What do all of the major statewide newspapers have in common besides the fact that all they’re owned by out-of-state liberals and are suffering bankruptcy death-spirals (other than that they’re being beaten by the Montana Daily Gazette?).
It turns out, they’re all suing for top-level access to confidential meetings of Republican legislators.
The Associated Press, The Billings Gazette, Bozeman Daily Chronicle, Helena Independent Record, Missoulian, Montana Standard, Montana Free Press, Ravalli Republic, Lee Enterprises, Hagadone Media Montana, Montana Broadcasters Association and Montana Newspaper Association are all suing Barry Usher, a Republican legislator who hosted a closed-door meeting of the Republican caucus of the House Judiciary Committee on January 21.
As both sides of the aisle agreed to meet separately to discuss the “sausage-making” of the house committee, the Democrats eagerly let in their friends and allies from Montana’s left-leaning legacy press. However, Republicans chose to meet without the cameras of the fake news organization. The purpose of the meeting, according to sources, was to hash out some personal issues before taking again to the House floor.
Subsequently, the plaintiffs (above) representing the legacy press and their various unions are suing Usher because they claim their private meeting violates Montana’s “right to know” laws. The Republican answer back is that the meeting failed to reach quorum, and therefore was not an official public meeting.
Usher has pointed out he didn’t start the policy, but inherited it, and Montana’s fake news press corps has never complained before.
Of course, a meeting that does not meet quorum and is not an official meeting of the legislature of official committee meeting does not fall under the catgory of “public meeting.” This is, for lack of a better term, harassment by the media wing of the Democratic Party.
Meanwhile, Montana Daily Gazette – which has press credentials issued by Legislative Services – is the only major press outlet in Montana not suing for access to closed-door meetings on either the Democratic or Republican side. Largely, this is because legislators trust our journalistic integrity so much that we do not have to have a camera in the room to be communicated with by legislators; they will come to us because they do not trust Lee Enterprises’ faux-news alternatives.
This is one of the reasons why the Montana Daily Gazette remains the #1 most-read news publication in the State of Montana – by far.
Alexa, the web-ranking service that ranks websites according to their readership traffic, as of this morning places news publications in the following ranks (the lower the better):
While some “pink slime” fake news sites rank even lower, like the Montana Post (184,390) or the recent start-up competitor, Montanan Daily (no rank), below are the top #10 newspapers in Montana by readership…
10. Montana Standard – 179,448
09. Montana Free Press – 115,133
08. Great Falls Tribune – 102,287
07. Flathead Beacon – 99,599
06. Daily Interlake – 69,488
05. Helena Independent Record – 57,303
04. Bozeman Chronicle – 34,286
03. Billings Gazette – 29,509
02. Missoulian – 22,187
#1. Montana Daily Gazette – 19,973
The stats don’t lie. Montana Daily Gazette is the #1 most read news source in the state of Montana. The reason is clear…we are fair, we report the truth, and we are Montana-owned and operated and share Montana values.
Thanks for trusting us with your news. In the meantime, we have a word of encouragement for our legacy press friends…the reason Republicans don’t want you in their private meetings is that your reporting is simply awful. Fire your editors, get new reporters, start being fair to conservatives, and maybe you won’t be persona non grata at the state capitol. Then, and only then, will an underdog like the Montana Daily Gazette stop taking all of your business and readership while scooping all the important news stories.
Good luck with that, press corps.