We are told is that not enough Minnesota farmers are black.
Let’s talk “root causes“ for a moment; i’m also told thatvery few farmers in Norway, Sweden and Germany are black, either…
We are told is that not enough Minnesota farmers are black.
Let’s talk “root causes“ for a moment; i’m also told thatvery few farmers in Norway, Sweden and Germany are black, either…
SCENE: A conference room at “Minnesotans for All Progressive Causes” – a non-profit group financed by progressives with deep pockets – for the weekly message coordination meeting.
MyLyssa Silberman, reporter for National Public Radio’s Saint Paul bureau, covering the “Fake News” and “Diversity” beats, waits in the conference room along with Betty Rae Torstengaardsen, senior staff writer at the (possibly fictional) progressive blog “MinnesotaLiberalAlliance.Blogspot.com“, sit, along with Mesme PHURPHY, elite objective political reporter from WCCO-TV They nervously check their watches.
Eventually, Gretel Stromberg Executive Director of “Minnesotans United for All Progressive Causes”, and Inge “Lucky” Carroll, Executive Director of “Minnesotans United for All Progressive Causes”, enter the room.
CARROLL: (Looks at Silberman and Torstengaardsen and Phurphy, clears throat).
SILBERMAN, PHURPHY AND TORSTENGAARDSEN: (quickly rise from their seats)
STOMBERG: Be seated. (All sit, with STROMBERG at the head of the table). Americans are rejecting the term “insurrection” to describe the January 6 riot. We need to come up with another term.
PHURPHY: How about ‘genocide’?
CARROLL: Love the energy, Mesme, but it might be a bit of an overreach.
TORSTENGAARDSEN: I mean, ‘riot’ pretty much sums it up.
(STROMBERG and CARROLL cough nervously).
TORSTENGAARDSEN: Er…never mind.
SILBERMAN: ‘Coup’ usually implies the elites seizing control. ‘Insurrection’ implies a sustained, military campaign, like the Viet Cong or the IRA.
STROMBERG: I’ll go with “Putsch“.
(The three “journalists” sit, somewhat agape. Finally, SILBERMAN speaks)
SILBERMAN: So – a term that, outside a very thin film of political science and history academics, refers in American English solely to Hitler’s abortive 1922 Munich coup attempt?
(The three “journalists” look at each other)
PHURPHY: Works for me.
SILBERMAN: I hear and obey.
STROMBERG: (abruptly rising) Make it so. (Leaves the room with CARROLL).
A friend of the blog writes:
Have you noticed the Star Tribune is really running a lot of Amy articles lately?
Just an observation.
Why yes, as a matter of fact, I have.
Why, it’s almost as if they are “shaping the battlefield” on behalf of their former columnist’s daughter.
In my sixteen years of writing this blog, punching bags have come and, mostly, gone. Nick Coleman? The MInnesota Monitor? Mercury Rising? Ken Weiner? I’m still here. They’re all gone.
But Lori Sturdevant? She just keeps on ticking.
Maybe “ticking” isn’t the right word. She keeps on scolding
Minnesotans Republicans for not acting like “Republicans” did (so says the myth Sturdevant pushes) in the sixties and seventies, where the MNGOP was basically Democrats in better suits, and in many cases ran to the left of the DFL. This was, of course, at a time when Amerca, and Minnesota, had no competition; a time when the entire world was the US’, and Minnesota’s, market. A time when business could thrive and pay confiscatory taxes and support hiring kids with high school diplomas to bolt headlight bezels onto Fords at the Highland Park plant for upper-middle-class wages with no worry about being uncompetitive – because there was no competition.
This is the world Lori Sturdevant pines for.
The “Good” Republican: Dario Anselmo is the GOP rep from Edina. As befits a Republican in a district that’s turning blue – clogged with refugees from Minneapolis’ accelerating failure, but who brought their brick-headed DFL politics with them – Anselmo is “purple”. I get it – I get along with Rep. Anselmo OK, although I disagree with a bunch of his positions.
Including his very luke-coolness on 2nd Amendment issues. Sturdevant points out that Anselmo is the son of Barbara Lund, a Duluth heiress who was murdered by her estranged husband in the early nineties. His aunt it Joan Peterson, an erratic an impervious woman who has been one of the Minnesota gun grab movement’s leaders for a couple decades, now.
Anyway – Anselmo is a “moderate” Republican, which means “the example Sturrdevant wants the entire GOP to follow. Now, I like Rep. Anselmo, and will hope he gets re-elected (he may actually be in line with Buckley’s Law, the most conservative candidate who can win in his district full of soccer moms and petty functionaries.
Reconstructive History: But never let it be said Lori Sturdevant lets facts get in the way of her narrative – that the DFL is the same moderate party she grew up shilling for, and the GOP should strive for the same.
Anselmo says he likely would not be backing the universal background checks bill but for his family’s experience. He also sees gun violence from the perspective of a downtown Minneapolis property owner.
Which sounds good…
…until you remember that neither of Dave Pinto’s bills would have prevented Barbara Lund’s murder; the Gun Violence Protective Order bill would have done nothing; there were no domestic violence charges against Russell Lund. From a PiPress article at the time:
Kim Lund would not say whether her father had ever flashed a violent temper or physically abused Barbara Lund. She said the slayings stunned her family.
“The problem is we don’t know what happened,’” she said. “We have to wait for the criminal justice system to do its role.”
And ‘Universal Background Checks” would have prevented neither the Lund murder nor the crime that vexes Anselmo around his Warehouse district bar, the “Fine Line”. Criminals don’t take background checks now, and they won’t when they’re “Universal”. .
