If you had to name one group in our society that plays the most significant part in fueling racial tension and distrust, who would it be? The white supremacists? The Ku Klux Klan? How about the media?

Today, the Tribune ran this story with this headline: Collegiate ban on Indian nicknames and mascots raises questions for many Montana high schools.

The premise of the story is straightforward. The reporter suggests that, in light of the NCAA's recent ban on the use of Native American mascots and team names, local high school officials must grapple with the issue as well. The premise, though, is also false. For as the article itself says: "The college ruling has no direct impact in Montana. And the issue hasn't even been raised with the Montana High School Association." So, where's the story?

From reading the article, the best I can tell is that that the Tribune decided it would go around to people involved in high school sports, ask them their opinions of the ban, and then print their opinions. So, when the headline says that the ban "raises questions," it should really read as follows: "Great Falls Tribune decides that collegiate ban on Indian nicknames and mascots should raise questions for high schools."

So what is up with this kind of reporting? I would submit that it is either one of two things. First, it is yet another example of the Tribune's creating its own news. Three months after the NCAA ban was enacted, the Tribune sends some guy around the state with a tape recorder to create a news article, where absolutely none exists. "Hey, everyone's having fun with the girls basketball and football seasons, let's stir up some racial dissatisfaction."

Second, probably more likely and more infuriating, is that the press has already decided what they think the outcome should be. I'll bet dollars to donuts that the politically correct 'powers that be' at the Great Falls Tribune think that the Montana High School Association should adopt a similar ban in deference to 'racial sensitivity.' Since there seems to be no move in that direction, the Tribune figures they can give the issue a little nudge. Not content to report the news, they need to create it and influence its outcome.

Soon, perhaps at our paper's urging, or perhaps just with the power of the paper's suggestion, someone will go to the MHSA and raise the issue. What do you think the Tribune's editorial stance will be?

Is that the role of a newspaper? This seems to be a disturbing trend.


Anonymous said...

I agree 100% with the Tribune. It's a disgrace that Native American culture is used in naming icons of white America. Only white culture should be used and all evidence of Native American symbols should be removed from the mainstream. This would go a long way toward bridging the racial divide. The sooner we get rid of these offensive mascots the better. Browning HS “Indians” OUT, Browning HS “Fighting Irish” IN.


ZenPanda said...

The Tribune really needs to figure out where the real news is...I agree they are making it up.

Anonymous said...

How about the CMR Peckerwoods and the Billings Senior White Trash and the West High Honkeys?

Big Sky Husker said...

A total non-story. The Trib should really stick to the endless stories about the Lewis and Clark expedition. Boy... journalism at it's best.

Anonymous said...

I've heard of the CMR Peckerwoods and dated some Billings High White Trash (AKA Trailer Trash) but I haven't heard the word Honkey since Sanford and Son went off the air in the 70's.


KarbonKountyMoos said...

hmmmm - Red Lodge still has the Redskins.