Fargo Forum Editors Are A Bunch Of Petulant Children

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Anyone familiar with SAB is aware of the fact that there is little love lost between myself and the editors of the Fargo Forum. I mean, when the state’s largest newspaper resorts to cracking fat jokes at your expense, you know there isn’t a lot of mutual respect.

But you’d be amazed at the lengths the children in charge in Fargo will go carrying on this feud.

Case in point, earlier today I broke a story based on an audio recording I obtained of members of the State Board of Higher Education talking in a public meeting that they’d asked the public to leave. This evening, reporter Brandi Jewett wrote a story for the Grand Forks Herald which is pretty much a re-hashing of my story.

In her story, Jewett claims the Herald requested the audio of the meeting last week. That seems a little suspicious. The way I got the audio, I’m pretty sure nobody else had it first. I’d be very surprised if the Herald did request the audio, and I kind of feel like they’re just looking for a way to avoid giving me credit on the story.

Whatever. It is what it is. And hey, maybe they did request it last week. I doubt it – Jewett coming out with her story just hours after mine seems a bit too coincidental to me – but you never know.

But there’s more, and there is where it gets really childish and petty.

The Herald is a sister publication to the Forum. Stories very often appear in both newspapers. Now, in Jewett’s Herald story I do merit a mention at the end, noting that I’ve requested a legal opinion on the legality of the SBHE’s meeting. Here’s a screen shot:

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Here’s that same passage from the Fargo Forum’s version of the story. See if you can spot something missing:

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So, if you read the Herald, you learn that a well-known state blogger requested an opinion about the legality of a supposedly “open meeting” where the public was asked to leave. But if you read the Fargo Forum you’ll only know that some unknown entity requested the opinion.

Think about that for a moment. Some editor in Fargo had to sit down, read Jewett’s story, come to the conclusion that Rob Port sucks and shouldn’t ever be mentioned by name in a positive way in the Forum, and take my name out of a story that I broke.

Because, again, these people are children.

It’s not so much that I want to read my name in the newspaper. At this point, SAB’s got a pretty big audience. I get to do a lot of radio and television all over the state. I’m just amazed that the editors at this newspaper feel like they have to re-shape reality in their stories to ignore me.

I’m not sure what they’re so afraid of. I’m one dude with a blog working in a home office. They’re a gigantic, multi-state media company with dozens of reporters working for newspapers and broadcast throughout North Dakota.

Would it kill them to do the ethical thing and just tip their hat when someone else gets the story? So they don’t like me. Big deal. I don’t like them. But when they’ve got a good story I want to write about, I link it and give them the credit they deserve.

Update: Per the Forum’s Twitter feed, the story is on the front page of the newspaper.

Happy to help, you guys!

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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