Lori The Parrot: The rest of the column is proof that the only things Lori Sturdevant knows about the issue, she was told over drinks at Murray’s by her friends in the Gun Grab “movement”, and seeks only to serve their ends:
The gun issue, too, seems to be swelling into something bigger than the perennial partisan wedge it has been for decades. Gun violence is so pervasive — especially when one counts suicides as well as homicides — that many Minnesotans now see it in personal terms.
Gun violence is down 50% in 20 years. Gun violence is schools is down 75% in that same time.
In 2016, more than 38,000 Americans died gun-related deaths.
2/3 of which were suicides, not one of which would have been prevented by any of the DFL’s bills.
What’s more, a new generation is rising and — even in rural places — claiming a campaign to stem gun violence as its own.
Well, that’s the word the media is trying to get out – go counter the fact that the “new generation” may be more pro 2nd Amendment than mine. Which is saying something.
The Phantom Right: Sturdevant trips into my new favorite topic:
They’re recasting the argument in personal and moral terms, asking whether someone else’s right to own a semiautomatic weapon should outweigh their right to go to school without being shot and killed.
They’re asserting a right to safety.
That may not be in the Bill of Rights. But woe be unto any democratic government that fails to secure it.
Which is a fraction of the woe that betides a “democratic government” that gets this simple fact wrong:
No more than there is a “right not to get hit by lightning” or “right not to have a fire break out in your kitchen”, or “right not to get t-boned by a drunk driver” or “right not to get robbed”. There is no right to t-bone people, and there’s certainly no right to rob people. It’d be absurd as claiming that lightning or fire had a “right” to strike you. And yet there is no “right” to be free of any of these things.
There is only a responsibility to protect your family, your property, your community and your self from nature – natural and human. And that includes a responsibility to protect the students that society has ordered be gathered in your care, or else.
Of course, Lori Sturdevant represents – shills and parrots for, really – a party and movement that has sought only to erode the notion of responsibility on every front, not just safety, for much longer than Sturdevant’s been in public life.
Jon Tevlin – who replaced Nick Coleman on columnists row at the Strib a long time ago, and you’d have a hard time telling the difference unless you notice the incremental drop in entitled arrogance – is getting out of the column business:
In the past couple of years, however, I’ve gotten worn down by the weekly screeds and wishes that I lead a short, uncomfortable life. I began to dread the 3 a.m. calls and anonymous notes. After many weekends got ruined by hostile chatter on social media, my wife, Ellen, wisely suggested I either kill my column or Twitter. I survived the past few years, in fact, by removing social media from my phone.
I fear we are becoming a mean, arrogant country. In fact, at 6 a.m. the day after voters elected a bigoted, narcissistic megalomaniac,
(Yes, I did check to see if he was in that paragraph was intended as satire. Apparnetly not. Ed)
I wrote to my financial planner the following words: “I feel like I’ve wasted 30 years of my life. Get me out of here.”
Mr. Tevlin – if you have to ask, you probably did. Sorry to say.
Paying attention to Twitter is a rookie flub, of course; the day when Twitter’s nonexistent business model finally sinks it will be a great one for public discourse.
But that leaves a vacancy on Columnists Row . Who’ll fill it?
On the one hand, who cares? It’s the Strib.
On the other?
Well, Bob Collins at MPR writes:
Ideally, the Strib would hang out a “white men need not apply” shingle since the newspaper’s lineup of voices is almost exclusively male, white, and comfortable.
Last week, I wrote a bunch of pieces on an editorial that appeared in the Strib the weekend before last.
The Strib complained about the growing street crime – in particular about the consequences of some local and higher court rulings that make enforcement against crimes like public intoxication and panhandling harder without specific legislative intervention. (They also proposed the same impotent diversions on gun control that every DFL metrocrat shill runs to when faced with a wave of violence).
All the problems come back to one thing – a mayor and city council that may or may not be unable to grapple with the issues, but are certainly unwilling to interrupt the consequence-free virtue-signaling – like strong-arming local businesses with minimum wage hikes and sick time benefits, and social justice warrior-mongering – that obsesses so many of them.
And this is the city council that, in large part, the Strib has supported to a fine sheen for the past sixty years.
And the mayor they’ve supported all along as well; I take you back to October, 2013, when the Strib editorial board endorsed Hodges for mayor:
Hodges is aligned with this page on the need for improved transit, including streetcars and enhanced bus service, as a driver of economic development citywide. As mayor, she’d play a key role in deciding the future of the Southwest Corridor light-rail project.
Although the school board operates independently from City Hall, Hodges says that as mayor she would seek to build consensus around the increasingly desperate need to close the city’s achievement gap, and she puts the right emphasis on early childhood development and prenatal health programs with her proposed “Cradle-to-K” cabinet. She’s talked generally about longer school days, more flexibility for administrators in teacher labor agreements, and support for reforms proposed by Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson.
Hodges doesn’t promise lower property taxes, but her record suggests she’ll be a strong steward of city resources and taxpayer dollars.
Hodges also promises to be aggressive in using technology to enhance public safety and would seek more accountability in hiring, training and disciplining cops. In a recent meeting with the Editorial Board, she acknowledged that the police union contract makes it too difficult to fire bad cops.
Does any of this – which reflects the express wishes and position of the most influential editorial board / DFL PR firm in the state – sound like what’s actually happened since the voters gave the Strib, yet again, exactly what they wanted?
Own it, Strib. You got your wishes in the North Loop, as you have throughout the city. You did your best to break it. You fix it.
