It’s time once again for a tradition unlike any other; the 2010 edition of the Twin Cities’ foremost blog award ceremony – the Shooties!
Every year for the Shooties, we honor the worst – and occasionally the best – of Minnesota blogging. And this year is no exception – only more so!
So without any further ado, let’s move on to the awards! We’ll kick things off with…:
The Dan Rather “Fake Is Accurate!” Award For Journalistic Ethics: This award goes to Erin Maye, “Intern” at “The Uptake”, a left-”leaning” video “news” blog. While being busted mangling context on a number of stories, Ms. Maye – a “Peace Studies” student – tweeted “I’m Editing. I feel important because I can make people say things they may not have said. Muhahaha”. Prediction: She will run Gawker Media by 2012.
The Tiger Beat Celebrity Saturation Award: This year’s TBCSA, given for the year’s best example of “news” coverage that combined slavering saturation with excellence in contextual laxity, goes to the Minnesota Independent’s Andy Birkey and his ongoing obsession with Bradlee Dean, ultra-mega-super-di-duper fundamentalist evangelist and talk radio host (whose program, “Sons of Liberty”, follows mine at AM1280 every Saturday). Birkey wrote about Dean no less thatn 23 times in the past year. But the coverage wasn’t just of a level of saturation that made Larry Jacobs sit up and go “er, wait, he’s overquoted”. It took vast liberties with context and attribution:
- Birkey wrote in high dudgeon that Michele Bachmann and Tom Emmer would “appear in Dean’s documentary”, My War, without bothering to learn that the “appearances” were from shots of news clippings (or without thinking his audience needed to know).
- Birkey claimed that Emmer gave “financial support” to Dean’s ministry, without disclosing that the “Support” was the purchase of a $250 table at a non-political teen outreach dinner – long before Emmer was a candidate.
- Birkey claimed that Dean said Moslem nations had more integrity than Christian ones because they executed gays. It was a lie.
The “Dump Bachmann” Award For Unintended Consequences: Campaigning in the GOP-leaning Sixth District, Tarryl Clark wrote a piece…
No better way to paint one as a “reasonable centrist” than writing for “Democratic Underground Lite”.
It probably helped take an eight point race and make it a twelve-pointer.
The Joe McCarthy Trophy For Resurrecting The Letter And Spirit of Joe McCarthy: This one – given for bringing McCarthyism back from the dead – goes to Minneesota “Progressive” Project’s Joe Bodell for his January plea to least think about treating Tea Party sympathies and speaking out against The One and other forms of dissent as “sedition“. I guess dissent isn’t patriotic anymore!
The Abe Gibron Trophy: After years of humiliating itself by running a smug, ill-informed, badly-written, phoned-in, rote, and talking-points-driven column by Nick Coleman, the Strib changed things up, giving the gig to Jon Tevlin, who turned the column into a smug, ill-informed, badly-written, phoned-in, rote, and talking-points-driven column.
The Jeff Fecke “The Male Client Is Obviously Guilty” Award For Egregious Misandry: This year’s winner is Rachel Nygaard, who took the facts of Rep. Tom Hackbarth’s arrest (he and his carry-permitted handgun were picked up by the Saint Paul Police, inadvertently parked by the Saint Paul office of Infanticide Mart, where he admitted his was having a bit of a clingy snit over a woman’s excuse for begging off on a date; a sign the guy needs to get a grip, not a crime. So far. There was no evidence that Hackbarth acted in any way upon that snit, by the way, other than by driving to Saint Paul which is, by the way, also not a crime). Nygaaard extrapolated this into a Lifetime Movie, with a slavering man beating down a woman’s door and shooting her in a fit of testosterone-induced rage, potentially.
The runner up? Fecke himself! After getting this award named after him for his performance in the Duke Lacrosse case, where Fecke was prominent among “feminists” who tried, convicted, castrated and executed three college guys who, it turned out, were falsely accused of rape and railroaded by an unethical prosecutor and a media that looked at the case – a black “victim”, a bunch of smug, rich white boy “perps”, and saw dollar signs.
