Ochenski: “A Favorite of Disaffected Montanans”

By JC

One would think that publisher of the Indy might have gotten a clue to not be so condescending to George Ochenski, or to its (declining) readership. In a Publisher’s Note the Indy released last week, they couldn’t help but take one more punch at both.

“Last week, our preparations led to the end of our long, productive relationship with political columnist George Ochenski. George was a favorite of disaffected Montanans because he derided all those in power with equal contempt.”

Well, some of those people who read Ochenski may have been disaffected. But a lot of people read him for his insight into the intersection of politics and policy. Not all of the people — by a long shot —  who read him are disaffected. And to intimate it to be so is an attempt to marginalize Ochenski and his readership, and the widely-acknowledged importance  (from all political spectrums) of his voice to the debate.

I actually believe that Ochenski’s move to the Missoulian in the long run will be a good thing as his writings will get greater distribution to a far wider audience that needs to hear what he has to say, and I daresay that most of conservative and independent Montanans are anything but disaffected.

And to pan Ochenski’s writings as derisive and contemptuous is such a laughable generalization, that again, the Indy seems to be doing nothing more than sugar-coating their decision to rid themselves of what they seem to view as nothing more than a gadfly.

And to top it all off, the whole kerfuffle has boiled over to Counterpunch in the article “the Decline of Independent Weeklies” (an excerpt out of Corporate Crime Reporter) that lizard so helpfully pointed out yesterday.

“Alternative weekly newspapers used to be crusading vehicles against corporate power and crime. The remaining ones now have morphed into consumer guides for the young corporate class answering such pressing questions as – Who Has the Best Strawberry Daiquiri in Town? How did this happen? Well, let’s take a case in point – the Missoula Independent.”

Yes, the Indy is slowly being reduced to nothing more than “consumer guides for the young corporate class.” And that was born out oh, so well by the absence of two “Up Front” columns, with two full pages of ads in their places.

Much more in the Counterpunch excerpt from the CCR’s interview with Ochenski. And the print version has much more, or so the article says. If anyone has access to the print version, please let us in on any other tidbits that may be revealed.

Note: sorry about the scattered updates of this post. I accidentally hit “post” instead of save draft, and all my edits were live… oops.


  1. I guess I’ll add “disaffected” to the long list of adjectives used to describe me from my liberal “friends”. “Zealot”, “controversial”, “shrill”, “utopian”, ” unrealistic”, … But sometimes I get, “I guess you were right”.

    Another Counterpunch article is on Montana’s “Citizens United” challenge. The author hopes Bullock will reconsider his argument. http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/06/20/last-hours-for-montana/

  1. 1 Bullock takes 5th on the 11th, puts Montana Corrupt Practices Act Decision at Risk « 4&20 blackbirds

    […] across this sooner, and raised some hell. Following up on a link provided by feralcatoffreedom in a comment yesterday, I discovered the controversy surrounding Montana Attorney General (and Dem gubernatorial […]




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