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Governor Fails to Share Budget Docs, Gripes About Lack of Immediate Front-Page Coverage

Governor Kristi Noem is unhappy that her “kid in a candy store” budget didn’t make the front page of Wednesday’s edition of the Sioux Falls Argus Leader. Of course, practically, with South Dakota’s largest daily now being printed in Des Moines, there’s no way that reporters could process a speech given and documents released at 1 p.m. Tuesday, draft solid reports, and get those texts to Des Moines in time for the printers  to roll and the trucks deliver papers for Wednesday morning delivery.

But Kristi Noem isn’t going to let practicality stand in the way of taking a gratuitous shot at the press to continue the Republican war on journalism:

Governor Kristi Noem, tweet from Governor's account, 2021.12.08.
Governor Kristi Noem, tweet from Governor’s account, 2021.12.08.

Hey, Kristi! I gave your budget proposal all four of my Wednesday blog posts, plus two more so far today! Throw me some Twitter love!

Never mind the sheer pettiness of grousing that she didn’t get her face on the front page again. The bigger problem is that Noem ignores the fact that the Argus reporters are giving the proposed budget all sorts of coverage, including live tweets:

Cory Myers, Argus Leader news director, tweet, 2021.12.08.
Cory Myers, Argus Leader news director, tweet, 2021.12.08.

Journalist Chuck Raasch notes that if Noem wanted to be on Wednesday’s front page, an attentive communications team could have made that happen. But Team Noem either failed to think of giving the Argus and other time-strapped publications embargoed advance copies of her speech and budget slides or just wanted to manufacture grounds for a snark tweet to twist the knife on local businesses that can’t afford to maintain production operations and jobs in South Dakota.

Hmmm… maybe the real headline isn’t “Governor Cries About Lack of Front-Page Attention” or “Governor Obsessed with Obsolete Technology, Ignores Online Coverage.” Maybe the real headline is, “Governor Creates Negative Business Climate for Newspapers, Drives Jobs Out of State, Erodes Democracy by Weakening Public Access to and Confidence in Journalism.” (As usual, the real story, the thing we need to talk most deeply about, makes for too long of an effective headline.)

Related Skimming: My news input is entirely electronic, so the location of printing presses should have no effect on my level of information. But when I check the Argus homepage this morning, I get a banner ad, five sport stories, and no above the scroll budget news:

Sioux Falls Argus Leader homepage, screen cap, 2021.12.08.
Sioux Falls Argus Leader homepage, screen cap, 2021.12.08.

Would Governor Noem like to join me in critiquing the exaggerated importance of sport in the popular press?


  1. Porter Lansing 2021-12-09 12:47

    Kristi Noem is “yesterday’s news”.

  2. larry kurtz 2021-12-09 13:00

    You know, if Mrs. Noem has learned anything from Mr. Trump it’s how to amplify the angry messaging to donors by keeping the media jumping from outrage to catty outbursts. She really has become a pro who puts on Teflon makeup every morning.

  3. Porter Lansing 2021-12-09 14:35

    Nice one, Bear. 👏👏👏 (those are clapping hands) I remember that Stones album. I was fourteen. This song didn’t become famous however it was sandwiched between two that they still play in concert today. “Let’s Spend The Night Together” and “Ruby Tuesday”.
    This is Lewandowski’s anthem, now.
    “Cause Kristikins is “yesterday’s girl and who want’s that?”

  4. Porter Lansing 2021-12-09 14:39

    Good Gene, MFI. I love that voice. “What a Noem without pity can do …”

  5. mike from iowa 2021-12-09 15:05

    Gene Pitney died too young and had too much talent. to be taken he was.

  6. Mark Anderson 2021-12-09 15:57

    Come on Cory, I watched the USD women kick Bradley on Monday. Are you worried they will beat SDSU? Sports aren’t bad Cory, I still shoot a few hoops every now and then.

  7. grudznick 2021-12-09 17:40

    Well hey! There’s a story there on the front page of that Sioux Falls “news”paper, right along with all the glorious sports stories, about the best christmas lights of the town. What could be more newsworthy than that?

  8. mike from iowa 2021-12-09 19:18

    Duhkota’s Marlboro Barbie and iowa’s Ivanna Kuturnutzov voted for the fake debt ceiling bill today which allows the bill to pass with a simple majority next week so all magats can say they voted against debt ceiling. Cardboard Mike apparently was so serious about the deal he didn’t vote for the fake bill. Neither did Grassley.

