Joplin Globe readers who turned to the farm page in the Sunday edition saw nothing unusual. It was the same type of farm page that has greeted them week after week, year after year.
Mike Surbrugg bylines were plentiful and Mike's face was pictured with his column. It was enough to give the Globe's readers, particularly those who are interested in agriculture, a sense of comfort, knowing that is one subject the Globe covers better than just about any newspaper in the state.
Whoops, I used the wrong tense in the previous paragraph. I should have written "the Globe covered better than just about any newspaper in the state."
Three days before the business-as-usual farm page ran in the Sunday edition, Globe management gave Mike Surbrugg and 14 other full or part-time employees the old heave-ho, reportedly having guards escort them from the premises.
Of course, that cavalier treatment of someone who gave his all for the Globe for decades did not stop the newspaper from milking every last bit of copy Mike Surbrugg turned out...while never having the guts (or the common decency) to tell readers of their actions.
Four days have passed since the firings. As of yet, not one word has been written in the pages of the Globe. Apparently, the Globe's philosophy is it's only news when it happens to someone else.