The MInnPost is an organization I’d very much like to respect. It includes a raft of people I’ve considered good reporters.
But over the course of Minnesota’s gun debate over this past session – brought on by Minnesota DFL legislators launching a raft of authoritarian gun bills, including at least one that called for confiscation of certain firearms – the MInnPost has shown a very crafty bias toward the anti-Second-Amendment crowd. From Erik Black’s series suggesting that the Second Amendment was just too complicated for modern people, to the fawning coverage the entire publication gives Heather Martens (“Executive Director” and one of very, very few actual members of “Protect Minnesota”), down to Doug Grow’s apparently pre-written slime job on Representative Hilstrom’s compromise “good gun bill” during the past session, the MinnPost has supported the orthodox anti-gun line to a fault.
Why is that?
It might be this:
I’m not sure, but a $50,000 grant from the rabidly anti-gun Joyce Foundation might have something to do with it.
No, correlation doesn’t equal causation. The fact that the MinnPost threw all sense of objectivity and journalistic detachment to the wind this past session on the gun issue and getting a nice-sized grant from a group that has bankrolled anti-gun groups around the country for over a decade could be purely a coincidence. And it’s not like opposing the Second Amendment doesn’t come along with the left-of-center beliefs most of the staff hold.
But when I read Doug Grow’s “coverage” of a post-session wrapup party for “Protect Minnesota“, the piece had the faint whiff of “PR” to it.
Given the outcome of the legislative session, the tone of Tuesday night’s meeting sponsored by Protect Minnesota was surprising.
Heather Martens, who leads the organization that long has been a force for advocating for stricter gun-control laws, urged the 23 people who attended the North Minneapolis meeting to think about the “successes” that came out of the session.
On first blush, that may seem like a hard thing to do, given that gun-rights organizations got all they wanted: No universal background checks, no limits on magazine capacities, no assault rifle bans.
It’s simple. There were no successes. Heather Martens – who has never, not once, uttered or written an original, non-numeric statement about firearm policy that wasn’t a lie – and her “group” were, er, shot down at every turn.
But “Protect Minnesota” doesn’t exist to convince people. It exists to manipulate the media – and, via them, the people.
Confederates! With Guns! Defending Slavery!
Which may be what led to this next statement by Grow (with emphasis added):
And by the end of session, cowed legislators refused to even have a floor vote on anything resembling major gun-law change.
That’s just wrong.
The legislators weren’t so much “cowed” as organizing behind Deb Hilstrom’s Good Gun Bill (Ortmann’s in the Senate). Half of the House, comprising reps on both sides of the aisle, co-authored her compromise bill. And when the backroom “negotiations” between the metro DFLers (who were carrying Heather Martens’ water to the point that one, Rep. Alice Hausman, let Heather Martens do her job for her) broke down, the bills were scuppered from the floor by a bipartisan coalition of Republicans and responsible outstate DFLers.
But that doesn’t fit the “big bad NRA!” narrative, does it?
History Is Written By Those With The Printing Presses
Grow carries on his stenography for Martens (emphasis added):
Martens told the group there was victory in the bipartisan support for $1 million to fund a law that requires the state to file data with the feds on those who should be prohibited from owning firearms.
The law requiring the state to file the data was passed in 2009 but was never funded, essentially making it useless.
Will Grow mention that it was a DFL legislature that scuppered that funding? The metrocrat Democrats didn’t want a bipartisan-backed background check to give the impression that it worked better than actual harassment of the law-abiding citizen.
“But Other Than That, Mrs. Lincoln…”
Grow feels obliged to list the outcome of the tiny group’s self-therapy session:
Phone-banking (more than 1,000 calls to legislators sitting on the fence).
Legislators reported that constituent calls ran at least 50:1 against the DFL’s bills.
Media coverage was complete.
Yeah, the suspense was killing us on that one.
That’s what Heather Martens does – get friendly media coverage. She’s the Larry Jacobs of the gun issue – the one, single, sole person that every Twin Cities “journalist” calls for the left’s take on guns in Minnesota.
We’ll come back to that.
“Wait – That Was Your “Intellectual” Argument?”
One of the other “Successes”, according to Grow:
Finding a “visceral” message, one that appeals to the emotions as well as the intellect.
I got a laugh there.
Emotion is the only message Heather Martens’ group has! Talk with any of her group’s “members”, I dare you. You’ll get a broadside of anger and grief over Sandy Hook (but never, ever Chicago, or any other crime scene where the kids don’t look like the children of NPR executives) – and not even the faintest whiff of an “intellectual” message.
Although, as always, I do invite Heather Martens on the NARN to make that “intellectual” case. I’ve been asking for nine years, now.
You Don’t Do Business Against The Family
As Martens via Grow noted above, one of their “successes” was “complete” media coverage.
Now, there’s no surprise there. Most of the media editors and producers in the Twin Cities support gun control. Other reporters, I suspect, haven’t the depth of knowledge on the issue to know that pretty much everything Heather Martens has ever said on the issue is a lie.
But Doug Grow’s piece – really, his entire history covering Martens for the MinnPost – has been at a level of obsequious fawning that outstrips the rest of the media.
Well, I’ve got a theory. And remember – it’s just a theory. I’ve got nothing but circumstantial evidence to back it up.
But do you remember way up above, where we pointed out that the MInnPost gets big bucks from the anti-gun Joyce Foundation?
Guess who else is bankrolled – to the tune of “most all of its budget” – by Joyce?
This might not be “conflict of interest” for Grow, in any actionable sense of the term. But I’d think that identifying the fact that both Doug Grow’s and Rep. Martens’ jobs are paid for, in whole or part, by a non-profit supported by liberal plutocrats that is the single major funder of anti-gun organizations might have been worth a mention.
Again, correlation doesn’t equal causation.
But given the complete abandonment of any sense of balance or concern for fact on the part of the MinnPost in covering the Second Amendment issue – not to mention Grow’s obsequious. fawning, toenail-painting coverage of Martens and her “group” this session - ”causation” doesn’t seem like a big stretch.