Otherwise Occupied

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The lead article in the August issue of the Midway Monitor is about Frogtown Radio WFNU 94.1 being on the air.  It’s low-power community radio, covers a 5-mile diameter reaching from Har-Mar to the river, from the U of M to the Capital.  They want to give the diversity of talent in the Frogtown area the chance to be heard.

Sounds like an opportunity for a member of a historically under-represented minority to get on the air.  I’m talking, of course, about Conservatives, who have been systematically excluded from the halls of power in St. Paul since the Great Depression. With your experience in radio, you’d be a shoo-in.

And your very first program could be an investigative piece.  The article quotes the Station Director explaining the need for community radio was driven by people who are not cis-gendered white men having limited access to higher education.  I, for one, would love to hear why Brown Institute refuses to accept women, LGBTQIA and persons of color as students.

There’s an open slot in the programming schedule on Sunday afternoons.  The community needs you.

Joe Doakes

I’m flattered, but I don’t think Salem would cotton to it.

However – I’d be more than happy to help any Saint Paul conservative who wants to make a go at it; application help, coaching, production…whatever.

Have yoiur people call my people.

Backwards Schadenfreud

I’m not sure what I like most about the proposed plan to save KFAI Radio – the long- running ‘Publicly-Supported” Pacifica affiliate in the west bank (where, I note in full disclosure, I was a volunteer news guy 25 years ago, trying to find a way to infiltrate the MPR Borg).

Is it the idea that a plucky underdog might survive against the MPR juggernaut (MPR’s former generalissimo, Bill Kling, spent decades trying to extinguish small community stations, the better to snarf up their funding sources)?

Could be.

But I think it’s the fact that the plan involves actual radio people bringing some actual radio programming common sense to the station, which endlessly cheeses off the sort of people who’ve been killing off these sorts of “community” stations.

 

Journalism Without Limits!

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.

Continue reading

Chanting Points Memo: Fake Coverage Of Fake News

During the 2010 Minnesota gubernatorial race, the “Alliance for a Better Minnesota” spread a story – Target was “anti-gay”.

They weren’t, of course; Target has always been socially progressive to a fault; by 2010, they spun themselves into a fair tizzy over every PC fad that came along.  They still do.

But they’d donated money to the Tom Emmer campaign.  And Tom Emmer opposed same sex marriage – exactly as the majority of the DFL did, on the record, at that point.

And so the “Alliance for a Better Minnesota” created a wave of “fake news” (and even more mangled advocacy reporting) to attack Target and Emmer.  Waves of paid and DFL-affiliated “protesters” descended on Target; after that, the media breathlessly proclaimed their campaign was having an effect on Target’s share price (it wasn’t) based on a report from a “progressive” fund that owned pennies on pennies on the Target dollar.    The media, played enthusiastically along, for the same reasons they did with Hillary.   In one cast, CBS news collaborated, willingly or not, with a local left-wing advocacy group to create an entirely fake news story.

The goal, of course, was to simultaneously attack Emmer and try to intimidate Minnesota businesses into not donating to Republicans; if they could cause problems for the mighty Target, what could they do to a machine shop in Owatonna?

So when Democrats whinge about “fake news” – they sowed the wind,

But did they reap the whirlwind?

Hillary is blaming “fake news” for her loss:

“The epidemic of malicious fake news and false propaganda that flooded social media over the past year — it’s now clear the so-called fake news can have real-world consequences,” Clinton said during a speech on Capitol Hill.

Some Democrats have argued the spread of anti-Clinton fake news online contributed to her electoral loss to Donald Trump.

Several problems with this theory:

  • There was at least as much “fake news” supporting Hillary.  My social media feed was clogged with photomemes and phony stories from groups like “Occupy Democrats”.
  • Beyond the purportedly fake news and “propaganda” epidemic, the mainstream media wallowed in a Pauline Kael-like echo chamber of pro-HIllary bias, to the point of publishing, well, “fake news” against Trump, to the point where the publisher of the NYTimes felt the need to publicly rededicate his paper to not doing the things that the media’s apologists say it never did.
  • Not so much a “problem” but an observation; this is just another symptom of the cranky arrogance that helped Clinton lose the election in the first place; “If you deplorables weren’t so stupid, believing the wrong fake news, ‘d be in the White House again!”.

The mainstream media is less fake than “Occupy Democrats” – but it’s a matter of degree.

Berg’s Seventh Law is getting an epic workout this cycle.

Time To Ring In Some Changes

Back when conservative blogging was a large, signfiicant force in the 2004 elections, many of us pointed out consistently and clearly that the mainstream media’s consistent, overwhelming bias was going to render it irrelevant.

