Anyone remember this classic?
So, how is it that nakedly partisan bloggers who make things up left and right are gaining street cred while the mainstream media, which spend a lot of time criticizing themselves, are under attack?
Or this one?
“Bloggers don’t know about anything that happened before they sat down to share their every thought with the moon. Like graffiti artists, they tag the public square.”
If you’ve been blogging in Minnesota any time at all, you know these quotes.
They’re from Nick Coleman, in his classic column “Blogged Down In Web Fantasy”, from 2004, in which he declared his sloppy brand of war on the Twin Cities bloggers (“Buh-LAW-gurs”, as he memorably pronounced the word on his unlamented radio show) that were starting to chip away at the sand castle he and his fellow “ink stained wretches” lived in. The Strib removed the column from their website years ago, but its legacy lives on, in local blogger and national journalism circles. In it, Coleman claimed that card-carrying journalists like himself were better than bloggers because they’d spent years covering the news, as opposed to bloggers, who merely work for decades and raise families and pay taxes and stuff. Journalists know the rules and operate with accountability, he said (amid a column attacking someone he never did actually name, which was a dodge of accountability and against the rules for “journalists”).
This was when Nick Coleman was riding high – when he had a three-times-a-week column at the Strib for well into six figures, and a morning show at the local leftytalk station…
…where he indulged a curious predilection for crudely sexualizing people who dared to disagree with him (Go ahead – count the gay jokes in the link. Only liberals on a liberal station can get away with that much homophobia).
Well, in The Boss’ immortal words, we’re still here and he’s all gone. From the Strib and AM950 (which I’m told is still on the air, not that anyone cares), at least. I’m not indulging in schadenfreud, here; I don’t believe in Karma, but what goes around comes around.
But old journos never die – they just get jobs with left-leaning non-profits.
And they start blogs. In which they do…
…well, pretty much exactly what Nick Coleman warned us about nine years ago.
The State He’s In – Nick popped up on the radar again. After a stint writing propaganda for a think tank in Saint Cloud, a couple of college classes (in which a fellow student noted he described himself as a “recovering journalist”) and I-really-honestly-don’t-care-what-else, Coleman resurfaced as the “Executive Editor” of “The Uptake”, a videoblog financed by liberals with deep pockets; think a slightly-downmarket MinnPost with more video and less Brian Lambert.
There, he roams the same halls he used to roam. And he gets positive reinforcement from other lefties:
That’s Coleman, in the jaunty racing cap. With (from L) Doug Grow (from the Joyce Foundation-supported MinnPost), Jane Kay, some minion, and Rep. Heather Martens (DFL-66A).
And he’s got a blog. And he still knows stuff…
…about crudely sexualizing his opponents with all the grace of an eighth-grade locker room bully.
As to getting a story right, as opposed to just making things up? Not so much.
Exhibit A: The piece he wrote about the open carry activists canceling their get-together at “Open Streets” (we wrote about it this morning).
Remember: He’s A Professional – I’ll add red emphasis to the frequent, dork-fingered sexualizations just to show how very, very juvenile the old duffer is. Go ahead. Scan it.
The gun-slinging flashers who threatened to bring their guns to town and parade them around openly in Minneapolis and St. Paul have put their warm guns back in their happy pockets and backed down, running away at the first signs of gun-control Mommas and urban bicycling activists.
As someone said on my Facebook page: “Buncha candy asses!”
To be fair, “someone on my Facebook page” is no worse a level of sourcing than Coleman ever did during his “official columnist” career.
And as we discussed this morning, the story had nothing – bupkes – to do with “gun control Mommas and bike activists”. Neither of them ever turned up in the decision. Second Amendment human rights activists mix it up with the usual “gun control mommas” constantly, and win the debate – emphasis on the term “debate” – every single time. Because the law, the Constitution, the facts and morality itself are on our side.
There are two absolute, incontrovertible facts to keep in mind:
- It’s the threats, Stupid: MN-RKBA – Minnesotans for the Right to Keep And Bear Arms – cancelled their Open Carry gathering entirely due to the threats of violence. Legal firearms carriers know it’s best to avoid danger. That’s what they did. Period. There was no more to it.
- Coleman is lying: He’s trying to help his buddies in the gun-grab movement (see the cozy little group hug photo above) squeedge a victory out of a year where they couldn’t exploit a mass-shooting into a political win at an all-liberal Minnesota state Capitol. This is the closest they’ve come to one; Coleman is trying, in his ham-fisted way, not to waste the crisis.
Let me re-emphasize this: Coleman, and the dim bulb Jane Kay and habitual liar Rep. Heather Martens, are doing the end-zone happy dance over the non-news non-occurrence of a non-event.
That’s it. That’s their “victory”, the only one they had, even in a state run entirely by liberals. For now.
