Jonathan Ellis of the Argus fiercely takes on Todd Epp's answering machine

I heard about this from Todd directly. My first comment? "Tell me you saved the message." Unfortunately, he had already erased it, because I think it would have been hilarious to post the recording of a message from an Argus reporter calling out a blogger because his pride was injured. Anyway, here's what Todd had to say about the whole incident:
... I got a rather heated phone message yesterday from the Argus Leader's Jonathan Ellis complaining to me about my coverage and comments about MSM coverage (or lack of coverage) of Pagegate. In the message, Jonathan also questioned my manhood, saying I could call him back "if I were man enough." Like some reporter at the Argus Leader gives me the willies. Yeah, right.
Read it all here.


Anonymous said…
I don't know if this had anything to do with Ellis or not, but why did the Argus hastily run with "rumors" about Republican Bob Sahr but yet refuse to report on the Democratic Sutton affair. Kranz and the rest of Argus liberals knew about this for months but spiked the info until bloggers started making them look bad. WHY IS THAT? We all know the reason but it would be funny to hear the Argus *explain* this major double standard. All this is part of an obvious double standard: the Argus constantly smacks around our good Governor Rounds (a Republican) and prints the most fawning "stories" about Princess Herseth as if they were her campaign operatives or something. When was the last time the Argus did ANYTHING to criticize the Princess?
Anonymous said…
I hate to say it, but Epp and the South Dakota bloggers are right on this one and Argus Leaders looks like a bunch of idiots once again. Today's newspaper was also incredibly dumb with uber-liberal Chuck Baldwin comparing Sioux Falls schools to Mississippi in the 1950s.
Anonymous said…
Epp has a good handle on the situation with a fair and civil posting. I'm still trying to figure out what MSM stands for though. Will someone please tell me?

I don't know anything about Jonathan Ellis, but I'm really wondering if he is the person who called Epp's answering machine. If that is true, it's bizarre considering the tone of Epp's post. (Actually, it's bizarre anyway you look at it because journalists should act professional.)
If it's not true, then someone should have checked to make sure this wasn't a crank call from someone who was trying to get Ellis in trouble.
Anonymous said…
I wished Todd had saved the recording because if in fact it is the Argus it shows complete arrogance on the part of the Argus. Maybe the small network of bloggers is getting to them.
PP said…
MSM = Mainstream Media
Anonymous said…
Many, if not most, newspapers have their numbers blocked from Caller ID so that people can't easily dodge their calls. If that is the case, Epp can't be certain where that call originated.

I hope the Argus editorial staff learns about this so they can investigate it. They don't need their reporters going off half-cocked, but I seriously doubt that call originated from anyone associated with the newspaper.

I've worked for four different newspapers, and there would be hell to pay at any of them if a reporter did something like that.
Anonymous said…
Too Funny; let the howling begin! My my, when inaccurate or no-shoe at all, coverage is on the other foot there is an awful lot huffing and puffing from those who should know better.

Anyone Not understanding media morphed, (courtesy of lobbyists and other special interests), into a glorified pr tool of those special interests and big business groups, (albeit with a great subscription-based veneer), is guilty of Not Paying Attention.

"Distortion Reporting" is the watch phrase. NPR's phony "interview" with PP and the ever whiny, TG being just the latest example.

More examples at,

Reporters making threatening phone calls is one Dumb move.

But a considerably dumber move is an attorney Not saving what could later be described as "evidence."

I'm sure TE is a very nice man.

I'm also sure a third grader would have known to save the message.

Something doesn't smell right in several directions.
Anonymous said…
I do have caller ID. The message came from an Argus Leader phone number.
Anonymous said…
Bonnie, yes, I am a very nice man. Just ask PP!

I typically listen to a message then erase it from my voicemail. Force of habit. I'm not looking to make a federal case against Jonathan Ellis. I have no ax to grind with Jonathan other than I thought it was odd to get a call like that from a reporter I don't know. (I might expect to get such a call from a reporter I do know and I do get emails from reporters I know who tell me that I'm sometimes full of barnyard residue. I take it in the spirit in which it is intended.)

Like Jonathan, I've made some phone calls that I later wish I hadn't.

No conspiracy here, though believe whatever you want.
Anonymous said…
let's put an initiated measure on the ballot next time abolishing the Argus Leader
Anonymous said…
I said "Something doesn't smell right."

You said: "No conspiracy."

Living on the beach contributes somewhat to my laid back, "surf's up" kind of response. I understand though, having lived all over our country, how land-locked people are a little more uptight and more inclined to make the conspiracy jump.

All kidding aside, if it happened; the AL should address it.

Therefore allow them to. If you have caller ID "Evidence" from your phone records - any phone manual shows how to print them out (if previously tossed) call the customer service section of the phone maker, and after waiting for only an hour and a half; some guy from India named Gary, will tell you how to print it out.

It's to the benefit of all if the AL addresses this behavior.

But then some people just don't get the accountability issue. :D

(I couldn't resist. We're having our yearly Santa Anas and racing in shorts is nothing short of great.

There's something about being on a boat that makes everything else chill.)

Plus, only two political scandals erputed this week.

So life is good. :)
Anonymous said…
Life is REALLY good!

Breaking News: October 23, 2006: Payola Press to Pay!

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