The Missoula Current’s “Reporting” On Monday Night’s Urban Camping Debate

by Travis Mateer

There are people in Missoula who mistakingly assume the man pictured above is a reporter and NOT a politically motivated storyteller with an agenda, but Martin “Gomer” Kidston’s “reporting” on the action at City Council on Monday shows, in my opinion, his extremely biased narrative treatment of controversial topics, like urban camping.

Let’s take a look at how Marty frames this discussion on “urban camping”. From the link (emphasis mien):

From “swinging at midnight” to drug needles cast across city parks and sexual deviancy, the debate over closing Missoula’s city parks to overnight camping drew a wide range of stories and opinions into late Monday night.

Most members of City Council changed their votes after a flurry of amendments and hours of debate, supporting the ban at one point and postponing it at another. In the end, the issue was tabled.

“I don’t see the urgency passing this tonight,” said council member Mirtha Becerra. “This will directly affect what solutions we come up with.

“Banning overnight camping in city parks was once billed as an effort to protect children, give parents piece of mind and to comply with a Ninth Circuit Court decision. It was of such urgency that the city held a press event in early June to declare an emergency around urban camping.

But any serious threat once allegedly posed to the public and the city’s youth by transient and homeless campers in the city’s parks vanished as the debate wore into Monday night.

Usually a “news” article leaves a reader with a BETTER understanding of something that occurred, but after reading the excerpt above, I’m actually MORE confused about the dynamics I observed on Monday evening. Is Marty saying the threat itself vanished, or just TALK of the threat vanished?

I think the shift from EMERGENCY ordinance to POSTPONING the debate is making it difficult for Marty to keep up, but he tries his best and, really, what more can we expect from a “former” Democrat spokesperson?

From the link:

Did Marty ever STOP sharing the Party’s message? I’m sure that’s what he would tell the businesses and government entities that advertise with him, but his “reporting” tells another story, and that’s the story of narrative control, as evidenced by his treatment of me and the work I’m doing to remove meth shacks from the river bank.

Now, with this context in mind, let’s look at some more of Marty’s “reporting” from his propaganda rag, the Missoula Current:

Those opposed to a camping ban gave little mention to families or children but rather, they suggested homeless campers and transients deserved better from Missoula. That included Jill Bonny, the executive director of the Poverello Center, who opposed the ordinance banning camping in city parks.

Her organization has received millions of dollars in taxpayer support in recent years, but she suggested the community “can do better.” She urged the City Council to postpone its vote, which it did.

“Let’s pause a minute and take a look at this before we make it permanent,” Bonny said. “People are drinking from the river because they don’t have any other water to drink. They can’t call 9-1-1 because they don’t have any cell phones. Let’s find a solution for people and table this for now.”

Maybe it’s just me, but there seems to be a subtle tone of annoyance lurking within this “reporting” over the fact a controlled asset, like the Poverello Center, is getting all uppity with a direct (and successful) public appeal to City Council. Am I reading too much into this?

I’m also detecting some annoyance at the pie-in-the-sky dreams of urban camping supporters as they call for free everything. Here’s more hilarious Marty narrative control to show you what I’m talking about (emphasis mine):

The funding allocated by taxpayers to provide shelter, housing and other amenities for the homeless got little mention on Monday night as well.

Instead, opponents called for services they believe could make a difference for the homeless population including free camping spaces, free needle drops, free cellphones, free trust services, free showers, free shelter, rehabilitation, and simply “being left alone to exist.”

Wait, you might be thinking, aren’t these youngsters, and other urban camping supporters, supposed to be DEMOCRATS themselves? I mean, don’t they know AOC just endorsed Biden?

Yes, I’ve watched the corporate Democrat party apparatus restrain “progressive” inclinations for years, so none of this is new or particularly surprising, but it IS fucking obnoxious. Why? Because this political desire to control the narrative won’t result in any of these people actually UNDERSTANDING what’s happening, and, more importantly, what NEEDS to happen to actually help people instead of enable them.

Instead we get more of Marty’s war against Councilman Carlino and anyone who aligns with him:

Opposition to the ban on overnight camping was led by council members Kristen Jordan and Daniel Carlino.

“We’re spending a huge amount of money pushing people from place to place,” said Carlino. “We’re paying for this one way or another. We should spend it providing people bathrooms and a place to stay.”

Some council members have suggested the possibility of opening one or more city parks to homeless camping, but they haven’t said what neighborhood that would be.

The downtown area has been suggested as option, including the Riverfront Triangle, where redevelopment and economic opportunity was once eyed as a priority.

“These are our constituents, and they deserve a seat at the decision-making table,” said Jordan. “We need more time to consider all the moving parts of this issue.”

The Riverfront Triangle? That’s hilarious, I must have missed that part when I took my break for dinner.

Ultimately, the virtue-signaling campaign worked, so Marty has to do what he can to remind the uppity progressive wing about his role as a pro-development corporate whore willing to compromise the illusion of his journalistic integrity when a more aggressive narrative control strategy, when needed. Don’t ever change, Gomer!

If you appreciate the integrity I derive from being solely donation-based and self-financed, then consider supporting Travis’ Impact Fund (TIF), or making a donation at my about page.

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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3 Responses to The Missoula Current’s “Reporting” On Monday Night’s Urban Camping Debate

  1. Mrs Stitch says:

    Needles? I thought everyone was smoking it now. Meth or fent. Why, just the other day I found foils and a lighter behind the Equinox apts.

    Free foils and straws are what the big boys are giving our in Portland. Wake up, sheeple!

  2. TC says:

    I dont often agree with Kidston but in this case I do share a sense of annoyance. There was NO acknowledgement of just how much the community gives to this issue only to watch the problem ever grow (size,severity, complexity). I also found the list of proposed “freebies” to be a bit beyond the pale.

    • John Kevin Hunt says:

      You must have been watching a meeting other than the one I attended. There was indeed mention. You might consider that electeds typically focus on whatever is emitting the most smoke. Citizens who don’t participate and then decry the failure of the electeds to devote adequate attention to their views, hardly have others to blame. (By contrast, Gomer Kidston and Bret Serbin make sure that the public at large reads only a highly propagandized version of Council meetings). All players in this drama (except Blackrock, AIG, Vanguard, and local oligarchs — none of whom wish to be noticed) have been heard, and acknowledged, innumerable times, and will be again, innumerable times. When a meeting audience is overhwelmingly comprised of opponents of a pending Council action, is it a surprise that their objections would receive more attention than would others’?

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