Is This What Missoula Current Advertisers Want To Be Paying For?

by Travis Mateer

Did I face a municipal inquisition for being the man who supposedly impugned staff on Monday? No, and I also didn’t SHOUT at officials during the City Council meeting, but that apparently isn’t stopping Martin Kidston’s outlet, the Missoula Current, from pulling out ALL the stops to impugn MY character, starting with this VERY misleading image, which I’ll get to after sharing a definition of the word IMPUGN.

If the picture above is NOT from last Monday’s Council meeting, then when was it taken? And why would Kidston use it? Well, answering the first question may help to answer the second, so I offer something called PROOF that the image above is from the press conference after the passing of our former Mayor, John Engen, on August 15th, 2022.

Same lineup of people? Check. Same clothes? Check. So, why use THIS picture? One reason could be the fact Martin Kidston doesn’t seem to attend Council meetings in person anymore, so a fresh picture of me NOT shouting at City Council couldn’t be taken. Instead Kidston used an image from the live feed of the meeting, as seen below.

Why does Kidston prefer the digital live feed instead of watching the action in person? Is it to keep the consuming of Pilsners and Pale Ales away from the viewing public?

Another explanation for why the Engen-is-dead press conference image was selected could be that little documentary I helped make about Engen’s TIF addiction. In this documentary a local activist describes a conversation with Kidston AFTER a City Council meeting. According to the activist, the aroma of alcohol wafting from Kidston’s yap-hole was noticeable. Is Kidston holding a grudge from this depiction?

If you doubt the potential for pettiness from Martin Kidston, let’s examine MORE PROOF of my claims, in order to avoid IMPUGNING anyone with specious accusations. The proof of pettiness was documented at Strandberg’s place, Big Sky Words. Thanks Greg! This stuff, in hindsight, is VERY illuminating when we’re thinking about WHY our local media is figuratively crawling along the linoleum floor smearing blood with a axe in its back.

This embarrassing Twitter thread went down in March of 2019, less than 10 months before Sean Stevenson was assaulted inside the Poverello Center, then euthanized by the Sheriff’s Office when they pulled him off life support without his family being notified first, something I chatted with a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist about last month.

I’ve also been chatting with some entities that do advertising business with the Missoula Current, and so far I’m encouraged with the direction those conversations are going.

Yesterday I was excited to see the Missoulian selectively report on the disruption that occurred when Mayor Hess took issue with my public comment and point-of-ordered me down. The image that accompanies this article goes all the way back to 2013, when my work in the Reserve Street area was just getting established (I started working at the Poverello Center in 2008).

From the link (emphasis mine):

Early in the Monday meeting, two public commenters stormed out of City Council Chambers after Mayor Jordan Hess instructed one of the men to refrain from making personal attacks in accordance with city rules.

Travis Mateer, who bills himself as an independent journalist, incited Hess to speak out by maligning the executive director of the Poverello Center. Mateer previously worked at the homeless shelter.

“… As long as you (the director) keep your mouth shut about people that were murdered inside your facility and some of the sexual assaults that are happening and some of the other violence, you might be able to ascend…,” Mateer said loudly during a public comment opening Monday.

He claimed his attacks were directed at an organization, not an individual, despite directly citing the executive director position.

With all this fun language being deployed against my terrible, awful, no good, very bad public comments (which you can watch for yourself by clicking here), you’d think maybe the reporter would want to reach out to me BEFORE the article hits, but no. So I asked, but haven’t heard back yet.

To process all the strong emotions I have from 23 years of living in Double Standard Town, I’ve made some songs and visual art I’ll be sharing in Friday’s post, so stay tuned! Even if it’s just to hate-read me, or to take notes for future litigation.

To help what I “bill” as independent journalism, please consider supporting Travis’ Impact Fund (TIF), or making a donation at my about page. The donations are definitely starting to trickle in, which I’m very appreciative of.

Thank you 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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4 Responses to Is This What Missoula Current Advertisers Want To Be Paying For?

  1. John Kevin Hunt says:

    WHERE TO BEGIN?????? Kidston’s high-and-mighty criticism of The Missoulian for doing what he does routinely is hilarious, as is a Missoulian reporter’s insistence that a piece nearly verbatim et literatum the words of a UM press release — an article that even says it is “UN News” — is NOT reprinting of a press release, disguised as journalism. Kidston isn’t unfamiliar with press releases, having previously issued a shitload of them for the Montana Democrarttic Party.

    The multiple errors and personal, biased perceptions of Missoulian reporter Bret Serbin are less amusing. “Stormed out” of the meeting? Nope. You said the taboo words “loudly?” Nope. Impugned the personal character of the current Pov executive director? Nope.

    AND KIDSTON’S USE OF A PHOTO UNRELATED TO THE EPISODE? WTF??? Outrageously unethical and piss-poor, YELLOW journalism!

    As for his criticism of the Missoulian writer’s grammar, good fucking grief, Kidston’s writing is replete with blatant grammatical, spelling and syntax blunders.

    There is a tort known as “false light,” the essence of which is the holding of a person in a false light by devious use of accurate images and cherry-picked quotations, etc. that individually, in isolation aren’t “false,” but that taken together foster a belief in the reader that something occurred other than what actually occurred, thereby holding a person up to public disdain and ridicule. THAT is what Kidston has done. Serbin, as well.

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