Last week, the Strib put out a breathtakingly obtuse editorial about the wave of crime sweeping the North Loop in Minneapolis – even as crime statewide continues a long-term downward trend.
The Strib’s editorial board blamed court for limiting the cops’ ability to arrest drunk and panhandlers – but, mirabile dictu, not a single word about getting the Mayor and City Council to take time off from virtue-signaling, political posturing, and building exquisitely expensive monuments to their own wisdom.
But now, it’s time for the scapegoating:
There’s another, more intractable problem that Freeman, Segal, Arradondo and others wrestle with: guns. “We as a society have refused to provide law enforcement with the resources and laws needed to reduce the number of guns in the hands of people who shouldn’t have them,” Freeman said.
Getting guns out of the hands of those who should not have them! That’s just brilliant!
So the MPD will start focusing on straw buyers, gangs and habitual offenders?
Don’t be silly, fellow peasant; it’s Minneapolis:
Options here are few, especially in light of the strength of the gun lobby.
Let’s make this absolutely clear: the “Gun Lobby” is the only party to this discussion proposing anything that will actually affect crime; upcharging gun criminals,
Some attempts at municipal restrictions have been struck down. One notable exception is New York City, where carrying a gun requires a special city permit issued by the police commissioner.
And where crime 35 years ago was off the charts – with the same, exact laws they have today. It was Giuliani and his “stop and frisk” and “broken windows” policies – none of which the government of Minneapolis would ever condone – that actually lowered crime in NYC. And by the way – have you noticed how crime is trending since DiBlasio reversed Giuliani and Bloomberg’s policies?
Minnesota typically has had strong Second Amendment protections, but it may be time for Minneapolis to explore its own carve-out.
Because of all the carry permittees that are shooting people up in the North Loop?
Because all those north side gang bangers will get permits?
Because holding out bitterly against the rights of the law-abiding citizen has served Chicago so well?
The legislative delegations from Minneapolis and St. Paul, with assists from city leaders, should make their voices heard on resurrecting a gun safety bill that would require criminal background checks for gun sales made at gun shows, privately and online. These are the same background checks gun shop owners are required to conduct, and a Star Tribune Minnesota Poll last year found strong support for such a measure — 82 percent.
Which only proves that 82 percent of the Strib’s remaining film of readers are idiots. Criminals don’t take background checks.
No. The responsibility for the carnage on the North Side and in the North Loop lies precisely in the laps of Mayor Hodges and the pack of virtue-signaling, PC fops that amuse themselves playing “government” at City Hall. It is they that continue the policies that keep the North Side hopeless, keep the Minneapolis PD busy chasing PC trends, and keep the city as a whole ripe pickings for the criminal class.
Perhaps it’s Minneapolis’ idiot political class that should be taking background checks.
A few years ago, we wrote about an article by urban planner Joel Kotkin.
Kotkin is a left-leaning urban planning type – is there any other kind? But he’s made himself persona non grata among urban planning wonks by swimming against the current train of thought, which holds that core cities will rise again; the “Creative Class” loves their inner-urban amenities, and the rest will be forced there by Met Council policies.
Kotkin notes that for the past generation, most growth in this country – economic and demographic – is happening in the outer suburbs and exurbs of major and mid-sized cities. Kotkin also theorizes that cities are rapidly devolving into a demographic donut:
The progressive political class tries to conceal this by inducing suburbs to increase the amount of “Affordable Housing” – but we’re going astray, here.
Accoridng to the Strib’s editorial last week, it appears that the outer and inner donut rings are getting too close together:
“Downtown has become everything to everybody,” said Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo, and that’s a problem. Few downtowns, he noted, have two major homeless shelters, along with the myriad social-services and outreach programs that have located downtown over the years.
Five will get you ten that this is followed by a call to move more of these facilities and services to the ‘burbs – so the people in the donut hole don’t have to deal with them.
“That may be something to rethink,” he said.
So – for the past sixty years, the DFL has had iron-clad control over Minneapolis. They created an interventionistic bureaucracy that fed off the welfare state, and created some of the worst income disparitie in the state.
And now they want someone to get the bums out of their perfectly-coiffed hair:
Panhandling is tougher to deal with, since a U.S. Supreme Court decision in 2015 — Reed vs. the town of Gilbert — has been widely interpreted as a prohibition on panhandling laws thought to restrict free speech. The high court did not make a specific ruling on that issue, but the Columbia Law Review recently noted that “there is a real danger that virtually all panhandling laws will be invalidated, even though some serve to protect pedestrians and others.” Because of the court’s decision, Minneapolis City Attorney Susan Segal said the city’s panhandling laws are no longer enforced.
Aggressive panhandling is not benign, and it often is committed by individuals with mental-health problems and addictions. There have been reports of panhandlers confronting individuals and demanding money, even chasing them for “donations.” It is possible that more narrowly targeted laws, aimed at harassing behavior or specific locations, such as near ATMs and transit stops, could survive legal scrutiny. Minneapolis officials should undertake a serious effort to craft legally defensible alternatives, rather than leave an apparently unenforceable law on the books.
Or, Minneapolis could continue to shred through low-income jobs like they grow on trees, enforcing unsustainable, job-killing minimum wage laws and making affordable housing a government-controlled racket.
Maybe that’ll work this time.
Tomorrow – Never Never Land,
I’m not saying the Star Tribune’s Editorial Board is full of people that want a dictator to solve all our society’s problem.
I am saying that if a dictator ever wanted to take over, they’d’ need society to be full of people like the Strib’s editors to have a chance of succeeding.
They ran an editorial this past week proposing some solutions to the problem of crime, violence and their bedfellows social and economic decay.