  9. Arlo Blundt 2021-12-09 19:49

    Well…I feel for our newspapers…local weeklies and the state’s dailies….they are in a struggle getting advertisers back and readers to pick up a paper which compete with various news sources from “the cloud”. Newspapers are key to our democracy and tie our communities together. For that reason, I don’t begrudge them sports coverage…its local and its names, names, names and names are the heartbeat of newspapers. The headline should be “Noem’s highly paid media staff shoot themselves in the Foot.” News from Pierre requires a lot of coordination and cooperation to be dispersed across the state and newspapers can be a prime source of information regarding the workings of state government.

  10. O 2021-12-09 19:52

    I’m going to poke the bear a bit here: although DFP has given prompt coverage to the Governor’s budget, has this blog been remiss in not having a celebratory headline for the proposed 6% increase in education funding? This is a pro-education blog; this a proposal for an increase of funding not seen since the Blue Ribbon task force and frankly maybe not before that either. I really thought 6% more proposed for education would be a headline.

    If we cannot celebrate our opponents movement to our positions, then has our tribalism taken too deep of a root?

    I offer this in the spirit of respect for this blog and maybe a bit of the Festavus spirit.

  11. mike from iowa 2021-12-09 20:01

    And South Duhkota’s teachers may well still be least paid even with a 6% raise. Time will tell and likely magats will lie about it.

  12. grudznick 2021-12-09 20:09

    Mr. O, it is the NDS on top of the libbie tribalism that prevents acknowledgement of Ms. Noem’s movements.

  13. O 2021-12-09 20:15

    mike, agreed, but passing this 6% at least creates the pool of money that allows the discussion of that raise. Some districts will d better than others for their teachers. If new accountability legislation can also be passed, salaries is where the districts MUST put new money. There is bottom and there is BOTTOM. I cannot say that 50th place is all that matters; there are degrees of terrible and more terrible within that ranking. Sometimes it feels like Miracle Max explaining that the body is only “MOSTLY dead” — but sometimes, like the Black Knight, teachers keep on hopping and don’t give up the fight.

    The GOP leadership have created the education funding crisis that affects our students; the GOP has a long way to go to remedy this crisis. Governor Noem’s proposal is a better step, a substantially better step than we have seen from the executive branch historically.

  14. mike from iowa 2021-12-09 20:18

    South Duhkota and Noem Nothing had at least 4 more deaths and a thousand new covid cases, Grudzilla. I forgot, she is the victim , right?

  15. O 2021-12-09 20:30

    grudznick, don’t get all misty-eyed thinking that mine is a full-on a conversion; I am saying that I recognize and appreciate the Governor’s substantial movement on this one – very dear to my heart – issue.

  16. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-12-10 05:53

    Mark, sports obsession is bad when it crowds out concerns about practical public affairs. Governor Noem should be complaining that the press puts young people playing games above analysis of public budgets.

  17. MD 2021-12-10 09:55

    I didn’t know that Roncalli moved down to class B. That is quite satisfying to hear after having to sit through many painful playoff rivalry games as a kid (Roncalli would intentionally exploit the lack of a shot clock in SD basketball).
    Thanks Kristi Noem, Cory Heidelberger, and the Argus Leader for keeping me informed.

  18. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-12-10 11:31

    (That a school in the third largest city in the state can poach well-to-do class AA players from Aberdeen Central and let them compete in class B against kids from towns with populations under 500 is grossly unfair. For this gross injustice, Roncalli should have to forfeit any and all stealth voucher scholarships that it receives from the state.)

  19. Arlo Blundt 2021-12-10 12:55

    Cory—you are dead wrong…let the kids play…they will rise to the occasion and resolve any inequity through their skill and determination…your’s is an _”adult” concern…the athletes in the B region Roncalli plays in just want to get a piece of them.

  20. Arlo Blundt 2021-12-10 15:43

    Cory…I generally agree with you and commend you for your vision and commitment…but I did high school, football and basketball on small town radio covering 4 smaller schools and one large one for 22 seasons, over 1,000 broadcasts,.boys and girls, and I came away humbled by the character, courage, and dedication of our young people. Their competitiveness and balanced perspective on competition has led me to believe we have nothing to fear and everything to appreciate about this generation. Your concerns for equitable regulation of high school sports is well grounded but is an “adult concern”, a search for a perfectly aligned playing field. In my experience kids will accept the realities of the competition and play their hearts out to settle the question of competitive equity on the field and playing floor. We have nothing to fear for the future of the coming generation as they are already well ahead of us.

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