That’s just pathetic.
Insert The Usual Boilerplate – Coleman lays out the scenario. Sort of:
The story started Monday when a gun-owners group used its Facebook page to invite members to attend the first of this summer’s “Open Streets” events this coming Sunday in South Minneapolis. Although “attend” doesn’t quite cover it: The gun owners specifically were encouraged to bring their weapons and to flash them in public, carrying them openly for the benefit of all those in attendance at “Open Streets,” an ongoing series of good-humored street fairs promoting bicycling and pedestrian rights.
And – Coleman omits – the various virtues of neighborliness. Second Amendment supporters have been doing events like this for years, most notably our “Open Carry Picnics” a few years back at the Lake Harriet Bandshell, where dozens of regular Minnesotans would gather, eat, talk with their neighbors – many with their legal firearms in plain view.
If you heard about them, it wasn’t in the news. The only thing that ever happened was a good time. In the couple such events I attended (sans visble firearm; that wouldn’t be my style, even if I did own a gun and have a carry permit), I remember one person – white, upper-middle-class, female, oozing “Carlton College” attitude from every manicured pore – running to the park police and demanding mass arrests, and being politely rebuffed because we were doing something legal, in a legal manner.
He Doesn’t Know Stuff! – Coleman:
This Sunday’s kickoff event is scheduled for a 20-block stretch of Lyndale Ave. South, one of the south side’s gun-plagued corridors.
And there’s the conceit the left keeps trying – and with the dimmer members of our media and political class, succeeding – at passing off; the idea that guns are the problem. That there’s a “plague” of guns prowling Lyndale from the Twenties through the Fifties, randomly picking off innocent passersby and kids doing homework in their living rooms.
It’s untrue, of course; we have a plague of people who use guns to enforce their gangs’ rules, protect their (illegal) business’ turf from competition, take out revenge for various slights (in a manner our modern urban culture glorifies), with guns.
Not a one of them has a carry permit. Not a one of them passed a background check, taken the training course, or bought their firearms legally.
Maybe Coleman doesn’t know the distinction. Or maybe he, like the anti-gun groups with whom his “Uptake” shares funders, really really wants the distinction to be blurred.
If it’s the former, he’s wrong. If it’s the latter, he’s lying.
The Original Classist Gangsta – Coleman – the child of a highly prominent legislator, the stepchild of a prominent publisher – loves to try to pound the outlines of his childhood into the rough-and-tumble Irish-Catholic-In-America myth. He’s spent a career trying to portray himself as a Studs Terkel “Everyman with a Typewriter” type street journo.
It’s a crock, of course; the last we checked, Coleman lived in a tony part of Saint Paul, near Grand and Summit, a leafy neighborhood dotted with private colleges and tudor homes. And more power to him!
But watch Coleman wrap himself in the “urban activist warrior” flag:
For some reason, the promise/threat of suburban gun flashersbrandishing their weapons along the avenue did not have a reassuring effect on the benighted city dwellers who prefer fewer guns, not more, on their streets.
(“Hey! We don’t vote on civil rights!” Remember that from the gay marriage debate?)
A quick look at the city’s “shot spotter” maps, in addition to showing an alarming number of recorded gun shots on the city’s North Side (dozens each week), shows that there have been a couple dozen shots fired on the streets in the Lyndale-Hennepin area in the past two months.
Yep. Now – can Coleman show us that any of them were fired by law-abiding citizens, much less carry permittees?
Of course not.
Now, it’s time for some classism!:
Imagine how reassured you would feel when hundreds of bearded guys from Andover and Elko show up in North Minneapolis or the Summit-University area of St Paul (“Open Streets” events will take place in both of those communities later this summer) with Bushmasters and Brownings slung over their shoulders or Glocks and Rugers hanging from their paunches.
Condescension for People Not Like Nick is the main color in Coleman’s palette. That and junior-high pseudo-sexual japery.
It’s also part and parcel of the most cancerous trait of the Left; the battle isn’t ideas versus ideas, or even people vs. people. The battle they fight is Classes against Classes. And they define the classes.
At the very least, it’s a mark of intellectual laziness. At the worst, it’s a cancer that’s killed millions in the last 100 years.
But let’s run with the thought; what if hundreds of guys from Elko and Andover and Forest Lake – some bearded and paunchy, some elderly and flinty, some young and smokin’ hot, but every last one of them a carry permittee with the legal right to carry a firearm – did show up at the festivals?
What would happen?
The smart money says “Not a damn thing” – other than anti-gunners acting out on their paranoia.
Thought Experiments for The Unthinking – But since Nick’s in a mood to play hypotheticals, let’s come out and play, shall we?