It didn’t happen right away – although the 2007 recession gutted ad revenues, which certainly accelerated the process – but this past election proved us right; even some parts of what we used to call the “MSM” are finally starting to figure it out:

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that, with a few exceptions, we were all tacitly or explicitly #WithHer, which has led to a certain anguish in the face of Donald Trump’s victory. More than that and more importantly, we also missed the story, after having spent months mocking the people who had a better sense of what was going on.

This is all symptomatic of modern journalism’s great moral and intellectual failing: its unbearable smugness. Had Hillary Clinton won, there’s be a winking “we did it” feeling in the press, a sense that we were brave and called Trump a liar and saved the republic.

So much for that. The audience for our glib analysis and contempt for much of the electorate, it turned out, was rather limited. This was particularly true when it came to voters, the ones who turned out by the millions to deliver not only a rebuke to the political system but also the people who cover it. Trump knew what he was doingwhen he invited his crowds to jeer and hiss the reporters covering him. They hate us, and have for some time.

Read the whole thing.

The PR Agency Of Record:  And Arthur Sulzberger, publisher of the NYTimes, sent out a memo last week.  After an entire cycle carrying water for Hillary Clinton and getting pretty much absolutely everything wrong, they are “rededicating” themselves to…

accurate and honest reporting.

Is it “journalistic ethics”, or is it watching non-liberals turning off and unsubscribing in droves?

You be the judge.

BONUS QUESTION : Think you’ll see a similar memo from the Star/Tribune’s publishers?

Hah.  I made myself laugh.

A Slip Of The Lip. Or Typing Finger. Whatever.

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.

DFLMinistryofTruth140

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.

Garbage Out

There’s a meme going about – a corruption of “Godwin’s Law”, I think – that says “the first person to refer to Hitler loses”.   We’ve been through Godwin’s Law and its various permutations in the past.

But it did bring something to mind.

When I get into rhubarbs with liberals, it’s pretty much an even bet they’ll cite “data” and “sources” from ThinkProgress, a blog project of the Center for American “Progress”.

When this happens, I know (from history, no less) that the argument is over – because Think” “Progress” is in its entirety baked wind.

All About The Ugly

Opposition researchers are pretty much paid to be ugly, catty and anal-retentive.

The City Pages would have you believe that the oppo-research battle in the House race in Apple Valley is worse than most.  And in its way, it is – although not for the reasons the City Pages wants you to believe.

It’s a battle between two younger women – Republican Ali Jimenez-Hopper and DFLer Erin Maye-Quade – and the oppo researchers working with both of them.

Everybody’s Doing It:  Maye-Quade – who the City Pages’ Mike Mullen notes is a “biracial, married lesbian with impeccable credentials [although no details about the “credentials” are given – more on that in a moment] who worked to get Barack Obama elected and gun control passed”, although no gun controls have passed in this state in decades – was the first target.  Says Mullen:

Maye Quade’s persona became the subject of scrutiny last week when conservatives dragged out a number of posts meant to throw her qualifications into question. “Macy Gray wrote a love song to a vibrator,” Maye Quade tweeted last year, “shocking no woman who has ever used one.”

It’s a good line. But not the kind DFLers want to see parading across the screens of suburban voters.

Other posts show her pissed off (“today can blow me,” she once wrote) or turned on (actor Rob Lowe is “masturbate in public sexy,” according to a January 2013 tweet).

I can give Maye-Quade a break for that.  I’ve long lamented the idea that anyone who wants to get into politics basically needs to spend every waking moment of their lives from childhood on guarding against any hint of impolitic impropriety if they ever want to “serve” the public in elective office.

Of course, the name rang a bell with me – and it brought us back to this episode, in 2010, where Maye, then employed by “The Uptake”, giggled ““I’m Editing.  I feel important because I can make people say things they may not have said.  Muhahaha”   It gave her a kick that she now had the power to use her job editing news content to affect the political process.

Which reminded me that there are many, many better reasons not to vote for Erin Maye-Quade.

So Where’s The Bad Part? – The DFL responded by digging out this bit of “dirt” against Ms. Jimenez-Hopper:

On June 14, two days after 49 people were killed in a shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Jimenez-Hopper told her Facebook followers she’s armed and ready to defend herself. She’s not going to die “in a helpless blubbering heap on the floor begging for my life or my child’s life.” Hardly the requisite “thoughts and prayers for the victims’ families” that Republicans like to trot out.

Anyone who doesn’t agree that one is better fighting back against violence than being a passive victim is beyond moral help.

And have you noticed the gotcha – Republicans who ask “thoughts and prayers for the victims’ families” are condemned for not supporting the right response, while those who don’t get hit for…well, not?

