I heard it today. Right away I started to wonder, “who is this guy?”
When I start thinking that, I start looking.
Wow, what I found, well…to me, it just seems strange.
I said as much on Twitter today. Boy, did I get an earful:
So I’m just pointing these things out.
I’m sure that’ll piss people off just as much as my tweet did.
Why are we getting so defensive over a nobody-blogger like myself asking a few questions about a new reporter?
Hell, we all should be asking questions of our new reporters…or is that just allowed for gubernatorial candidates?
Most of the day I just saw the Demo fools – paid Demo fools, I might add – tweeting how much Gianforte is bad for the state.
Their main charge is that he’d be terrible for LGBT rights.
I’m not sure most Montana voters care about that.
People from out of state that are running campaigns might, but regular, hardworking people that are seeing their kids move away?
Naw, they don’t care about that one bit.
So those attacks are meaningless, just something to fill the office time with so those Demo fools can get their paychecks.
But I digress.
We were talking about a new Montana AP reporter, and that’s who will be covering this charade we call a 2016 election season in the state.
Primarily, reporters will be focusing on the governor’s race. Some mention of the U.S. House race will be given and maybe even a few articles a month to the PSC or Supreme Court or even the local legislative races.
But gosh darn, that’s a lot of stuff to keep track of.
So far we know that Jayme Fraser for the IR is roaming around. We have Logicosity in Helena covering some stuff and Flathead Memo in the Flathead.
You might get some stuff out of Billings on Last Best Place. There'll be nothing from Butte or Bozeman or the Hi-Line.
And now we have Bobby Calvan coming in to replace Lisa Bauman, who was the old AP reporter and who headed to Washington State.
So what do we know about this new guy?
Like I said in my tweet, he’s a former D.C. reporter and even a combat reporter.
He even has his own website, BobbyCalvan.com.
I just go right to LinkedIn – people tell you everything about themselves there.
In Calvan’s case, he has his whole resume there. You can find a lot more on this guy with a simple Google search.
He worked for the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) to head up the Heartland Project, which was a:
“joint initiative led by AAJA and the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA) to increase media coverage of minorities and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities in Nebraska.”
Oh, so Calvan has been brought in by the AP to make Gianforte look bad, I get it now.
Of course, that’s just my opinion… and we’ll get to more of it below.
For now, let’s go over the highlights of Calvan’s resume, or how he climbed the ladder:
- 1970s: Calvan is born in Hawaii and grows up on a dairy farm along the Koolau Mountains. He went to high school in Honolulu.
- Late-80s: Calvan heads to New York to attend NYU. He eventually transfers to UC Berkeley, where he graduates.
- Early 90s: Calvan joins the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA), working out of the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. His work centers on LGBT issues.
- 1990s to 2000s: At some point, and probably during these years, Calvan works for the Gilroy Dispatch, the Redding Record Searchlight, and the Detroit Free Press.
- 2006 to 2011: Calvan works at the Sacramento Bee as a copy editor. That lasts a year before he’s bumped up to reporting on the Iraq War. In 2008 he also took over duties as a health care reporter.
- 2011: For about 6 months in 2011, Calvan was a reporter for the International Center for Journalists. He was sent to Laos to look into unexploded bombs and America’s secret war there in the 70s.
- 2011 to 2013: Calvan got a job with the Boston Globe following his return to the US in September 2011. He focused on Washington politics and was based in D.C. for the 2012 election cycle. During this time he served in the White House pool and reported from Capitol Hill.
- 2014 to 2015: Calvan headed back to Nebraska starting in March 2015. He got a job with the Heartland Project to do a Ford Foundation-funded “yearlong experiment” on “communities of color and LGBT issues.” Here he forayed into television journalism and coaching other reporters.
- 2015: The Heartland Project ended in March 2015 and for 6 months Calvan kicked around a bit before settling into the role of a freelance writer. Mainly he produced stories for Al-Jazeera America.
- 2016: Calvan took a job with the Associated Press to “cover politics and Montana government” from Helena.
There were some issues surrounding Calvan in 2007 when it was alleged he’d been rude to “an American soldier charged with protecting the Green Zone in Iraq.”
At the time he’d been working for McClatchy in Baghdad, which had just purchased Knight Ridder. The main problem was that Calvan “tried to enter the Green Zone without a passport or drivers license.”
It’s no surprise that he was stopped and questioned, but then “Calvan got annoyed” and “told the soldier he was with Knight Ridder.”
When the soldier said he’d never heard of that outfit “Calvan’s annoyance turned to anger” and he got “pushy.”
“We’re bigger than the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times,” Calvan yelled at the soldier.
It didn’t get much better after that, but Calvan evidently got into the Green Zone…eventually.
I’m not sure how Montana’s veterans will take that story, considering they make up 10% of the state’s population.
Perhaps they’ll understand that a reporter who’s focused on LGBT issues for the past 20 years was just a little bit... confused.
The thing I see the most with Calvan is that he’s always on assignment.
He’s on assignment now, in Montana. He’ll be off assignment sometime in the future, probably this time next year, if not after the November election.
He’s here to serve a purpose – give Montana the news.
More than that, though, he’s here to give Montanans his version of the news.
That might have a little Hawaiian or New York or even Nebraska outlook in it. I’m sure it’ll be heavy on LGBT issues.
In other words, I’m not sure many Montanans will identify with it, or be persuaded by it.
See, I’m a little biased – I feel Calvan has been sent here by the powers that be to ensure that Bullock is elected.
Well, maybe not ensure, but at least to help.
Again, the LGBT – it’s a dead giveaway.
Perhaps that offends you. Alright, go ahead – be offended.
Most Montanans do not care about that stuff, they just don’t.
I hope that’s a huge issue this year, however, because I know it’s just spinning the wheels in the mud for the Democrats.
With a message like that, the GOP might even pick up a few more seats.
So I see an agenda here. I see it online.
Like I’ve said before, it should be an interesting election year.