And it’s a masterpiece of double-talk, deflection, and putting a crisis to political use.
Home to nearly 6,000 businesses, downtown Minneapolis swells daily as more than 160,000 workers head in to the state’s economic hub. Its landscape is dotted with major businesses, banks, hotels and a massive football stadium.
Yep. The idea of the hub-and-spoke downtown is alive and well, in a city that pretty much depends on the idea being propagated for eternity.
But unlike a generation ago, downtown is also a growing neighborhood, home to nearly 40,000 residents. By design, they tend to be educated, affluent professionals craving an urban lifestyle that includes the excitement of a nightlife powered by bars, theaters and restaurants along Hennepin Avenue and in the bustling North Loop.
Two very loaded words.
A generation ago, when I moved to the Twin Cities, the North Loop was a blighted area, nearly vacant after dark but for the occasional roughneck bar and strip joint. Just down the road from North Minneapolis – which was just as big a problem to the city’s reputation then as it is today, although people were a lot less reticent to say so, or why, back then – it shared some of the same pathologies, albeit without a resident population. I wrote about my encounter with the old North Loop 11 years ago.
Somewhere in the nineties, Minneapolis noticed the small groups of young entrepreneurs that were taking advantage of cheap, blighted property and, with the aid of a flood of federal and state tax money, decided to turn the North Loop into a little Brooklyn; to replace all that urban grit with a hipster/young child-free-couple-friendly version; let’s call it “Urban Grit-land”, like an urban fantasy version of a Disney subdivision.
Not that the redevelopment of the North Loop was a bad thing. More stuff going on is better than less stuff going on, all other things being equal. The Strib, of course, supported the redevelopment – partly, one must imagine, because it increased the paper vallue of their property up on Eight Street North, the paper’s former printing shop and now headquarters, which allowed them to sell their old property down on 4th and Portland for a huge profit.
And let’s not forget – the Strib has always been a relentless supporter of the DFL politicians and policies that have left the neighboring North Side a blighted battlezone.
Of course, what they also did was put a big population of soft, wealthy (and, election results would seem to indicate, very unlikely to resist) targets within reach of a whole lot of urban grit that hasn’t yet been sanded and laquered to a fine patina yet:
But downtown also has a stubbornly rising crime rate that threatens all of the effort and investment in making this area vibrant and attractive. Robberies are up significantly. Homeless encampments are becoming more common. Weekends bring regular reports of shots fired. Complaints about aggressive panhandling are up, and some light-rail transit stations have become trouble spots that draw crowds of young people late at night.
You mean, exactly as we warned them they would?
These are the early warning signs that can signal greater trouble in the future. Spiraling crime can scare off prospective residents and employers. Residents of downtown, unlike those in most neighborhoods, tend to be renters, for whom moving is as easy as not renewing a lease. Businesses, too, can vote with their feet if they or their employees become uncomfortable.
The Strib then goes on to prescribe some “solutions” for the problems that – as we’ll see – they helped create.
We’ll be looking at this for the rest of the week.
Tomorrow: Kotkin Was Right!
Last week, we noted that the Strib had rejected an op-ed by Sarah Cade – a center-left African-American woman who happens to be a competition shooter, a friend of mine, and the owner of one of the most rightous ARs I’ve seen.
By way of trying to outflank the Strib’s abusive monopoly on political opinion publishing, I posted her entire op-ed on this blog last week in its entirety.
Yesterday came news that, with the advance of a “Stand your Ground” bill to hearings in the House Rules Committee this week, the Strib ran a series of fact-free opinion pieces against the legislation – but not a single piece in support. Against the fact-free – and largely Bloomberg-financed – dreck, not a single word of learned response was allowed to see the light of day in this state’s misbegotten “newspaper of record”.
I”m just a little blog. I’m David’s left toenail, going up against Goliath.
Well, you and me – we are David’s left toenail.
I’m going to urge you do a couple of things:
It’s not much. But it’s the best that we can do.
And every once in a while, David gets in a lucky shot.
More on the “Stand your Ground” hearings later this week.
P.S. to the Strib: it’s been a while since I publicly said I sincerely hope the free market drives that little DFL PR shop you call a “newspaper” out of business for good.
The more things chance, the less they change.
Well, the title is a little misleading. Where I wrote “without limits”, I guess I what I meant was “no bottom to the barrel”.
Because in the arc of downfall for the City Pages, from its heady days in the eighties publishing James Lileks, and its journalistic peak in the nineties, where they ran a lot of excellent reporting, the CP just keeps falling.
And every time I think “they can’t possibly get any worse as reporters?” They somehow pull it off.
I didn’t think they could get any worse than Dan Haugen’s factual malaprops – but sure enough, Kevin Hoffman was right there with the onanistic panty-sniffing disguised as high-school-caliber schadefreud. From thence, we’ve had a couple years of the ongoing gift of hilarity that is Corey Zurowski’s writing, which has been its own reward.
So given that the City Pages seems to have no lower limit, I’ll refrain from saying Pete Kotz’s piece about the GOP’s pushback on cities trying to jam down $15 minimum wage laws bespeaks any descent below any journalistic or factual pale.
Because there’s always more ground below the barrel.
But oh, lord – it’s getting worse.
Allison Sherry added this opinion column – essentially, a piece of delated-PR for the Angie Craig campaign – in Monday’s Strib:
Incoming Republican U.S. Rep. Jason Lewis made his career as a provocative talk-radio personality who seemed to relish holding court on the fringes of the political mainstream.
On any given day, he could offer up inflammatory comments about slavery or assert that unmarried women just want government to pay for their birth control.
