Why Did The Missoulian And Missoula Current Fail To Report That Council Person Heather Harp Called For Charges Against Bryant To Be Dismissed At Last Night’s Council Meeting?

by William Skink

Is it news that City Council person Heather Harp publicly asserted her opinion at Council last night that felony charges against Brandon Bryant should be dismissed?

According to the Missoulian, the only newsworthy thing that happened at Council last night was the neighborhood reaction to a proposed 3 story storage facility at River Road and Reserve Street.

The Missoula Current also omitted any hint of Harp’s appeal to Bryant, choosing instead to highlight “false facts and conspiracy theories” related to a person who provided public comment:

Monday night’s meeting got off to a rocky start, prompted by public comment rooted in false facts and conspiracy theories, including those surrounding the arrest of a Brandon Bryant – a man who threatened to murder members of the City Council and others.

One of those speakers, who has protested during public comment several times in recent weeks, admitted that he too has made a threatening video. Like Bryant, he also contends his video was taken out of context by what he described as a digital stalker.

He accused the council of trying to make an example of Bryant. But council members unanimously disputed the accusation, saying the Missoula County Attorney alone made the decision to arrest Bryant for threats of murder and intimidation against public officials, as permitted under Montana law.

“I think it’s super important we don’t propagate misnomers,” said council member Stacy Anderson. “It’s really important the public knows that we had absolutely nothing to do with putting anyone behind bars. We don’t have that authority.”

I think this is despicable reporting by Martin Kinston. What “false facts” were made in the public comment? What “conspiracy theory” was put forward? Kidston doesn’t elaborate on any of that, but he does allow Stacy Anderson to claim that Council members “had absolutely nothing to do with putting anyone behind bars.”

Oh really? So, some City Council members claim they feel threatened, they add extra police to Council meetings, the Council members who think they are at risk of being eliminated presumably have some degree of communication with the County Attorney’s office, but all that amounts to ABSOLUTELY NOTHING?


It wasn’t until I went on Twitter this morning and saw this NBC Montana article that I had any idea Heather Harp called for changes against Bryant to be dismissed:

Harp wrote that she has met with Bryant and knows him to be nonviolent, although he did talk of violence. She added she does not condone his statements but understands now more about mental health and PTSD.

Bryant says he suffers from both PTSD and a traumatic brain injury.

Harp’s letter calls for compassion and ends with a request that charges be dismissed and that Bryant receive help.

Is this newsworthy? Apparently both the Missoulian and the Missoula Current determined it wasn’t. I’m glad NBC Montana did find this newsworthy and reported an aspect of the Council meeting last night that other media sources for some reason omitted.

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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4 Responses to Why Did The Missoulian And Missoula Current Fail To Report That Council Person Heather Harp Called For Charges Against Bryant To Be Dismissed At Last Night’s Council Meeting?

  1. Freeman Tao says:

    Martin Kidston has abandoned journalism in favor of propagandizing for the powerful. He claims falsely that a person commenting at the City Council meeting last night claimed to have also made a threatening video. This is provably false. No such claim was made. No one present at the February 24th meeting has made or has claimed to have made a threatening video. Martin Kidston is now making up the news instead of reporting it.

    The Missoula Current has gone over to the dark side, officially embracing its role as public relations for the elite while transparently masquerading itself as “journalism”. Considering that the last person to be smeared in the media for making “a threatening video” has now been in jail for two weeks, I would say that the citizen libelously smeared by Kidston probably has grounds for legal action.

    Not only are Kidston’s propagandous lies irresponsible, they may be downright criminal…

  2. TC10 says:

    Maybe too long ago for most to remember, but once upon a time Engen, Kidston, Florio,
    And Gwen all grew up together at the Missoulian. So keep in mind that local government and local media is all about keeping Mayor John right.
    All that said – most heinous thing that Kidston said was “murder”. That was never said but intentional on Kidston’s part to inflame. He is a wordsmith that chooses his words carefully to protect his “betters”.
    It should be apparent that the Missoula Current is nothing more than an additional propaganda wing for Mayor Engen and the MRA

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