The Monday Memo

Quote for the day…

Be yourself. People don’t have to like you, and you don’t have to care. -Unknown

Today’s independent commentary deals with these issues:

  • The Western Word Poll
  • Mike Dennison Retires
  • GOP Talking Points 2022
  • Reading Assignments


On Friday, President Joe Biden nominated Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to Serve as Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. (Source)

Today’s poll question asks, “Would you vote to confirm Ketanji Brown Jackson to serve as Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court?”

The results will be posted later this week.


MTN News is reporting that after a more than three-decade career in journalism, MTN Chief Political Reporter Mike Dennison is hanging up his notepad and officially retiring. Dennison joined MTN News in August 2015, after a 23-year career as a newspaper reporter covering Montana politics and state government, focusing on campaigns, the Legislature, healthcare, energy, the environment, and many other issues important to Montanans.

The accolades started rolling in via Twitter after his retirement announcement was made.

You won’t read any accolades from me concerning Dennison. I’m glad to see him retire, and I hope that the young journalists across Montana won’t use him as a role model.

I could say a lot, but I have decided to repost my comments from a few years ago.

In my column dated August 23, 2019, I wrote the following:

I happened to obtain a copy of journalist Mike Dennison’s book, “Inside Montana Politics – A Reporter’s View from the Trenches.” (Amazon)

Dennison is the chief political reporter for MTN News. He has been promoting his book around the state.

I was only interested in reading one chapter, (Chapter 4, pages 78-99) which dealt with my former boss, the late U.S. Senator Conrad Burns.

Here are my comments and opinion:

I was not impressed with chapter four.

It amazes me how some in the journalism world grow balls after someone is dead and they can’t dispute what is being written. After Burns died, one other prick in the increasingly small Montana newspaper world wrote some negative remarks in an opinion piece that should have been left unsaid.

In reading Dennison’s account of Burns in the years 2005-2006, what I remember most during those years was shitty Montana journalists writing stories that looked a lot like press releases from the Montana Democratic Party and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

The coverage was yellow journalism at its worst. No wonder newspapers are circling the drain.

Dennison missed several opportunities in this book to find out what really happened during the 2006 campaign but stayed with the crap that was written by him and his fellow reporters.

In re-reading some of the articles from 2005-2006, it kind of reminds me of the saying, “throw some shit against the wall and some of it is bound to stick.”

It did stick just long enough to get Tester elected.

Dennison writes about fellow reporters Chuck Johnson, Jennifer McKee, and Mary Clare Jalonick in the chapter. Those three and Dennison won’t be on my Mount Rushmore of journalists. I’m guessing they all received an award (or something) from the Democrats for helping to defeat Burns. If you read my past columns, then you know I don’t hold those three in very high regard.

If the three had scrutinized Jon Tester in his first term as much as they did Burns in his last two years, Tester would have been a one-termer.

Dennison talks about being in the trenches in the subtitle. That is pretty much BS. I don’t believe he was in the trenches; it’s more like he and several of his fellow journalists were lobbing grenades at Burns to help elect a Democrat.

He did say a couple of nice things about Burns. With that being the case, I give chapter four a rating of 2 (out of 10).

I can only imagine what leftwing organization Dennison will align himself with during his retirement years.


After reading some comments from Republicans, I posted the following on Twitter. It received a lot of retweets and likes:

GOP Talking Points 2022

Prevent COVID- Build Keystone XL pipeline.
Protect 2nd Amendment- Build Keystone XL pipeline.
Fight Mask Mandates- Build Keystone XL pipeline.
Solve WORDLE puzzle: Build Keystone XL pipeline.
Solve immigration issue: Build Keystone XL pipeline.

Follow me on Twitter @TheWesternWord.


Here are some articles that you should read…

AP – Judge rules against Montana law limiting abortion providers
This issue is far from over…

60 Minutes – Local newsrooms strained by budget-slashing financial firms
Sad deal…

The Hill – Trump wins CPAC straw poll as DeSantis’s support grows
Trump is still the choice…

The Independent – Rudy Giuliani does TV interview after Russia invades Ukraine, saying ‘demented’ Biden created situation
Is this treason?

## THE END ##


17 thoughts on “The Monday Memo

  1. Pingback: Thursday Numbers | The Western Word

  2. For those of us who were not in the Conrad Burns camp, could you provide a few specific examples of what was flat out wrong, inaccurate, simply some twisted Dem talking point, etc. in the 2005 – 2006 reporting about Burns?

    • Terry – There are plenty of examples in this blog, which was established in 2005.
      One of my favorite ones was that was told was that he would be in jail over the Abramoff. Nobody went to jail, except Abramoff. My other favorite that I can think of now is the Democrats telling one of the reporters mentioned that there was a photo of Burns/Abramoff in a certain date and at some expensive resort. I did most of the research and there was not a photo showing that, but the paper showed a photo on their front page, same date, of Burns in Helena for a ribbon cutting. Burns never met Abramoff. It was bullshit like that which gullible Montana reporters helped promote. Some had relatives in the D party.
      It’s laziness for a reporter to take questions from a political party spokesperson and print them.
      It is water under the bridge so I never bring it up unless I see someone getting accolades for shitty work or attacks someone who can’t defend themselves.
      The GOP is not the party I once liked and helped. They are run by wackos and extremes.
      Thanks, JmB

      • Thanks. I didn’t live here then and didn’t see the local coverage, only the CREW reports and the extensive national coverage about the lobbying donations from Indian country via Abramoff that he tried to give back, the reports of staffers getting all sorts of freebies from Abramoff and some going to work for him, and etc.

      • Terry – lots of misinformation funneled to Montana reporters by state and national Democrats in 2005/06. Any “freebies” as you call them, like trips were run by then ethics committee for their opinion. Plus, other elected officials received donations from Abramoff even skybox seats. The Democrats played the slander game well, and won, with the help of the Montana media. Thanks, JmB

      • I never found “others were doing it” to be a real good defense of anyone’s questionable actions, much less a politician’s.

        Another story I also remember was something about many free meals for Burns’ staff at Abramoff’s restaurant.

      • Terry – of course “others doing it” is not an excuse. Bottom line is it was legal campaign donations. The Montana press concentrated on one person, mostly. Of course he received more because he was chair of the committee. Just like other chairs received more donations. As for free meals, I never received or knew of anyone receiving a free meal at his restaurant. Free meals used to be pretty norm, but the rules for gifts/meals changed. Thanks, JmB

      • If the campaign contributions were all legal then it seems like Burns shot his own foot by publicly trying to return them and getting all caught up in the Tribal Council’s refusal to take what they termed “tainted” money.

      • Terry – it was sold as tainted by the Democrats with help from the media. They were clients of Abramoff. Ironically, He told his clients to donate to the elected officials who could most help them, but he ripped his clients off.
        Abramoff was found guilty of mail fraud, conspiracy to bribe public officials, and tax evasion. -JmB

Comments are closed.