Now Lewis faces the biggest test of his political career as he must rapidly transition from radio provocateur into a full-time member of Congress.
Sherry is a new member of the Strib’s ignominious “columnist’s row”, so it’s to be expected she’ll start her beat by reprising Angie Craig’s campaign chanting points – which the Strib considers “sources”, by the way.
Lewis seems to get it, though:
“I’m not an expert, though I played one on the radio for 20 years,” Lewis said in the basement of the Capitol complex, fidgeting with a bottle of water. “It is humbling and sobering when all of [a] sudden you see Rep. Jason Lewis on things.”
Ms. Sherry seems well fitted to follow in Nick Coleman’s steps.
In a more serious vein: why would the Strib be running what is basically a hit piece on the new Congressman, before he’s even sworn in?
Easy. Angie Craig is already fundraising for a rematch. To the DFL and Strib, the 2018 race is already underway.
CORRECTION: It seems Ms. Sherry is actually not a columnist, but one of the Strib’s reporters.
I regret the error.
The Strib “reported”, after a fashion, about attitudes about Obamacare after an election where it was primarily responsible for ejecting the DFL from power in the Minnesota Senate.
And it’s either a masterpiece of selective fact, or some fairly incurious reporting:
Anxiety is greatest among Minnesotans with preexisting medical conditions. Before the ACA, insurance companies could simply deny them coverage.
Which is technically true.
After which, in Minnesota at least, they would get insurance from one of the state-subsizied high risk plans.
Before MNSure, 92% of Minnesotans were insured, via the private market, a public plan, or some combination. It was the highest share in the nation. Of the 8% who didn’t have insurance, the vast majority were people who didn’t want insurance – mostly young, mostly healthy. There were exceptions – but they were few, rare, and mostly the product of poor information and a pre-Obama media who were actively pitching the “47 million uninsured Americans…” narrative.
Today, the state says half as many Minnesotans are uninsured – but networks have shrunk (in vast swathes of Minnesota, only one plan is available), premiums have skyrocketed for individual members (like me!), people could not keep their doctor (The Lightworker’s promises notwithstanding…)
So why is the Strib story – a “Team Report” by Jeremy Olson, Christopher Snowbeck and Glenn Howatt, no less – either so slanted or uninformed?
To borrow a Glenn Reynolds phrase – if you treat them as DFL operatives with bylines, it all makes sense.
Preya Samsundar continues to beat the stuffing out of the Twin Cities institutional media in reporting on Minneapolis DFL legislative candidate Ilhan Omar’s fuzzy marital history.
Only this time, she may have done it with the unwitting help of the City Pages’ DFLer-with-byline Cory Zurowski:
Whether or not Mr. Zurowski realizes it, he has shed new light into the Omar case. The story, which was originally published on Wednesday, October 26, Mr. Zurowski wrote that Ilhan Omar’s father is named “Nur Said Elmi Mohamed”. A day later, Zurowski’s article was changed and now Omar’s father’s name appears in the article as “Nur Omar Mohamed”.
Read the whole thing.
And then ask yourselves why nobody in the Twin Cities media is covering this story.
To use a Glenn Reynolds line, it helps if you think of reporters as Democrat operatives with bylines. Who, in this case, don’t want to be barred from the Saint Paul Grill.
It’s becoming a tradition; every year, the Star Tribune editorial board theatrically laments the “death of civility” in Minnesota politics.
Or, to be accurate, the paper – like most other media outlets in the Twin Cities – laments the fact that occasionally, someone hurts a liberal’s feelings.
Last week, the paper ran an op Ed by a Susan Mallison. And, let’s be honest – the episode she relates was pretty darn uncivil:
I wore my Hillary shirt to the fair. As I stood at the Star Tribune booth at the bottom of the Grandstand ramp, suddenly a man approached me so closely that he was invading my personal space (nose to nose). He sneered at me and snarled, “Do you like my picture?” as he pulled something out of his pocket. I was very frightened by his actions, and felt, at that moment, the picture he was shoving toward my face would be of his penis.
It was a picture of Hillary wearing prison garb. I recognized the picture as the image at the Minnesota Republican Party booth that I had seen earlier. The man had mounted it on cardboard, covered it with plastic wrap and was carrying it around in his pocket. Presumably he was looking for people wearing Hillary shirts in order to threaten them.
That’s a little scary – and, let’s be honest, no different than experiences I have had from the other side. The Strib will never, ever, ever take the faintest shard of interest in any of those, naturally.
But when Susan Mallison cries out “who killed civility”, the response is “after all, Sue, it was you”:
I intend to proudly continue to wear both my Hillary T-shirt and the button that I bought at the DFL booth at the fair. The button says, “Love Trumps Hate.”
The purple faced, outraged caricatures like those that Ms. Mallison relates to us are the comic book version of the real incivility in this state, and in our society: The lumpen, plush bottom, ELCA-coiffed, Volvo driving, Garrison Keillor upsucking, Whole Foods shopping, free range alpaca wearing plush bottomed yoohoos who pin on their DFL issued flair and carry the message that “either you are with us, with the DFL, with Herself, or you are full of hate”.
These are the people who have debased the term “hate” unto meaninglessness.
In your own way, Susan Mallison, you are no better.
This blog has always been dedicated to the idea that the mainstream media is a PR firm for the Democrat party nationally, and the DFL in Minnesota.
While there are capable, honest reporters in the Twin Cities and nationally who do make a level effort to cover the news rather than paint Democrat toenails and safeguard their dinner reservations at Brothers, it’s this blog’s considered opinion that the American media has long since ceased being a “check and balance” on anyone but conservatives and the GOP.