Well, he’s baaaack with the whole “I, Jury” bit, in re Julian Assange’s very curious “sexual assault” accusations. (UPDATE: The American Petard exchange reports that petard prices are skyrocketing; those petards are getting hoisted and blown up so fast, production can’t keep up with capacity anymore).
The Yarmagh The Destroyer Award For Rolling A “9″ For “Charisma”, Even With An Elivsh Sorcerer Character: A twofer for Joe Bodell, who learned that “cleric” is actually the singular for clergy, rather than a smear against Muslims by the big, bad conservative media. Well, we hope he learned it, anyway.
The Robin Marty Award For Calm, Dispassionate Fact-Checking: Andy Birkey is a repeat winner, here, for his piece impugning the Tea Party for a “threatening message to the local AFSCME office from a regional Tea Party leader” that happened to be neither threatening nor from anyone that anybody in the regional Tea Party leadership had ever heard of, at all (not that Birkey ever bothered to check, much less report that).
The National Concussion Association Poster Child For Blogging While Suffering From A Crippling Brain Injury: Barbara O’Brien from Mahablog. (UPDATE: I’m sorry – O’Brien doesn’t suffer from a brain injurty. She’s just blood-curdlingly stupid).
The Walter Duranty Award: Ezra “The Constitution Is Haaard” Klein and Matt Yglesias, who proved themselves almost as stupid as O’Brien.
The Baghdad Bob Award: This clear winner this year goes to the “Humphrey Institute’s” Professor Larry Jacobs. While the Star-Tribune’s “Minnesota Poll” remained a joke (the virtual-tie Governor race was portrayed as a seven point blowout, but only by telling Minnesota that Democrats were a quarter more likely to vote – in the most GOP year in recent history), the Humphrey Institute poll released just before the election showed it as a twelve-point massacre. A post-election analysis showed that the Humphrey’s polling over-sampled DFL-heavy areas, but didn’t weight for that oversample the way every credible poll does. The Twin Cities media may try to offer a defense against the charge that Jacobs, and they, are trying to foment a “bandwagon effect” with the front-page play these polls get in all the regional media – but they haven’t offered it yet.
The runner-up for this award, though, goes to the entire Twin Cities media, into whose coverage of the governor’s race the Humphrey and Strib polls neatly fit. Their performance – all of them, every one – in this past election was nothing short of shameful. Faced with a DFL candidate who had embarassed the state in the US Senate, and had multiple run-ins with alcoholism and crippling depression in the past five years, and whose (entirely smear-oriented) campaign was financed by a shady, utterly unexamined consortium of unions and the Dayton Family (including Dayton himself), and whose chemical and mental health state remained utterly examined (barring a perfunctory Rachel Stassen-Berger puff piece run long before the non-wonk voter even knew there was a governor race coming up), the Twin Cities media gamboled and cavorted about with stories of Tom Emmer’s ancient drinking-and-driving convictions, a malaprop about waiter tips (which was not even inaccurate), and whether the post-Citizens United end of the ban on corporate donations (that weren’t from unions or trust fund babies) would end democracy as we knew it. It was the year that it became perfectly clear that they see their mission to be to comfort the DFL and afflict the MNGOP.
And Finally, The Charles Townsend Award, the keystone award of these entire festivities. Charles Townsend was a British Parliamentarian in the 1770′s, whose response to the growing “Tea Party” in the colonies…
“And now will these Americans, Children planted by our Care, nourished up by our Indulgence until they are grown to a Degree of Strength & Opulence, and protected by our Arms, will they grudge to contribute their mite to relieve us from the heavy weight of that burden which we lie under?”
…was worthy of Larry Pogemiller or Nick Coleman.
This year’s award goes to Governor-Elect Dayton (and, really, by extension every single person who supported him). The Dayton budget plan was built on a lie, and – quite simply – can not succeed, even notwithstanding the fact that it’s dead on arrival at the GOP Legislature. Support for Dayton is support for the idea that we, The People, are serfs whose labors exist to support government first. Then our families.
So for the first time, about 43% of Minnesota wins the award!
And we’ll see you next year! Because Goddess knows there’ll be material!