The Media & Great Falls, Montana

It is just media flacks doing their thing. Responsible writers and
publishers don't do it that way, but those who deal in slander
attract other slanderers like a meadow wafer attracts flies. It's
their stock in trade and it's all lies, even the parts that are
factual. There is a difference between fact and truth. You can
present a fact in a way that makes a lie. It is their special talent.

I remember one time when I was up in Great Falls, Montana on a
photographic assignment. It had been raining for a month, so I
hadn't gotten very much done, and was living in a hotel there waiting
for the sun to come out. A small section of town that was built in a
little low lying loop of land alongside the Missouri River got under
two or three feet of water when the river ran over its bank. It
affected parts of maybe five or six streets. Not a very large part of
the town.

I was driving down the street one day listening to the local music
and news station when the DJ said "Douglas Fairchild please call the
station ... we have an urgent message for you." My heart nearly
stopped. I thought maybe my father had had a stroke or my mother had
died ... and they were the only ones who knew I was in Great Falls
and might have made such a request. So I called the radio station
immediately. They put me through to the DJ, and he said, sure enough,
that my father wanted me to call him as soon as I got the message.

My father answered the phone. I said "Hi, Daddy, I just got your
message, what's going on?"

Daddy said "Can you get out?"


"Can you get out of Great Falls?"

"I'm working here, I don't want to leave. Is Momma OK?"

"You mean you can't get out?"

I was mystified.

"What do you mean, get out of Great Falls? Why would I want to do that?"

"The flood. Are you in any danger?"

"My God, Daddy, there's a little wet spot over on the northwest edge
of town. I haven't seen it, but it's supposed to have a couple of
feet of water on it and the people who live there have waded over to
one of the school gymnasiums or something. But 97% of Great Falls is
completely OK. It's just raining, that's all."

Daddy said "You're not just trying to make me feel better?"

"NO!. I swear it! How did you get this idea?"

"Well, the newspaper made it look like the whole state of Montana was
under twenty feet of water."

... Doug