By the way, Ms. Jimenez-Hopper?  Don’t change a thing.

Another post seemed distinctly anti-feminist. Jimenez-Hopper shared a meme that stated women “weren’t created to do everything a man can do.” The candidate added: “Men and women are not equal… what we are is equally different.”

The horror.

I love that last bit.  Democrats – most of whom haven’t taken a hard science since high school at the latest – jabber about their respect for empiricism, and snark down their sleeves about the evolution-denying “young earth creationists” they think all Christian Republicans are.

And yet faced with the ineluctible fact that evolution has equipped men and women differently, for remorselessly empirical reasons, suddenly they go all faith-based – in this case, out of faith that the left’s social dogma is the one real truth?

I endorse Ms. Jimenez-Hopper, by the way.  Hopefully the good people of Apple Valley can smell the difference between reason and dogma.

Our Elite Lefty Alt Media

After spending a few weeks going full-blown fanboy over the Pillsbury Foundation/Bloomberg Youth’s “gun buyback” last weekend, the leftymedia has its feelings hurt by the mockery the conservative alternative media (including this blog) has heaped on the “events”.

The piece, by the inevitable Corey Zurowski, is entitled “Gun fans mock Minneapolis’ buyback program over crude homemade shotgun” – after the shotgun that our Joe Doakes noted at one of the buybacks.

legal shotgun

Oh, we mock the buybacks for a lot more reasons that that.

We mock the buybacks because they don’t affect crime. Never have, never will.

They didn’t take any guns “off the street”; virtually all the people turning in guns were middle-aged folks from the surrounding area who were trading junk guns for more in gift cards than they’d ever get from a buyer.

We mocked the bald-faced graft – the transfer of money from Pillsbury Foundation donors and Minneapolis taxpayers (via the dozen or so cops that were working the “events”) to – let’s be charitable – “artists”, as well as enterprising rummage-salers.

We mocked the media (smile, Corey Z!) for their unability or unwilingness to dig past the press releases; at both buybacks they ran out of gift cards after *maybe* 10-15 guns were turned in. If the buyback “bought” more than 30 guns, no witness can confirm it. Most of the guns were garbage that were “donated”, AKA “thrown away” at the buyback.

The shotguns *was* functional – just go google “Slamfire Shotgun”; you can do it yourself. The homemade shotgun was a prank, a joke played at the (literal) expense of the smug, sanctimonious, ELCA-haired dreamsicles running the events – but probably the LEAST mock-worthy part of the event.

Oh, and we mock Corey Zurowski as a “reporter”;  in the caption of the photo of the homemade-yet-parodic shotgun ,he sniffed “Gun fans allege this primitive weapon was turned in a Minneapolis’ buyback event. There’s just no evidence that it actually happened.”

Click to enlarfge

Click to enlarge

But then, in the final paragraph of his own article, Zurowski carries a quote from the Minneapolis police’s public relations officer: “The gun in question was turned in,” says Minneapolis police spokeswoman Catherine Micheal. “Our people inspected it, found out it was operable, however crude the construction, and that’s why it was accepted.”

So yeah, we do some mocking there, too.

And it’s absolutely glorious.

Mixed Messages

Being a liberal must be confusing.

Exhibit A:  This week’s City Pages.

On the one hand:  Mike Mullen complains that Mendards’ management training program urges the store’s staff to oppose tax hikes.  Because taxes are what makes life worth living, and by no means should Menards expect its management to support the store’s financial health, nosirreebob.

On the other hand:  Corey Zurowski bemoans a non-profit that presumably is no “happy to pay for a Better Minnesota” as it has been extincted by…taxes.

I’d imagine this’d cause some heads to explode, if any of the City Pages’ audience really thought about it.

But I jest.

Sometimes I slay me.

(Via regular commenter Chuck)

When You’ve Lost “City Pages”…

City Pages turns on Alondra Cano.

Which is not unusual – the City Pages, as always,  loves throwing dirt around.

Perhaps more telling? Other members of Minneapolis is DFL-strangled city Council are turning on Cano:

“She’s always late to meetings. Sometimes she doesn’t show up at all,” says a council member, who spoke to City Pages on the condition of anonymity to maintain their working relationship. “When she does, she hasn’t done her homework and has to wing it. That’s what she was trying to do here. The problem is this is stuff she’s supposed to know. It’s city council 101.”

Cano also didn’t have a printed version of her amendment. For 13 minutes, Cano grasped as she tried to figure out how to add her amendment. In other words, what should have been as simple as adding a couple words became a Laurel and Hardy skit.

