by Travis Mateer
Living life in Double-Standard Town, where hypocrite cowards call the shots, isn’t easy. You see promotional material, like Destination Missoula’s 2023 travel guide, and you see how they claim something true–that there’s a story around every bend–but which stories are the ones ACTUALLY TOLD? And even when those stories are told, what is left out?
Three years ago Gwen Florio and the Missoulian pretended to tell Sean Stevenson’s story after he was attacked inside the Poverello Center, then euthanized at St. Pats by the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office when they removed him from life support BEFORE notifying his family. Here is the disgusting self-congratulations Florio heaped upon herself and her employer for noticing Sean’s death:
It could have been “just” another police story. A fight at the Poverello Center, Missoula’s shelter for homeless people. One man dead. Another man arrested, briefly held, then released without charges after witnesses are questioned.
And that’s where a lot of stories, and especially stories involving violence among the less fortunate, end — with a short recitation of the facts, to the extent that they’re known, and then a collective shrug as the news cycle rolls on.
Last week, reporters Seaborn Larson and Paul Hamby hit the pause button. Law enforcement had released the victim’s name and age — Sean Stevenson, 45 — but that was it. But Larson and Hamby kept asking questions, not just about Stevenson, but about the other clients of the Pov, and also the people who work there.
Sunday’s paper carried two stories that stemmed from their reporting. Hamby found friends and family who helped put a face and a personality to Stevenson — and a “dazzling” personality at that, according to his friend, Janice Gordon.
Knowing what I know about this case, and considering what I’ve learned as I’ve investigated corruption within the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office, it is VERY DIFFICULT for me to not despise this entire town and ALL the cowards, like Mayor Jordan Hess, who think they can shut me up and deny families, like Sean’s, the justice they deserve. In the quote above, for example, even the assumption that witnesses were questioned about what happened to Sean inside the men’s dorm should NOT be accepted as FACT.
Though it appears I’m in a media blackout regarding my meth shack removal project, the reality of what’s happening along bike paths, in parks, beside the river–and anywhere else a tent can be popped up on public property and drugs consumed–cannot be ignored, especially during this year’s unprecedented explosion of public camping and disturbing, drug-fueled behavior.
I get that acknowledging reality can be difficult. It can even be socially awkward, but if you’re an alleged REPORTER, like Martin “Gomer” Kidston, and you’re reporting on something I did with a live video feed to review, you should TRY to get it accurate. Because THIS is feeling VERY defamatory (emphasis mine):
With video evidence readily available, it should be pretty easy for Kidston to back up his claim, were it true. But it’s not, which you can see for yourself if you click the link and watch the video. Here’s my comment and exit from Council chambers:
There are some emails now going back and forth regarding what, if anything, those on Council who DO NOT AGREE with how points-of-order are being deployed against critics like myself. Here are a few, including my response BEFORE seeing Martin’s hit piece on me, which he may want to consider how to defend in court. Here are the emails:
To conclude this post I’ll feature my FIRST comment, but before I do I’d like to say how much I’ve appreciated the YEARS of being stymied by this local cabal, starting with a simple poem about sidewalks in 2018, followed by the Roxy suddenly cancelling my contract to show my documentary, Engen’s Missoula, and more that I have NOT written about yet.
I’ll forgo the ways to financially support me for this post, but stay tuned because there’s definitely more to come.