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"Great Plains Examiner" Changing Name to "Dakota Beacon: The Sequel" PDF Print E-mail
Written by Chet   
Tuesday, 04 December 2012 09:37

GPE2Or it might as well.

The Great Plains Examiner, a monthly newspaper that began operating in Bismarck and Mandan about a year and a half ago, has suspended publishing while a new ownership arrangement is finalized.

Matt Bunk, the editor and publisher of the paper, said once the deal is completed he will remain an owner of the paper but no longer have control over day-to-day operations.

Gary Emineth, a businessman and former chairman of the North Dakota Republican Party, said he and a small group of new investors in the paper plan to expand its coverage to other parts of the state, particularly the Oil Patch.

Fargo Forum

Doesn't North Dakota already have enough right-wing news rags? Do we really need another one? We already have the Bismarck Tribune, the Dickinson Press, the Williston Herald, the Minot Daily News, the Jamestown Sun, the Grand Forks Herald, the Valley City Times, and the Fargo Forum.  What used to set the Great Plains Examiner apart was that it actually had fairly objective news from fairly objective writers. North Dakota Republicans like Emineth just couldn't tolerate that. "We can't have an objective newspaper in North Dakota," they must have said. So they're gonna buy it and make it the new Dakota Beacon.  (For those not familiar, the Dakota Beacon is or was a ridiculously trashy, right-wing rag published by local plagiarism defender Steve Cates. I don't even know whether it's still published but suspect it is not; it doesn't smell as bad around here as it used to.)

According to the story in the Forum, Bunk declined to say what he is doing in the future. According to the "Contact Us" page at the Western News in Libby Montana, Bunk is now that newspaper's publisher and advertising manager.

I don't begrudge Bunk for wanting to make a buck by selling stock in a paper whose credibility he balanced on his own hard work and labor. I don't know how many people realize this, but the Great Plains Examiner was -- for the most part -- a one man show. Though there were other writers (some of them quite good), Bunk did a huge amount of work for that paper. He was the ad sales guy. He wrote most of its content. He did most or all of the editing. I think he did the set-up. He even did deliveries. Without Bunk, the Great Plains Examiner is some other paper.  Because it's being purchased by a secretive investor group that includes the former chairman of the Republican Party, I'd suggest to you that the "other paper" it is is the Dakota Beacon.  

Or it might as well be.

It's unfortunate that a fairly worthwhile paper will become the garbage the Great Plains Examiner is sure to become. I'd urge all of the GPE advertisers to cancel their ads, and any subscribers to cancel their subscriptions. Like the rest of North Dakota's newspapers, the GPE will make plenty of money by shilling for the Chamber of Communism, Big Pollution and Big Oil. They don't need your ad revenue or your subscription payments to stay above water.

If I've ever written anything that sounded like it might amount to an endorsement of the GPE, please consider this a withdrawal of that allusion.

Comments (10)add comment

Kelly Hagen said:

Though there were other writers (some of them quite good), Bunk did a huge amount of work for that paper.

Am I one of the quite good ones? I like to think I am adequately OK. My brother's quite good, too, but he's always so angry.
December 04, 2012
Votes: +4

big jake said:

Clearly, the citizens of ND have need of more indoctrination. We are not yet nutty enough---hard to believe.
Bunk's paper had potential and I am sure it was difficult to cash flow this enterprise. Bunk was careful not to offend the right wing elitists in ND. He could have printed more alternative views and do so in a way that was safe. Perhaps his readership would have grown and with it advertising revenue if he would have stepped out of the safe zone. Who knows?
Emineth and Co. will push their agenda although it might just cost too much. Reward/return ratio will not likely give sustainability to this plan. Time will tell.
I would suggest that the goal here is to broaden the oil patch coverage and indocrinate more of the folks into believing that the oil boys are all candidates for sainthood and the EPA and the godless liberals are the enemy of freedom. It has worked well so far.
December 04, 2012
Votes: +2

Chet / Chester said:

To Kelly
You're not bad for a male writer. Your brother, on the other hand, wasn't just angry; his writing was violent. That guy's writing scares me.
December 04, 2012
Votes: -1

Kelly Hagen said:

Well now you've hurt his feelings. He's not violent, he's aggressive. A lot of writers would do well to emulate the courage of his convictions.
December 04, 2012
Votes: +1

What the Heck said:

speaking of newspapers
Just read in the Trib the comments made by Al Carlson during the legislative orientation...'there is no corruption in the ND legislature'. The Dem minority leader suggests an ethics commission be formed to combat 'the perception of corruption'. Oy. Why people keep voting for that nimrod, Carlson, is beyond me. (No offense, nimrod).
December 04, 2012
Votes: +2

Marty said:

December 04, 2012
Votes: +0

Erik Hagen said:

I was going to say this yesterday, but I guess I'll say it today instead. I really don't much appreciate the cheap shot (Oops, there's some of that violent writing I seem to do). Yesterday was a hard enough day for me already without, while I was actively trying to rationalize all of it, having to stumble upon this garbage. You go on and on about how disappointed you are about what's happening to the Examiner, well, I was the first writer Matt Bunk hired. I was the first person he talked to when he came to town. I put as much effort into the success of the Examiner as anyone else, short of Matt himself, who gave everything he had to it. You're upset to watch it end like this, try to imagine how Matt feels. Or how Kelly feels. Or how I feel. You want to call me out for some bullshit tag like me being a "violent" writer, maybe you could show me just the slightest bit of respect as a writer and say that to me directly. I have comments on the Examiner, or on my blog, or on Facebook. You've got something to say to me, you can say it. I don't bite, despite what you seem to think about me.

I'm not angry, and I'm not violent, and I'm not scary. I'm passionate about what I write and what I do. I'm unafraid to say what I think. If that frightens anyone, I certainly regret it, but I'm not apologizing for it.

And Kelly, by the way, isn't just "not bad for a male writer," whatever the hell that's supposed to mean. He happens to be the best goddamn writer in this whole stupid state. But I certainly wouldn't expect you to understand that.
December 05, 2012
Votes: +2

Chet / Chester said:

Your brother said you were an angry writer. I thought he was joking. I thought I'd take his joke one more step to the absurd.

Joke lost on you, I guess.

Same with the "not bad for a male writer."

Maybe you don't know I'm male too.

The lost and found department here at NorthDecoder called. Someone found your sense of humor and we've got it at the front desk. You should drop by and pick it up any time.
December 05, 2012
Votes: +2

Chet / Chester said:

"Violent writing?" What is that?
December 05, 2012
Votes: +0

Marty said:

December 11, 2012
Votes: +0

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