Here’s a neat mental exercise: Try to imagine hundreds of inner-city residents carrying weapons at the Andover Family Fun Fest, July 13. Just because they can.
Nick, if you’re reading this; let’s do indeed!
I’ll take you up on your challenge! Let’s you and I get “hundreds” of “inner city residents” (by which I assume you mean “black people”, as opposed to “family guys who live in Saint Paul’s Midway”, like me), with legal carry permits, just like you had, and just like I may hypothetically have – complete with objective proof that they are law-abiding citizens that the permit conveys – and trek out to Andover on July 13!
And let’s see what happens!
Just think, Nick: you and me can watch the hijinx unfold!
What do you suppose is going to happen?
Nothing. Nothing is going to happen. Oh, some ninny may run to a cop, who’ll investigate, see the “inner city resident” is a regular schlemiel with a carry permit, and gently tell the complainant to relax. Just like happens with legitimate carriers all over the state or, more usually, doesn’t happen.
More likely? The “inner city” – which I suppose does mean “black” or “Latino” or “H’mong” in Coleman’s mind – carry permittee will tell us to get tied; they have a live to live.
And they’ll be right.
But let’s do get the ball rolling on this, Mr. Coleman.
Heres’s How You Tell A Hack With A “Journalist” Badge He Got From A Box Of Cracker Jacks – Next, Coleman drops any pretense of “journalism” that may have evaded extinction, and openly parrots his whiny pals in the gun-grabber movement; I added emphasis to the really demented stuff:
Openly carrying firearms inside the Minnesota Capitol this winter helped gun-law opponents shoot down gun-safety legislation.
Coleman is regurgitating Heather Martens’ delusion that the law-abiding carry permittees who had notified Capitol security of their intent to carry, and visibly wore their legal, permitted firearms into the hearings, were doing it to “intimidate” the legislators.
It’s bullshit, of course. It was a demonstration of “civil obedience” – showing the legislators that the law-abiding gun owner isn’t the cartoon that ghouls like Jane Kay and Nick Coleman and the City Pages portray to their audiences. We’re regular schlubs who work day jobs and raise kids, just like everyone else. And we vote.
And it worked.
But Coleman isn’t going to let facts get in his way:
But the tactic backfired this time. Maybe you can intimidate people in the Capitol, but not in the cycling community. Bicyclists wee outraged and told the gunslingers to stay away.
They wavered. Then they cracked. Finally, they called off the whole thing when the Gun Control Mommas stood up to them.
Let me put this as bluntly as it needs to be put: Coleman is lying.
The “Gun Control Mommas” – “Moms Want Action”, Jane Kay’s toxic little astroturf group with fewer members than “the Uptake” has paid staff – had nothing to do with the cancellation.
Neither did Coleman’s mythical “cycling community” (Note, Nick: I’m part of the “cycling community”. There was no memo).
Coleman is making things up. He’s taking correlations (a memo from the impotent Jane Kay, facebook proclamations from wannabe “biking community” spokesbots) and making up a causation.
The Gun Flashers ran for cover. By Thursday, the skedaddling gunsters canceled their Gun Wiggle, blaming the liberal media, bicycle punks and the “intolerance” of the mamas who opposed the plan they had clearly hoped would get them some media time and notoriety. Their plan worked, but not the way they hoped. The guns blew up in their faces.
It’s the closest the gun-grabber “movement” – really a collection of astroturf checkbook advocacy groups – have come to a victory in recent years. And they’re jumping up and down like toddlers that just made a good pants.
That’s big talk, coming from Nick Coleman, a nakedly (ew) partisan blogger who as we’ve shown makes things up left and right to gain “street cred”; a man who knows nothing about anything he wasn’t told by other people in his vanishingly tiny social circle, but who sat down to share his every thought with the moon. Like a grafitti artist holding a spray paint can between his knees, he’s tagging the public square, and doing it very, very badly.
A man who’ll never answer for any of his lies and distortions because he’s never had to; he’s used and abused the “journalist/columnist’s” factual “get out of jail free” card while enjoying the protection of the Big Institutional Media system his entire career, and who now – let’s be honest – gets paid to parrot the lies he’s told to parrot.
Same as he ever was. Just much, much smaller.
UPDATE: I didn’t even catch all of Coleman’s lies. Attorney David Gross – one of the legal workhorses of the Second Amendment movement in Minnesota – left a comment which points out even more perfidy.
One of many quotes worth reading (hence you should read the whole thing):
…Coleman was lying some more, as I read the published material, when he claimed that the Open Streets sponsors were against what Shelley had planned. I guess he can’t help himself from not letting the facts get in his way.
“Priem said Open Street organizers will not ask the gun owners not to attend. ‘Everyone is welcome at Open Streets,’ she said.”
Keep ’em coming.