Idaho Statesman reporter Dan Popkey, in his Jan. 17 story about IdahoReporter.com, uses recollections from Capitol Correspondents Association president and Spokesman-Review reporter Betsy Russell. Says Popkey, “Russell said an IFF reporter was on the House floor at least three times during the December organizational session. She said (Idaho Freedom Foundation Executive Director Wayne) Hoffman agreed to keep his reporters off the floor but not to give up their brown badges.”
As a side note, Russell initially told IFF Executive Director Wayne Hoffman that she saw “five reporters (from IdahoReporter.com) with shiny new brown name tags.” IdahoReporter.com has only three reporters. Now, Russell claims to have seen just one reporter.
Alas, our issue with Popkey’s writing is that he omits information that doesn’t fit his narrative. Hoffman told Popkey (and Russell) that Rep. Grant Burgoyne, a Boise Democrat, had invited the three reporters onto the floor during a break in proceedings in order to introduce the reporters to members of his caucus. In being invited by a lawmaker to the floor when the House was not in session, the reporters broke no rules whatsoever. Such details might have been helpful, but not if you want a juicy, ginned-up story.