they rely on during this time,” Daines stated.

Daines’ offices in Washington, D.C., Helena, Missoula, Great Falls and Billings will remain open during normal business hours, with limited staff.

In line with most federal agencies, nearly half of Daines’ official staff will be furloughed, allowing for necessary constituent services and office functions to remain active.

Daines also encourages Montana residents to visit his website, www.daines.house.gov, for more information about the partial government shutdown. The website will include information about Daines’ office operations and frequently asked questions about government services available during this time.

Daines has also announced his plans to donate his salary during the government shutdown to the Big Sky Honor Flight.

“The first piece of legislation I introduced, the Balanced Budget Accountability Act, was based on a simple principle—if Washington doesn’t do its job, it shouldn’t be paid. During a government shutdown, the same truth remains,” Daines stated. “That’s why I’ve signed onto legislation requiring salaries for members of Congress to be withheld through the duration of the government shutdown, and have also committed to donating my salary during the same time to the Big Sky Honor Flight.”

Missoulian “news” story:

Montana Republican Rep. Steve Daines today released information regarding his staff and office operations during the current partial government shutdown.

“Serving the people of Montana remains my number one priority, and my staff and I will continue working to serve the people of Montana and provide Montanans with needed information about the services they rely on during this time,” Daines said in a written release.

Daines’ offices in Washington, D.C., Helena, Missoula, Great Falls and Billings will remain open during normal business hours, with limited staff.

In line with most federal agencies, nearly half of Daines’ official staff will be furloughed, allowing for necessary constituent services and office functions to remain active.

Daines said he will donate his salary during the government shutdown to the Big Sky Honor Flight.

“The first piece of legislation I introduced, the Balanced Budget Accountability Act, was based on a simple principle — if Washington doesn’t do its job, it shouldn’t be paid. During a government shutdown, the same truth remains,” Daines stated. “That’s why I’ve signed onto legislation requiring salaries for members of Congress to be withheld through the duration of the government shutdown, and have also committed to donating my salary during the same time to the Big Sky Honor Flight.”

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About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is an eighteen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.

His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.

In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

6 Comments

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  • Newspapers always do that. They are conduits for press releases, always have been. We don’t really have journalism in any meaningful sense, so that people in power can write their own coverage. All of them.

  • It shouldn’t have happened, but without proof that it was deliberate, I’m inclined to think it was a mistake that did not bring joy to Sherry Devlin’s heart.

  • Totally agree with you Don. Its amazing the comment hypocrisy here. the excuses are just outrageous Daines was one of the signers of the williamsburg accord. http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2013/09/house-gops-legislative-strike.html

    “Abraham Lincoln encountered that attitude, that approach, in dealing with the radical South, as he said in his famous Cooper Union speech:

    Your purpose, then, plainly stated, is that you will destroy the Government, unless you be allowed to construe and enforce the Constitution as you please, on all points in dispute between you and us. You will rule or ruin in all events. …

    [W]hat will convince them [Southern slave owners]? This, and this only: cease to call slavery wrong, and join them in calling it right. And this must be done thoroughly – done in acts as well as in words. Silence will not be tolerated – we must place ourselves avowedly with them.”

    http://americablog.com/2013/10/republicans-wanted-shutdown-along-dems-already-lost-negotiations.html

    Yep Daines has been Lying to the sate Of Montana all along…. and it looks like he is not gonna change stripes from his Tea Party crazy andy time soon!

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