The Montana Post Is Not A Credible News Source, Says Professor Rob Saldin

by William Skink

*correction, the original post mistakingly ascribed the quote below to reporter Chuck Johnson.

I was in my car doing my civic duty by allowing Montana Public Radio to educate me about the looming elections, now just one week away. Last week’s campaign beat was all about undecided voters, ballot initiatives and erroneous voter information. It was the last topic of erroneous voter information where Montana’s premier partisan blog, The Montana Post, was mentioned. Why? Because MP is allowing itself to passed off as an official source of news, which it is not. From the link:

You know, there is one other element of this ad that I think is notable and that is pretty deceptive, actually. When it accuses Gianforte of gutting Medicare to enrich himself – which of course is not how he would describe his position on Medicare – but leaving that aside, the visual you see is of an apparent newspaper headline that reads, Gianforte guts Medicare to give himself massive tax break. Well, the source for that headline is the Montana Post, right? Which sounds like a credible news outlet, but it’s not. The Montana Post is one of the state’s most prominent political blogs. It’s authored by Don Pogreba, a progressive writer based in Helena. (Editor’s Note: The specific post in question was authored by Nathan Kosted) And his blog is very well regarded for what it is, and it has a wide following among those interested in Montana politics, but it operates just in a very different space than a newspaper that’s committed to objectivity and to nonpartisanship. But this ad presents it as an authoritative, dispassionate, journalistic source. Not quite.

I agree with Rob. The Montana Post is trying damn hard to pass off their partisan content as journalism, but it is not.

About Travis Mateer

I'm an artist and citizen journalist living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
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11 Responses to The Montana Post Is Not A Credible News Source, Says Professor Rob Saldin

  1. petetalbot says:

    Some comments on this post, William: First, it was UM political science professor Rob Saldin who you quoted, not Chuck Johnson. Second, The Montana Post has no control over who uses our headlines, copy, etc., in their political spots. Finally, I don’t believe any of the contributors at the Montana Post have ever referred to themselves as journalists. We’re just a political blog site that tries to fill in some of the gaps that the mainstream media misses. And each contributor to the site is responsible for their own post’s opinions, images, headlines and general content.

    • I corrected the title, thank you for pointing that out.

      now let me point something out, this little message appears on every post:

      “If you appreciate our efforts to hold Montana Republicans accountable and the independent journalism here at The Montana Post, please consider supporting our work with a small pledge.”

      how do you produce “journalism” if you are not journalists? since there is obviously some confusion, why not put up a post to clarify?

      • petetalbot says:

        I believe that’s the only reference to “journalism” I’ve ever seen at the Montana Post and not the best choice of words, in my opinion. And although the site leans left, contributors rely on facts and links to make their arguments. Again, different writers post varying copy points but we all write with the intent of advancing an honest, progressive message. My question to you: why are you so obsessed with our little site?

  2. petetalbot says:

    We have midterm elections coming up in less than a week. You can flog the Democrats all you want at this site but if you don’t think there’s a difference between Tester and Rosendale or Williams and Gianforte, then I’m at a loss. The Democratic candidates may be flawed in a progressive perspective but a check on Trump and his congressional cohorts has to happen. The damage Trump is inflicting on this nation and world on a daily basis is incomprehensible. We can discuss the “lesser of two evils” paradigm later but Trump has to be stopped.

  3. dpogreba says:

    Thanks for reading!

    • Big Swede says:

      Read but don’t comment.

    • thank you for heeding my criticism and removing the word “journalism” from your money ask, which now reads:

      If you appreciate an independent voice holding Montana politicians accountable and informing voters, and you can throw a few dollars a month our way, we\’d certainly appreciate it.

  4. Eric says:

    You can blame me for that Swede – They got tired of me proving them wrong all the time.

    Liberalism is a mental disease I think, so pity them. 😊

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