“Why don’t you try to walk us through what you would like to do,” suggested colleague Elizabeth Glidden.

“I guess should I just read it?” asked Cano.

” — if you’d like me to assist you a little bit,” Glidden offered.

The problem with Cano isn’t so much that she’s absentminded, or apparently thinks that staying in a Holiday Inn Express actually does make you an expert.

No.  It’s the fact that while she bills herself as a “Third World Feminist”, she tends to act more like a “Third World Banana-Republic Tyrant” in real life.

The City Pages has decayed into “bad high school newspaper” territory in recent years.  The only real interesting question in this fracas is “which Minneapolis DFL ward heeler is using the ‘Pages to undercut Cano, and why?

My guess:  whichever councilor besides Cano that files for Mayor in the next city election.  `

Congratulations Are In Order!

To:  Mike Mullen, City Pages
From:  Mitch Berg, Uppity Peasant
Re:  Best Wishes

Mr. Mullen,

As we’re coming up on high school graduation, I can only wish you the best in your future endeavors.  Hopefully your college studies will lead you to an adult life that you find fulfilling and exciting.

Reach for the stars.

Mitch Berg
Uppity Peasant

PS:  I’m assuming you’re a high school kid who’s interning at the CP based on the tone, style and quality of “journalism” in this piece, which reads like something from a click-bait site.  If I’m mistaken, and you’re an actual “reporter” and “writer”, I apologize.  I mean, basically. 

That is all.  

Open Letter To Samantha Bee

To:  Samantha Bee, Overpromoted Woman With LibFluff Show
From:  Mitch Berg, Uppity Peasant
Re:  Inequity

Ms. Bee,

It is easier to buy either a gun or get an abortion or register to vote or buy methamphetamine than it is to put a show on cable entitled, say, “Full Frontal With Mitch Bee”.  Because you own that trademark.  It’s  your, um, “intellectual” property.

Kind of like the NRA Eagle.

The liberal “alt”-media; actually as dumb as the left thinks talk radio is.

That is all.

(Well, not quite all.  Remember when everyone was saying John Oliver was the greatest thing since Michael Moore?    Brilliant, incisive, yadda yadda?  I watched his famous “expose” on Donald Trump.  And the big, marquee point that was the conclusion to the whooooooole buildup?   The most damning thing they had on Trump, one of the most damnable people in modern American life?  His family’s original name was “Drumpf”.  That’s it.  I want that 25 minutes of my life back).

Human Progress

While sometimes it seems society is sliding backwards into oblivion, there are occasional bits of encouragement to be found.

The biggest one of recent years?  The Hulk Hogan lawsuit may finally kill Gawker Media.

Last week’s jury verdict awarding Hulk Hogan $115 million had onlookers predicting the death of Gawker Media, a collection of gossip and news web sites that was found to have invaded the privacy of the 80’s wrestling star by posting snippets of him in a sex tape online

It’s not a done deal – appeals, and possible requests to lower the awards, could save the most loathsome brand in American media.

But until then, the policy of this blog is to support killing the Gawker with fire.

The day Gawker finally shuts its pustulent doors, I shall throw a party.

In-Kind Contribution

SCENE:  At the offices of Kornbluth Chadwick Communications – a big Democrat-leaning PR firm in Boston.   A tastefully spare room furnished in the Danish style, with a full-height window overlooking downtown Boston, includes a number of people in just-ahead-of-the-fashion-curve PR-wear.  

Hanna EPSTEIN-FAEGER, director of the firm’s political communications practice, sits at the head of a glass table and calls the meeting to order. 

EPSTEIN-FAEGER:  We’re here to find out what went wrong with the independent expenditure ad we did against Ted Cruz.  Ruth?

Ruth LOWENSTEIN-NEDZVINSKI, an assistant project manager, picks up a sleek, buttonless remote, and presses “play”

EPSTEIN-FAEGER: I think we can all agree it was brilliant.  Joshua?

Joshua-Micah KORN-FLEEBER, the ad’s producer – a slight man in a lumberjack beard wearing a “Feel The Bern” t-shirt under his hemp sports jacket, speaks up.

KORN-FLEEBER:  That’s correct, Hanna.  The ad includes all the things that we believe that the vast majority of voters respond to:  belief in the need to reinterpret the Constitution, the throbbing desire throughout the country to repeal the Second Amendment and the traditional view of marriage and remove all reference to faith from public life – and, of course, Robert Reich himself.

LOWENSTEIN-NEDSVINSKI:  Americans  love Robert Reich!\

(Entire table nods assent)

EPSTEIN-FAEGER:  And yet the focus groups, one after the other, showed that representative voters from west of the Hudson River and east of the Sierra Madre unanimously thought it was an ad for Ted Cruz?

