The Story Of Homeless People Dying Of Extreme Heat In A Missoula Newspaper Comes From Phoenix Because Corporate Media

by Travis Mateer

I was a little confused at a recent headline in the Missoulian because sweltering heat is NOT the weather situation right now in Montana, more like unseasonably wet (historic flooding wet) and cold. It made more sense when I realized the story was from AP out of Phoenix.

When I see geographical cut-and-paste headlines like these I think simple thoughts, like FUCK corporate media. If there was actual intent to report actual reality, then names like Sean Stevenson and Johnny Lee Perry, when I speak them locally, wouldn’t illicit so many blank stares.

For some different reporting a little closer to home (more like Johnny’s neck of the proverbial woods), RealClear Investigations has piece worth reading, titled The Criminal Order Beneath the ‘Chaos’ of San Francisco’s Tenderloin. From the link:

Taken together, the dealers, boosters, and fences comprise a vast illicit industry that generates the cash that pays a Mexican drug cartel to import narcotics into San Francisco’s streets. Those drugs kill two people a day directly. The organized robberies and thefts they spawn create thousands more victims, from targets of muggings, burglaries, and home invasions to working class, elderly San Franciscans whose local pharmacies keep shutting down or reducing hours, to retail employees who are laid off as those stores are closed.

Here’s another quote I think is applicable to our little Zoom Town microcosm:

“Everyone knows what’s going on. The cops, mayor, and D.A.,” said Tom Wolf, a recovering addict. “Everyone knows it’s organized and cartel-backed. They just don’t think it’s worth it to stop it, because nothing’s going to change anyway. They’ve surrendered.”

Here in Missoula, it took years of diligent work by a local community organizer to finally shame local officials into declaring an emergency regarding a local homeless encampment and cleaning shit up.

In my own coverage of this issue, I have tried to call into question how much the supposed “disorder” of addiction and mental illness is actually a convenient cover (though no less real) for the order of organized criminal elements.

Corporate media in Missoula has been doing a piss-poor job of informing us for years, but transplanting a story about lethal heat while our state floods is a new low, especially considering how much effort went into the FINDING GOVERNOR GIANFORTE question that so consumed Montana Twitter for days and days.

For stories about REAL things happening in our actual town, stay tuned here. And if you’d like to help out financially, I’m still recouping costs for a Engen’s Missoula. Any little bit helps.

Thanks for reading!

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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