It’s been much in the news this past week.
Michael Goodwin at the NYPost notes the extent to which the mainstream media has become, without no hyperbole whatsoever, an arm of Hillary Clinton’s campaign:
A recent article by its media reporter, Jim Rutenberg, whom I know and like, began this way: “If you’re a working journalist and you believe that Donald J. Trump is a demagogue playing to the nation’s worst racist and nationalistic tendencies, that he cozies up to anti-American dictators and that he would be dangerous with control of the United States nuclear codes, how the heck are you supposed to cover him?”
Whoa, Nellie. The clear assumption is that many reporters see Trump that way, and it is noteworthy that no similar question is raised about Clinton, whose scandals are deserving only of “scrutiny.” Rutenberg approvingly cites a leftist journalist who calls one candidate “normal” and the other “abnormal.”
Clinton is hardly “normal” to the 68 percent of Americans who find her dishonest and untrustworthy, though apparently not a single one of those people writes for the Times. Statistically, that makes the Times “abnormal.”
Also, you don’t need to be a detective to hear echoes in that first paragraph of Clinton speeches and ads, including those featured prominently on the Times’ Web site. In effect, the paper has seamlessly adopted Clinton’s view as its own, then tries to justify its coverage.
But that’s a bit of bias that has long, deep roots; most of the American media seemed eager to finish for Bill Clinton the job Monica Lewinski started.
Meanwhile, locally, at a Donald Trump rally last week, “protesters” – pro-Democrat agitators – repeatedly attacked, hit and spat on people attending a Donald Trump meeting in Minneapolis. You‘d never know if from most of the media, as John Gilmore reports:
But not even I was prepared for what followed: a sustained assault on citizens attempting to leave that venue while Minneapolis police stood by, for the most part. Some performed admirably and to them much credit should be given. Yet it wasn’t nearly enough.
There were first hand reports of people being spat upon, physically assaulted and some who had their property stolen. There were even reports of people themselves being spray painted. Many of those committing the assaults on white people were identified as black, but certainly not exclusively.
Minneapolis has become a lawless city, on the verge of becoming yet another Third World City, and last Friday night proved it beyond doubt. Those who have a different political view from the reigning majority were persecuted for simply exercising their constitutional right of assembly.
Twin Cities media reporting of the night’s events proved a mixed bag. There is no doubt that had the political polarities been reversed the coverage would have been far more extensive, breathless and condemnatory. But because the victims were republicans, much was glossed over. Which is to say, the violence.
Minnesota media should be ashamed of itself but it doesn’t really possess the capacity.
Read the whole thing.
For the sake of the city’s good, conscientious reporters, I do hope there’s some sort of future out there in writing actual news.
That future is not with the current legacy news media.
The Star/Tribune’s editorial board is a group of people, apparently in their sixties and seventies, who seem to spend their days pining away for a time when the media could say anything they want without fear of being caught out in public by people who know better.
Those days are long gone. Only the editorial board doesn’t seem to know it, or recognize it, as shown in last week’s editorial calling for, at the least, hearings on a “universal background check” bill.
And like everyone on the institutional left, they participate – with all the grace of a German jazz band – in the left’s only real tactic on the issue of gun control; Lie First, Lie Always.
Why, it’s almost as if Heather Martens, in addition to being a State Representative, is a Strib editor…
A Survey USA poll shows Hillary losing to every single GOP candidate.
Longtime friend of the blog Fresch Fisch writes in re poll (about which more later today):
I predict the Minnesota Poll will come out in a couple of weeks showing her back on top.
But she won’t just be back on top, but on top by a margin guaranteed to discourage GOP turnout.
Last week, we noted that Heather Martens – leader of “Gun Safety” group “Protect” MN, and serial liar – demanded $1,500 to discuss “gun safety” on my show, with me, someone with at least some track record of knowing the issue in some detail.
We also noted that she did appear on KARE11 to debate “gun safety” with Andy Parrish, a GOP strategist, who is not noted as a Second Amendment activist or someone with an especial command of the facts of the issue (which is not to disparage him; I don’t know any of his areas of expertise, either).
Today comes confirmation that Martens did not ask, or recieve, $1,500 from KARE11.
Why, it’s almost as if Martens knows that certain Twin Cities media outlets will paint her toenails on the air, and she’s avoiding having to deal with anyone who can point out her chronic, vocational mendacity.
I said “almost”.
I have no idea why.
After reading Heather Martens’ challenge in the Strib yesterday, I wrote this letter to the Editor.
And since there’s not a chance in hell the Strib will ever print it, I’ll run it here, too:
In her October 19 reply to DJ Tice’s October 11 editorial, Heather Martens says that the Star/Tribune should “do their homework, force the gun lobby and its friends to defend their indefensible opposition to important new policies”
On behalf of my many friends and colleagues in the Second Amendment human rights movement, I accept the challenge! I urge the Star/Tribune to set up a debate between Ms. Martens and her colleagues and members of the “gun lobby”, on neutral ground, on camera and on the record, with mutually-agreed-upon rules.
As Ms. Martens notes, it would be an essential act of journalism, and it’d part of that “conversation about guns” that everyone is always asking for.
If not us (and Ms. Martens), who? If not now, when?
I welcome this paper’s initiative in helping get this vital debate organized.
Please contact me; I’ll be happy to help set things up.
What the heck – it was worth a try, for laughs.
