Helena IR Editor Fired

The editor of The Helena Independent Record has been fired and replaced, as The Montana Standard editor will now oversee both operations. 

The Montana Standard and Helena Independent Record, daily newspapers owned by Lee Enterprises, have created a combined management structure that eliminated one editor position in Helena, John Doran, who was the editor at the IR.

The reorganization places Gerry O’Brien, editor of The Montana Standard, in a regional editor position. O’Brien will oversee news operations in both Butte and Helena.

Aaron Flint posted on September 01, 2010 08:53 :: 279 Views

Its been over a year since the health care debate got into full gear last summer.  You remember that right?  Montana’s US Senators went into full scale hiding, hoping to dodge a You Tube moment where they would be quizzed by Montanans concerned about bailouts, cap and trade, the so-called stimulus bill, and federal health care proposals.  Well, now that the near trillion dollar stimulus bill has passed, the health care bill jammed through at the last minute on Christmas Eve, and bailout after bailout dominating the headlines- Montana’s US Senators are ready to listen.  

In this month’s most laughable editorial, The Helena Independent(?) Record lauds Senator Tester for his recent public listening sessions.  Here’s a snippet:

And in an hourlong editorial board visit with Senator Tester Tuesday, it’s refreshing to see an honest, forthright and jovial elected official who’s as open as the expansive Montana prairie.

By taking the time to listen to us often, on our home turf, our delegation members are doing their part to dispel those rumors. Now it’s up to constituents to care enough to attend and engage our elected officials. That’s a civic responsibility we all shoulder in order to become informed voters

Shouldn’t our US Senators have taken the time to listen to Montanans before they voted on this legislation, instead of after the fact?  Taking the time to listen to us often?  So now, 2 months before the November elections they decide to finally inch out of their shells, and the Helena IR responds with immediate, doting praise, meanwhile ignoring over a year of no listening to Montanans.

We shouldn’t be surprised.  Atfer all, this is the same newspaper who thought it newsworthy that Senator Baucus was dishing up a load of, well, ice cream. 

“I love ice cream,” Baucus said during a break from his duties. “This is a lot of fun. We’re making people feel very, very happy. Another thing that makes it great is there are lots of kids here.”

The ice cream shop’s owner was quoted saying how thrilled she was to have the Senator at her ice cream shop.  The newspaper failed to mention that the owner happens to be the wife of the Helena IR’s editor.  

How about instead of ice cream and puff piece editorials the IR starts dishing up some real news?   

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