Caught My Eye…

If you haven’t got anything nice to say about anybody, come sit next to me. – Alice Roosevelt Longworth

Welcome to the big show to end the week – and start April, “Caught My Eye” (CME).

There’s no foolin’ around today…well maybe a little!

If you are a first-time visitor, CME is posted right here every Friday morning. This is when I take a look at some of the stories I did not have time to write about during the week. I often throw in a touch of sarcasm to make you smile – or to irritate you just a little – maybe both.

Topics this week include Tim Fox & Jason Thielman , Cruz & Kasich & Montana, Kristen Cates & the Montana Democrats, Female Mayors of Great Falls & KRTV, Bumper Sticker Mania, and much more!

Tim Fox: Badass
U.S. Senator Steve Daines’ Chief of Staff Jason Thielman: Not a Badass.

In case you missed it, Montana’s Attorney General Tim Fox jumped in and saved Thielman from a drunk customer (David Carpenter) at a hotel in Billings. This is where Daines was co-hosting the Montana Energy Conference. (AP)

There are rumors that just before Fox took down David Carpenter, he yelled a few words he learned from Ted Cruz, “David, you’re a sniveling coward and leave Jason the hell alone.”

Fox ended up getting punched in the face, but he declined to press charges. Carpenter has apologized for punching Fox. Fox will probably buy him a beer next time he’s in Billings to thank him for the free publicity.

Finally, a friend asked me where he could sign up to punch Fox in the face since he won’t press charges. I told him I bet there’s a sign-up list going around somewhere. Readers?

Ted Cruz/John Kasich & Montana:

The Associated Press reported that Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign is trying to knock opponent John Kasich off Montana’s primary by questioning signatures the Ohio governor’s campaign submitted to qualify for the ballot – another subplot in the unfolding political drama to derail Donald Trump’s presidential bid.

It’s making national news. Almost everyone who knows Cruz thinks he’s an ass. This is another mark in that column.

I think Cruz will do well in Montana. Montana is close to Canada and, in fact, Cruz was born just up the road in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Kristen Cates:

Troy Carter from the Bozeman Daily Chronicle reported that nine-year Great Falls Tribune reporter Kristen Cates is going to be the Montana Democratic Party’s communications director. I wish the best of luck to Ms. Cates.

I guess all the right-wingers are now saying, “I knew she leaned to the left!”

I don’t have a problem with reporters joining campaigns or political parties or groups that lean to the right or left. It’s when they come back to newspaper or television reporting and try to make readers/viewers believe they are neutral, I call BS. It sticks with them (or taints them) for the remainder of the careers – IMHO. Most of us don’t trust reporters (thanks to Fox News) – having a revolving door doesn’t help the cause.

Female Mayors of Great Falls:

Tuesday night on the local 5:30 news, KRTV (CBS) in Great Falls did a story about female mayors in the history of Great Falls for Women’s History Month.

The anchor, Shannon Newth, went down the list which, in my opinion, are some pretty incredible women who served as mayor of Great Falls. While showing some photos of the female mayors , she mentioned them by name; Marian Erdmann, Shirley Kuntz, Ardi Aiken, Joan Bennett, and Dona Stebbins. She mispronounced a couple names, but that happens.

She also mentioned Gayle Morris. They did not show a photo of Morris. They should have. Gayle Morris is a man. He served two terms as mayor 1992-1994. He was also a Cascade County commissioner.

It was comical, but that is the norm for local TV news. I don’t think KRTV posted the video on-line because I can’t find it. I asked a friend who watches the local news and she confirmed what I heard. You can view the correct story HERE which was done by another anchor.

I’m sure that this has happened to Gayle Morris before. It has happened to me several times. I have one of those first names (Jackie) that is what some call a “gender-neutral name,” so I understand. It’s important for those in the media to verify even the smallest of details before reporting.

Bumper Sticker Mania:

A few Fridays ago I wrote that I am always looking for free campaign bumper stickers (that does not mean I endorse you), so if you are offering them let me know via the official email of The Western Word ( and I’ll send you the mailing address to my bunker.

That offer continues and they may get posted here at The Western Word, which means free publicity for you!

I contacted the Trump, Cruz, and Kasich campaigns this week (on the same day) and requested a free bumper sticker. We’ll see which one is the most responsive!

One More Thing:

Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive. – Elbert Hubbard




  1. There’s a German word that’s seen a recent upsurge in popularity, usually associated with Ted Cruz and Martin Shkreli these days.
    “A face that should be slapped/punched.”

    • Haha. Thanks Doug. -JmB

  2. “The Fox story stinks of fakery. I expect it was staged and I expect we’ll see stories on this soon. The lack of charges was telling.” Oh good grief. Are there any conspiracies you’re not willing to entertain? The lack of charges is very common when the victim refuses to go forward and/or cooperate.

    “You can’t keep doing the same thing and expecting you’ll win when all you’ve done before is lose.” The irony here is almost overwhelming. Thanks for the chuckles

    • I’m not as informed as others are about the drunk staffer at the airport deflecting a larger story for…was it Burns or Rehberg? Again, I wasn’t paying much attention at that time.

      I do remember the bloody wash that Martz was trying to cover up.

      Wasn’t there something else with a boat and beer and Flathead Lake? I guess I just get confused with all that’s out happened before.

  3. The Fox story stinks of fakery. I expect it was staged and I expect we’ll see stories on this soon. The lack of charges was telling.

    I don’t see Cates saving the Democrats from their self-inflicted sepuku-like state. She can’t get those rural areas back for them anymore than Keenan can. As usual, we’ll see this crop of faces revolve out when this election cycle is disastrously lost, as we disastrously lost the legislature last time.

    You can’t keep doing the same thing and expecting you’ll win when all you’ve done before is lose.

    Juneau is especially frustrating right now, as she’s all smiles and happiness. Clearly everything in Washington is just fine if she’s not flummoxed over Zinke. And by flummoxed I mean shouting to anyone that’ll listen. Get mad, damn it – I am.

  4. Like when Troy Carter made the great transformation from a Max Baucus staffer to Bozeman Daily Chronicle reporter? He even deleted his LinkedIn profile to make that fact a bit harder for the average joe to find. And his reporting is sub-mediocre at best.

    • Bob – Thanks. Like I said, I think it taints the reporter and the newspaper/television station where they work. At least, they should disclose it at the end of any political story. Same with political science professors who comment about political news. The media talks “sunshine” but some do not seem to shine it on their own operation. My bio and LinkedIn profile are listed on this website for all to see.
      BTW, There’s this little website called LegiStorm where any person who worked for a federally elected official will have their names listed – and their salaries – and their trips.
      Thanks again – Keep Pushin on…


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