After a couple of years of diligent reporting about the Archdiocese of Minneapolis and Saint Paul’s coverup of priests’ involvement in sexual abuse of minors (especially by MPR), you have convinced the Vatican to completely toss the Archdioce’s leadership.
Now, when the scent of that glorious celebration (at the Amsterdam? WA Frost? The Lex?) has faded from your journalistic nostrils, we’ve got a couple more stories for you to cover.
Bill Clinton, beloved of our cultural elites (including most of you in the media, whom he treated like the old pals you longed to be), has been linked at the hip with an industrial-grade pedophile.
And the AP found that 2,500 teachers have have been punished for one degree of sexual abuse of students or another in the past five years. Now, I don’t know about you, but I’ve not heard of any time at which 500 priests per year were being rung up on sexual abuse charges. Have you?
You’ve spent the past couple years investigating the tolerance of tolerance of sexual abuse in high places within a major institution. Well, we’ve got another major institution for you to look into, and involvement in still more in some very high places to dig into.
Never let it be said I’m not here to help.
…was, paradoxically, only incidentally about Ryan Winkler.
Our Big Game of Telephone: From the mid-nineties on, when Michele Bachmann was still organizing the Maple River Education Coalition, before she even ran for the State Senate, the late Karl Bremer was dinging on the future Presidential candidate and conservative lighting rod.
And conservatives, in turn, dinged on the irascible Bremer. I’m not one to speak ill of the dead – but it’s a simple fact that the guy was prone to using imagination when the facts didn’t give him the story he wanted. For years, finding and pointing out all the logical and factual holes in his peevish tirades was for conservative bloggers what “mending nets” is for Spanish fishermen. In short – he was like a blogger, only more so.
But if you ask a left-leaning member of the Minnesota Media “elite”, you got a different story; Bremer was lauded as a hero, treated as one of the club, given the secret handshake. He won an award from the “Society of Professional Journalists” – something like “best digger of documents”.
It was all, every bit of it, related to Bremer’s nearly two-decade-long mania for “covering” / writing about / stalking Michele Bachmann. The enemy of the Twin Cities’ media’s enemy is the Twin Cities media’s friend.
And had Bremer turned all of that manic energy on Paul Wellstone or Keith Ellison? Not a single member of the Twin Cities media would have acknowledged his existence, much less pissed on his grave.
Warm, Fuzzy: With that in mind, take a good read through Doug Grow’s profile of the retiring Representative Ryan Winkler.
Entitled “Why the Legislature will miss Ryan Winkler”, it’s full of assurances, via Pat Garofalo, that Winkler’s big and rapidly-moving mouth was “all business, nothing personal” – which is a fine thing, and mildly reassuring (although mere nonelected proles who encountered Winkler on Twitter had mixed experiences with the lad)…
…and maybe even true, as far as it goes.
But read the article.
You’ll scan it in vain for any mention of Winkler’s “Uncle Tom” jape. And that’s fine; people make mistakes; to err is human and to forgive divine, yadda yadda. If every political “opposition researcher” in the world suddenly broke their femurs and spent six months in traction, and the world could forgive politicians their past oopses, the world would be a happier place, and maybe a little bit better one too.
That might actually be a wonderful thing.
But as I – and quite a few other people – noted when Winkler announced his retirement, Winkler was only the symptom. The disease? The Minnesota Media’s double-standard.
Because if Winkler’d been a Republican, you can bet “Uncle Tom” would have popped up in Grow’s epitaph; it’d be carved large on the media’s collective memory of the guy for all eternity.
Winkler has painstakingly avoided ruling out a return to Minnesota politics. Five will get you twenty that when he does, “Uncle Thomas” will not rate a single inch of copy.
…rather, ask why you’re doing it, and others can/will not.
MPR’s Bob Collins ran a piece earlier this week about “How MPR is able to Broadcast from Cuba“.
And just to be clear – he was focusing on how they dealt with the technical hurdles of broadcasting from a country that is the Northwestern Quatrosphere’s little enclave of the Third World. And I’ll cop to it; the former radio producer in me geeks out at that part:
…when [MPR technical geek Rob Byers] and his team sat down and examined the map of undersea cables in the Caribbean, they found almost no connectivity to the rest of the world, save for two connections to Venezuela. But because both MPR’s sibling company American Public Media and Cuban state radio (ICRT) are associate members of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), it was possible to make a satellite connection from Cuban radio in Havana to a downlink in Geneva, Switzerland, and from there to a site in London that could connect to MPR in St. Paul.
They found a better way. A direct satellite uplink from Havana to St. Paul, using a downlink at the Fitzgerald Theater and a backup site at Twin Cities Public Television.
But Collins also hastens (or hastened, after the subject came up in the comments):
…people asked about political and legal hurdles. I checked back with Rob and Brian. Brian says they’ve asked from the start whether there would be any editorial oversight of the broadcasts by Cuban authorities and they have been assured there would not be.
Rob says he has not encountered legal hurdles.
Right – but MPR is apparently going to Cuba to broadcast the Minnesota Orchestra concert – a fairly uncontroversial-looking program of Beethoven, Bernstein, Prokofiev, and Cuban composer Alejandro García Caturla.
Is it especially controversial to note that there’s a reason they didn’t ask (and I’m going to skip past the cliches here) Michael Medved or Dennis Prager or, um, yours truly to broadcast from Cuba. The Castro regime isn’t looking for a challenge, and MPR will be the last media outlet to deliver one.
And on the one hand, that’s fine – challenging the authoritarian status quo isn’t MPR Classical’s mission.
On the other hand – Cuba is a human rights offender on a massive scale. The plight of Cuban dissendent journalists – or any dissidents, really – is the sort of thing that makes anyone who thinks freedom is a good thing a little queasy.