KORN-FLEEBER:  I’m sorry.  I just don’t get it.

LOWESNSTEIN-NEDSVINSKI:  One quote from one focus group said “this is a fiendish parody of the east-coast liberal echo chamber”.

EPSTEIN-FAEGER:  The what?

LOWENSTEIN-NEDSVINSKI:  No idea.

(Muted chuckling)

EPSTAIN-FAEGER:  So – middle-Americans unanimously thought it was a pro-Cruz ad, and some thought it was a parody of how the left thinks?

(General nodding)

EPSTEIN-FAEGER:  I say it’s a blip in the data.  Let’s run it!

(Everyone nods and gathers their notebooks, phones and tablets and moves to their next meeting)

And SCENE

Come Back, Aaron Rupar: All Is Forgiven

To:  The City Pages
From:  Mitch Berg, Uppity Peasant
Re:  You Suck

Dear “City Pages”,

While you’ve always been a freebie hipster lifestyle ‘zine, you used to have some great writing.  Thirty years ago, you were the home of Lileks and Jim DeRogatis.

Twenty years ago, led by Steve Perry,  you had some great journalism – as in, some of the best reporting in the Twin Cities.  And as smugly left-of-center as you’ve always been, you surprised us; under Perry’s watch, you were the first newspaper in town to fairly and accurately cover the Concealed Carry debate.  I said so at the time, and I say it now – kudos.

Twenty years ago.

Today, though?

Just saying – this kind of fratboy drunk-Facebooking pablum would have been laughed out of my high school newspaper.  And this piece here might legitimately make someone wonder if the City Pages is getting money, directly or indirectly, from Bloomberg (more tomorrow).

Speaking of which – is City Pages getting money from Bloomberg?

It’s almost, but not quite, a Berg’s Law; whenever you think the City Pages can’t get any dumber, it will get dumber.

That is all.

Democrat Party Exploits Vote Fraud To Pay For Planned Parenthood


Note to “The Other McCain” readers:  Welcome!

Note that the title of this post is misleading; I have no (new) evidence of voter fraud or payoffs to Planned Parenthood.

The title was bait for a regular comment section, er, “visitor”.  

Inside jokes are the best, aren’t they  

Hope you enjoy the stay here!


To:  Semi-regular commenter who makes big claims but never, ever responds when the claims are debunked
From:  Mitch Berg, blog owner
Re:  Questions

Dear regular commenter,

I thought that title would get your attention.  Great.  I have asked you a few questions in recent months.  I figured I’d direct your attention back to them.

  1.  A while ago, you said that gender-reassignment surgery would result in the subject having different DNA.  Please elaborate.
  2. Last week, you said that  you “observed” that Heather Martens – president and one of vanishingly few members of “ProtectMN” – had accomplished a lot during her decade-plus at the helm of the group.  I’d very much like to hear specifically what you think she’s accomplished, politically, in policy terms, or or socially.   Please be specific.

It’s one of dozens of questions you’ve left unanswered over the years, but why quibble over a few hundred issues, right?

Those two will be a great start.

Thanks!

Joy At Demise

Twitter stock is dropping like Johnny Manziel’s career bell curve.

Part of it is the complete lack of a business model that includes a road to real profit.

But the other part?  Twitter’s efforts to actively antagonize half of the population – including yours truly:

The company recently put in a place a “Trust and Safety Council” that they staffed with hard-left social justice nuts.  And I do mean real nuts — one of them includes an Islamic “research center” that makes CAIR look like choir boys.

Of course, being a private company, they can ‘censor’ anyone they want, for any reason they want.  They can have a “Trust and Safety Council” with Rachel Maddow, Jane Fonda and the board of NOW, for all it matters.

But…

But Twitter might want to think about the fact that about half of the population in this country is conservative, and the other half liberal.  It’s not quite that simple of a division, but it’s close enough.

And unlike a little privately-run place like this, where my first and foremost goal is not to maximize my advertising revenue, that is precisely Twitter’s first and foremost goal.

It’s only a matter of time before a public company that does this sort of thing winds up like MySpace.

And while Twitter, being an ultra-ultra-liberal operation that swims in the liberal pond that is San Francisco, may not actually know, or really believe that, one need only look at the successive flops of efforts that need general acceptance but actively antagonize half the populations (see also; every anti-war movie of the past decade, Truth, MSNBC, and on and on).

And good riddance.  As I wrote about the other day, Twitter is a vast wasteland of stupid punctuated by the rare little points of misplaced brilliance; like someone doing an impromptu Mozart violin concerto at Wrestlemania.

Let it burn.