I’m rarely at a loss for words but there is little left to say when the Independent Record, the daily newspaper in our state’s capital city, just offered up a fun news piece that apes blog mockery of its poor coverage and misplaced priorities.
Today the daily paper of record in Helena—part of the same chain that can’t afford to pay its top political reporters salaries commensurate with their experience—put on its web page a slideshow called Ranking the best facial hair in Montana political history.
Among the featured politicians were eminent politicians like Wm. Clark, Marcus Daly, Jon Tester and more.
The only catch about the slideshow (aside from the fact that the paper has the resources to “cover” this but not the statehouse) is that last Friday, I posted my own slideshow called “the best facial hair in MONTANA POLITICAL HISTORY” in an effort to satirize the direction the Lee papers seemed to be embracing. Nine minutes of work later, I felt like I had captured the direction of a news chain more interested in Facebook shares than real reporting.
It’s hard to understand what motivated the IR to post their homage to my work today. Did someone at the Independent Record read my story and actually think to himself that it was a good idea for a story? Worse yet, did someone independently come up with the idea? Is the IR giving up its waning credibility to troll me?
We may never know the answer to those questions, but one thing is certain: the people of Montana can look forward to learning a lot less about the state’s politics from the state’s largest papers.