To: News Department, KMSP-TV (“Fox Nine”)
From: Mitch Berg, very occasional viewer
Re: A Warning
To whom it may concern,
I don’t watch a lot of TV news – but for whatever reason, I do wind up watching your morning news; it does carry a fair amount of local news, and yeah, I like Marler’s weather. So sue me.
But I had your 9PM news on last night. I noticed that you had jumped on the national “Trayvon Martin” bandwagon with both feet. That’s understandable – it bled, so it led.
I could go over some of the points of your coverage that were, er, squishy – but that’s really not why I’m writing.
I noticed that you were very prominently using Heather Martens as a source for your coverage. Martens, you note, is the “Executive Director” of “Protect Minnesota”. If you check a little bit, you might also find she may very well be the sole member of “Protect Minnesota”; if there are half a dozen members, you might want to try to vet them, because I’ll lay odds that most of them are ringers from the Second Amendment movement. The late Joel Rosenberg used to tell stories of going to Heather Martens’ meetings and finding that every single person at the gathering other than Martens was a Second Amendment activist. At any rate – it’s not a “group”; it’s a checkbook advocacy front. It’s also the third name Martens has been through in the past ten years. For most of the past decade, “they” were “Citizens For A “Safer” Minnesota”; before that, they were something like “Gun-Free Minnesota” or “Minnesota Without Guns” or something like that; I’ve forgotten, but let’s be honest, so have you. They keep getting shredded in the marketplace of ideas; they keep having to change their name.
Anyway, my point is this – if Heather Martens says it, it’s most likely wrong. I was going to say “it’s most likely a lie”, and that is the truth, but I’m trying to be all calm and measured here.
No, seriously; have me on one of your debate segments – if she’ll agree to come on against me. I’ve shredded everything she’s said and written for a decade now. There is not even a faded patina of fact in a single utterance she makes.
Just saying – while there are lots of things to be written about the Trayvon Martin case, and even some about Minnesota’s proposed Stand Your Ground Bill (although most of your other sources on that subject are also lying hacks), Heather Martens is not the one you should be going to to find them.
Presuming, of course, “covering the news” is your goal, rather than “fluffing the narrative”.
I just thought you should know.
Have your people call my people – or the Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance, of course – if you ever want the whole story, complete with real facts.
That is all.