Federal Government

Last “Newspaperman” Goes To the Dark Side

Just yesterday a group of political has-beens and news junkies were chatting over coffee bemoaning the state of local journalism.

“Popkey still has some pretty good sources. He is pretty much the go-to-guy at the Statesman if you want something printed,” said one of the old-time news guys. He added, “He has a list of stories to write, so he is never out of material.”

Well…so much for that! Dan Popkey has fled the sinking news ship fleet and like most of his fellow sailors, he will begin slurping at the public trough (of U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador) where the rations are much richer than the private sector. Popkey, 55, has spent most of his adult life at the Statesman, nearly 30 years.

We wish him well and offer a heartfelt “thanks” for exposing so many inside stories about Idaho politicos while covering Idaho politics. It saddens us to think he is now one of them. Not a real surprise since most of the AP staffers and former Statesman capitol writers have ended up sucking the government teat.

Since the first of the year we have seen the Associated Press lose Todd Dvorak to the Idaho Attorney General PR machine, fellow AP staffer John Miller left the country to do PR work in Switzerland, and now Popkey has joined the darling of TV’s Meet The PRess, Rep. Raul Labrador.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. What else would you expect from propagandists?
    There are no investigative journalists, only spokesmen for the corroboratory.
    The MisStatesman is a rag of a paper and to lose Popkey to the political arena isn’t a step down, but a side step into more lies and propaganda for the political arena.
    We are sold a worthless bag of shyte and told to grow our own roses. Meanwhile these sycophants continue their depraved deceptions, selling snake oil to the masses.

  2. Tells ya something about what a rag the corporate controlled Statesman has become. It’s loaded with duplicated stories found in all the other rags.

    I miss the good ol’ days when ya could believe the newspaper man… These days one must spend huge effort to figure out the agenda of the person “creating” the “news” story.


  3. Gene Fadness
    Jul 29, 2014, 6:02 pm

    Wow. Propagandists, sycophants and people with agendas to create stories. Pretty tough audience here. What a negative, cynical view of the world. I worked with editors and reporters at seven newspaper over 25 years. With the exception of a very few, they were dedicated, had no agendas other than to report their assigned beats. They worked long, long hours for little pay while, at the same time, being lambasted from people, many who really did have agendas. I agree that the quality of print journalism has suffered. There’s lots of reasons for that. We live in a society that is more interested in news outlets that already meet their preconceived notions than they are at getting all sides of a story; that entertain, titillate and coddle rather than inform. Media have contributed with news outlets (Fox News, MSNBC, Huffington Post, Daily Beast) that do have agendas because that’s what the viewers/readers seem to want. Look how much better Fox and MSNBC do than CNN or PBS.
    Newspapers that formerly could not compete with TV and radio for immediacy now have the same ability to go “live” and, hence, the longer, better written and edited and more in-depth stories have, for the most part, gone by the wayside. Editors no longer have the luxury of time to carefully edit stories for accuracy and balance. Online advertising (Craigslist, etc.) have sliced newspaper ad revenue and reduced newsroom budgets. Newsroom layoffs result in fewer reporters and less specialized beat reporting. Newspapers have gotten smaller and there’s more reliance on consolidated wire services. Having worked with hundreds of newspaper reporters and editors, I have not found them to be people with agendas or sycophants. Far too many have left the business for less stress, better pay and more peace, not having to endure personal attacks on their character and motivation.

    EDITOR NOTE–Gene, thanks for your perspective. Nice to hear from someone who knows the scoop.

  4. Gene, look up Operation Mockingbird (exposed by Sen Frank Church) and then reconsider why people are fed up with poor journalism. I don’t blame the reporters as much as those that sign the paychecks.
    Journalism isn’t a job, its a duty, one that demands honesty and unbiased reporting. I have yet to see any of this from any major news organisation in my 45 years of being alive and informed.
    As a journalist myself, I refuse to make any money off my reporting, for the moment I do take a paycheck for my writing, I become just another whore for the plutocracy.
    I’ve more respect for The Guardian and off the beat news sources than I would have for anyone like Popkey. These independent news sources have nothing to lose by being honest, unlike MSNBC, FOX or CNN, as those sources are all beholden to their advertisers.
    As for the MisStatesman, they have been printing propaganda (not news) for 150 years of self serving interest.
    I’ve worked in the Media for 20 years. For longer than that, reporters have told the stories that the CIA or their advertisers want told and nothing more. Even when they tell the truth, it’s only to purport their own agenda.
    I see little reason to trust such sycophants, most are undeserving of that right of Freedom of the Press. Freedom has responsibilities to more than just the aristocracy or the corporatocracy.

  5. Grumpy ole Guy
    Jul 29, 2014, 10:45 pm

    Saddens, but does not surprise me, for a “news person” it must be difficult to work for a newspaper or local news station these days, since the resources for news gathering seem to be so very limited and so little appreciated. I suppose because the demand for rigor is so wan. Sad indeed. I hope that Mr. Popkey can accommodate whatever standards he has left, it really does seem as if he is doing an about face from news analysis to information manipulation for gain; but, I am not in his shoes.

  6. I always respected Dan. I believe that he played it straight. I wish him the best.

  7. My memory may be fading, but other than than “Wide Stance” (which I thought was gross journalism ) I can’t recall any other expose’s for the point of “for exposing so many inside stories about Idaho politicos”….

    And why are there so many people saying he is a traitor?
    Is for his political press agenda (Gene Fadness says doesn’t happen) or just for going from news to govt?

    Seems standard fare- work in the media then get a govt job as PIO… that list is long and boring.

    EDITOR NOTE–He did good and lengthy research on the U of I Water building scandal on Front Street and there were other “insider” pieces on statehouse intrigue which he broke. The GUARDIAN mourns the loss of 30 yrs of institutional memory to “the other side,” but certainly don’t see any traitor. The truth is that government can spend more to manipulate public opinion than media can pay to offer truthful facts.

  8. Gene, Why is my utility bill 3x 15 years ago?

  9. I’m sure the thought is. If you can’t beat them Join them.

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