October 19, 2006

A Question of Balance

For Keith Ellison, Rochelle Olson delves deeply into Keith Ellison's side of the story:

Last year State Rep. Keith Ellison obtained a restraining order to keep a former constituent away from him and his family. Now Ellison's campaign is accusing the woman of working with a friend to blackmail his congressional campaign at the same time she is seeking a restraining order against him.
No fact is left unturned, including detailed reporting on the motivations of Ellison's tormentors:
Ellison's dismissal request accuses Alexander of harassing Ellison and working with a Minneapolis writer who allegedly tried to extort $10,000 from his campaign.

According to Ellison's motion, his campaign manager received many phone calls from the writer, Mesa Kincaid, beginning in August. The campaign manager, Dave Colling, said in the motion that Kincaid identified herself as a freelance reporter and "recounted vague allegations by Alexander against Rep. Ellison personally as well as allegations that he was having romantic affairs with numerous people."

The motion also said that "in several phone calls, Kincaid demanded that the campaign pay her and Alexander $10,000, in return for which payment Alexander would not 'tell her story.' "

Reached by phone late Wednesday, Kincaid, a Minneapolis freelance reporter and former radio personality, laughed and said Colling's characterization of their conversations was "completely false." She said she called Colling because she wanted to talk to Ellison about a story about Alexander. "I never spoke of money or anything to Dave Colling," she said. "There are no legs to this."

Compare this to Rochelle Olson's coverage of Alan Fine - where not only were the motivations (and future record) of Alan Fine's accuser left unreported, but the fact that there was never a conviction and that Fine was therefore innocent of any form of domestic abuse was, according to Olson, left unstated, and left to the reader to divine for themselves.

Boundless (possibly) exculpatory detail for Ellison, up to the point of providing Ellison a virtual forum for conducting a defense in the media; an incomplete story (whose overwhelming impression was "Fine did something sorta sleazy!") for Fine.

Just observing.

UPDATE/BUMP: Scott Johnson at Powerline sees it the same way:

It provides a striking contrast with Olson's story on Alan Fine's expunged 1995 arrest. Olson leaves no doubt that Ellison's accuser has serious issues of credibility. As I pointed out in "Errors and omissions," in her story on Fine's exupnged 1995 arrest, Olson (and Paul McEnroe) conveniently left out all the comparable evidence regarding Fine's accuser.

So all you Strib defenders - please account for this?

Posted by Mitch at October 19, 2006 06:49 PM | TrackBack

There's no defense of Olson's articles. I really can't believe that they got in the paper and I'm really surprised that she's still covering the race. After looking into Fine's arrest and record, he...well, actually his wife should have received the same "hey she's nuts" treatment that Keith's stalker got. It's really a wonder how these two stories got through the editing process as they did.


Posted by: Mr. Sponge at October 19, 2006 09:08 PM

> It's really a wonder how these two stories
> got through the editing process as they did.

Obviously Olson is--for all practical purposes--an unpaid volunteer for Ellison, and totally shameless about it. She doesn't care what you or I think about it. She'll have an open channel to Congressman Ellison--the new Sabo--for the next twenty years, and that's good for her career.

Posted by: RBMN at October 19, 2006 09:59 PM
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