Monday’s Odd & Ends

Hello Monday – We’re back…

Congratulations – We made it through another Christmas holiday! I hope you had a great Christmas.

It’s time for another odds and ends edition from the past weekend! When there are several stories out there that I want to comment about, I combine them into one column and call it “Potpourri” or “Odds & Ends” or something catchy to get your attention.

Today’s topics include:

  • Insults and Barbs
  • Max Baucus & The Revenant
  • Quote of the Week
  • The Ted Cruz Cartoon
  • Peyton Manning

Insults and Barbs:

I always enjoy the Great Falls Tribune’s Richard Ecke writing about city life each Monday. Today he writes about “The year 2015 was a fine one for insults and barbs” in which he mentions how upset some people get about articles and cartoons in the newspaper and about the reporters who write the stories.

Many of the insults and barbs were based on the Tribune being too conservative or too liberal which is a complaint that has probably been around since newspapers first started.

Ecke also writes, “Anyone who works anywhere can expect to take flak on occasion.” I would suggest if anyone working the phones at the Tribune wants to see what insults and barbs are really like, they should answer the phones in a congressional office for a week especially when there’s a hot-button issue being debated in Congress. I can remember being threatened a few times, my family being threatened, and rocks being thrown through the windows of the office a few times during my almost twelve years as a senate staffer. As for the phone calls, all I can say is that mean people suck.

Ecke also singles out the Tribune’s cops and court reporter who received the wrath of one commentator. The commentator said, “Please stop licking the cop boots” and that was the mild part of the comment.

Sometimes it seems to me that some local reporters in print and broadcast media act more like cheerleaders for the agency or department they are covering, or they act as if they are working for the public affairs office for the agency they are covering instead of being neutral.

I like to see reporters ask tough questions instead of taking a statement (verbal or written) and taking it as fact.

Max Baucus & The Revenant:

Michael Punke is the author of the book “The Revenant” which was recently made into a movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy.

An interesting thing about Punke is he was once a staffer for former U.S. Senator Max Baucus of Montana and a former adjunct professor at the University of Montana.

The Washington Post has the story HERE.

Quote of the Week:

I was featured in the Great Falls Tribune’s “The Edge” column on Saturday with the “Quote of the Week! Here it is:

“Rep. Tom Burnett, R-Bozeman, should get an award or something for getting a news story published about nothing.”

— Jackie M. Brown, blogger at, on Angela McLean receiving a much higher salary for a state job, in a story reported in the Tribune. Brown went on to add: “Pro Tip for Burnett: You are a freaking Montana elected official. Pick up a phone and call the Office of Higher Education. Tell them who you are and that you want to know why the salary is higher. If you are polite, you might get the answer quickly.”

Although I missed getting on the Best Montana Tweets of 2015 list, this is pretty cool!

The Ted Cruz Cartoon:

A lot of people were outraged that the Washington Post would publish a cartoon that showed two dancing monkeys on a rope attached to a cartoon picture of Cruz. Many said the cartoon monkeys depicted Cruz’s two daughters who recently did a campaign commercial with him. See it HERE.

I don’t like to see children brought into the political arena – unless they are shown in a photo or maybe appear on stage after the debate to show people that a candidate has a family. Cruz has a nice-looking family.

The problem with Cruz is that he probably went over the line in how he used his daughters. His daughters were used in a YouTube video called, “Cruz Christmas Classics” to attack Hillary Clinton. Both daughters did have lines to recite in the video. One daughter had a line or two in the section of the video titled, “The Grinch who lost her emails.”

Cruz used his daughters and the Washington Post tried to depict that in the cartoon. Cruz was so outraged at the Washington Post that he used the cartoon to fundraise.

If you use your young children to attack other candidates, expect someone to fire back – even if the children are under 10 years old.

Peyton Manning:

It was the story that dominated Sunday:

An Al Jazeera investigation raises questions about whether sports heroes are linked to performance-enhancing drugs.

One of the people mentioned in the story is Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning. Manning denied that he ever used a human growth hormone (HGH).

You can watch the Al Jazeera story HERE. It’s about 50 minutes.

I remember how hard ESPN was on Barry Bonds when there were doping allegations made against him. Bonds was never found guilty. I also remember CBS Evening News leading off their newscast with allegations against Lance Armstrong. Their allegations were later found to be true.

I wonder if the fervor showed by ESPN/CBS News during the Bonds/Armstrong allegations will be present when they start looking into the allegations about Peyton Manning.

It would only be fair…

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Published in: on December 28, 2015 at 6:16 am  Comments Off on Monday’s Odd & Ends  
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