And I have to wonder – from what other authoritarian basket case would MPR pursue a broadcast?
When was Mark Dayton’s last alcoholic relapse?
What sort of psychotropic medications is he on? And why?
Our media here in the Twin Cities doesn’t think you, mere peasant, have a “need to know”.
But never let it be said the Twin Cities media won’t hold big government’s feet in the fire over the tough issues!
Because, boy howdy, they sure will!
For the record, I’m a fan of MPR’s Bob Collins – if for no other reason than few people write about aviation issues as well as he does (and there are other reasons).
Which is not to say that I agree with him all the time. We’ve had our disagreements.
The Minority Case: And this Collins blog post is one of them; it quotes a story from Tim Pugmire about an incoming state representative John Heintzeman of Nisswa, who scored a big upset win earlier this month. Pugmire quoted Heintzeman as saying:
“People of faith need to be able to know that they can practice their faith in the way, in the tradition that their family has over many, many years, without being afraid of somehow violating the law,”
“Rural values” and “traditional values” are fairly vague terms, which are often left to the rest of us — city slickers — to figure out what they define exactly. They often are intertwined with religion or “faith,” as Heintzeman said.
And that usually leads to the obvious question: whose religion and whose faith?
For the benefit of the audience that Collins is writing to – the Volvo-with-a-reproduction-“Wellstone”-sticker driving, free-range-alpaca wearing, straight-ticket-DFL-voting Macalester alumni set that is the “must win” demographic for MPR, I’ll explain it.
It’s about Islam.
It’s so the young Somali woman working at the Midway WalMart need not worry about feeling racist, faith-ist repercussions when she politely asks an infidel like yours truly to please move the pork chops across the scanner, since her observance of her faith doesn’t allow her to handle them.
Oh, it probably also covers cases like the photographers and bakers and florists who, for religious reasons not a lot different than the young Somali, tried to beg off participating in gay weddings, even trying in some cases to refer the “customers” to gay-wedding-friendly competition, leading to test cases (since that was what the “customers” were looking for in the first place). And, yes, sometimes those concerns aren’t purely individual in scope.
It could even – hard as this may be to believe – cover religious freedom for people whose beliefs are more in line with the MPR audiences’.
Really, it’s about protecting the minority from the majority – which is supposed to be what a representative republic (as opposed to a democracy) does.
In other words – everyone’s religion and faith. Or even their complete lack of either.
Rights are rights.
Oh, there’s more to it than that. There’s a wedge to be pounded:
Pick Your Herbicide: Perhaps you’ve heard the story; a GOP district chair in Big Stone County, whose day job
is was working at a Hardware Hank, did a no-no; he said really stupid things about Muslims. Of course, this is red vegan meat for the DFL establishment – at least in part because it’s more fun for them than some other stories that wecouldbe talking about.
Collins finds a greater significance in it, though (emphasis added):
In Big Stone County, the chairman of the Republican Party is defining those values, at least for his neck of the woods.
Jack Whitley posted this yesterday on his Facebook page.
Let’s make this clear: a guy who was elected chairman of the GOP in the fifth-smallest county in Minnesota, a county with fewer registered voters than MPR has assistant producers, is “defining” “rural values”?
Would that be in the same way that Paris Hilton or Plukey Duke “define” “urban values?”
Naturally, everyone from Ken Martin to CAIR jumped on the statement…
“It’s very disturbing to see a Republican Party leader engage in outright bigotry and hate,” the Council for American-Islamic Relations said in a statement calling on Republicans to disavow Whitley’s values. “Without a clear rejection of these inaccurate and intolerant remarks, the party’s silence will appear to be agreement.”…
…““How such a violently bigoted person can hold a position of leadership in the Minnesota Republican Party is confounding and absolutely unacceptable,” DFL Chair Ken Martin said in a statement which called on Downey to demand Whitley quit his party position.
…using it to impugn all Republicans and, as Collins seems to be flirting with, the whole idea of “rural” values themselves.
Naturally (as Collins notes), MNGOP chair Keith Downey did condemn the statements. Some of Ken Martin’s oompa-loompas have wondered publicly and in the media why Downey doesn’t just fire Mr. Whitley; perhaps that’d work in the DFL, but chairs of GOP house, senate or county districts are elected by their members, and need to be removed by them (as readers of this blog have learned over the years).
But this isn’t about inside-the-GOP party mechanics:
Too-Free Association: In 2008, Barack Obama referred to Americans with “rural” values as bitter, gun-clinging Jeebus freaks. The Obama coalition relied on creating a big, sharp, thick wedge between “mainstream” America – in the stereotypes, the part that is white and mainstream-Christian and straight and usually male – and anyone else.
And the Minnesota DFL is no better; Minnesota’s political map is the results of decades of wedging city vs. suburbs, metro vs. outstate, white vs. black, and in the case of MPR, us vs. them.
And there sure could be more wedges: if the Minnesota media ever held the DFL to account for, say, Keith Ellison (who openly supports Hamas, whose charter calls for the extermination of Jews), or Phyllis Kahn (who bent party rules, and party dogma about election fraud, to the breaking point in keeping a Muslim insurgency from ousting her at her district convention) I’m sure that could create some wedges, too.
But nobody wants those wedges, apparently.
I Am Just A Caveman: I’m still trying to figure out what Mr. Heintzeman’s statement – about protecting freedom of religious conscience from majority coercion, which is a right most people support unless it transgresses Big Gay – has to do with Mr. Whitley’s outburst.
And I imagine I will be for some time.