During the recent defamation trial in Ada County involving St. Luke’s, Ammon Bundy, and Diego Rodriguez, the jury was told that the Idaho Dispatch is “extreme.”
Lead counsel for the plaintiffs, Holland & Hart attorney Erik Stidham, along with two “expert” witnesses, characterized the Idaho Dispatch as “extremist media.” Stew Peters and Epoch Times were also mentioned and labeled as “extremists.”
St. Luke’s hired an “expert on extremism,” Devin Burghart. They also hired Jessica Flynn, CEO of a company named Red Sky. She gave expert witness testimony on public relations and marketing. On the stand, she is quoted as saying,
“Idaho Dispatch is a small extremist outlet based in Idaho.”
These comments were made during a discussion of media whom Bundy and Rodriguez have spoken to and interviewed with regarding the case. Stidham was attempting to smear and discredit media that are willing to cover both sides of the story.
We at the Idaho Dispatch take great care to conduct our reporting and our publication in the way of traditional, honest journalism. We bring both sides of the story to our readers. We interview those involved from every side of the issues we cover. This is how journalism was meant to be. We present the facts to the public and let them come to their own conclusions and opinions. Interviewing the defendants in a case of great importance to Idaho does not make us extreme, it makes us true journalists.
True journalism is meant to be an additional check on government. Eyes and ears capable of and willing to bring the facts to the people is a way to hold our elected officials accountable – be it State Legislators, Federal Legislators, Judges, City Council, County Officials, Health District Boards, and more. Every level of government should be under the watchful eye of journalists who report all sides to the public.
Stidham and others have grown quite accustomed to legacy media repeating the prepared talking points given to them. Mainstream media parrots a narrative. Mainstream media does not take enough interest locally to sit through every day of a 10-day trial in Ada County. Here is a message sent to the Idaho Dispatch by KTVB during the trial. Why didn’t KTVB have a reporter present in the courtroom? If the Idaho Dispatch is so “extreme,” why would a legacy media outlet be asking us for updates on the trial? Stidham did multiple interviews with KTVB. I wonder if he knows they were asking the Idaho Dispatch for trial updates.
Mainstream legacy media doesn’t show up, doesn’t ask tough questions, and is not interested in interviewing all parties in local events, meetings, legal proceedings, and at the Capitol.
Image credit to Idaho Joe on Twitter – @IDJoe4Idaho
The definition of extremism is,
the holding of extreme political or religious views; fanaticism
It is not the holding of extreme political or religious views, and it is not fanaticism to interview people who are in the middle of important events in Idaho.
Beloved journalists throughout the years have interviewed all kinds of people. These interviews were the biggest moments of their career! Barbara Walters, for example, is famous for her very noteworthy conversations with characters such as Fidel Castro, Muammar Gadhafi, Vladimir Putin, Hugo Chavez, and more. American journalists have also interviewed people such as Timothy McVeigh and Osama Bin Laden. These discussions do not make the journalists “extreme,” they make these journalists good at their jobs!
The people of Idaho deserve a media outlet that brings them both sides of the stories. Idaho Dispatch is that media outlet. We are proud of the interviews and balanced content we bring to the people of Idaho. There is nothing extreme about journalism being conducted the old-fashioned way, the way it was intended.
Tags: Ada County, Ammon Bundy, Barbara Walters, Devin Berghart, Epoch Times, Erik Stidham, Extremism, Holland and Hart, Idaho Dispatch, Jessica Flynn, Journalism, KTVB, Legacy Media, Mainstream Media, St. Lukes, Stew Peters