It’s New Years Day, and as such it’s time for a tradition unlike most others – the Seventh Annual Shootie Awards, “honoring” the “best” in Minnesota blogging in the same way D-Con Mouse Pellets honor the best in rodent culture.
The Nick Coleman/Brian Lambert Memorial Award For Broadcast Excellence: There wasn’t much to report on this year, since I’m not even sure KTNF – the Twin Cities’ former “Air America” affiliate – is on the air anymore (although it still has a website, so I guess it still exists, more or less). At least, not in the Twin Cities.
But the Shooties are everywhere, including Fargo. And it didn’t escape my notice that among the many Minnesota lefties babbling about MN Representative Mary Franson was KFGO (Fargo) sportscaster-turned-leftyblog-”talk show host” Mike McFeely. After repeating some slanders that were debunked even by some of Minnesota’s less-depraved liberal bloggers long ago, McFeely got roundly slapped down by his management (who must be getting tired of slapping the hapless McFeely, whose ratings reportedly badly lag the rest of KFGO’s WCCO-like happy-talk lineup).
But he wasn’t done. He poked his nose into the District 8A race in an op-ed in a local paper that was just a little too clever in its selectiveness about facts to be really termed “incompetent” or “illiterate” – but left you with the same feeling when you were done.
It was a little like…a sportscaster trying to write about things other than grownups chasing balls around fields.
And not since Frank DeFord has that ever been pretty.
The J. Wellington Wimpy “I Will Gladly Pay You Never For Your Vote Today” Award: This award goes to Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk. After benefitting mightily from a campaign against the “Marriage Amendment” with a counter-campaign asking Minnesotans why gay couples should be treated as second class citizens, why people who love each other should be discriminated against, and why we should mistreat people who share the same goals we all do about our families and kids, Bakk answered the question; “because it might hurt the DFL in the coming session, that’s why“.
It’s been explained that Bakk is counting on one level of court or another to strike down Minnesota’s gay marriage ban.
Now there’s a profile in courage for you.
The George Santayana Memorial “He Who’s Forgotten History Is Condemned To Be A Liberal Academic” Award: It’s not strictly Minnesota – but Amitai Etzioni brought back one of the great punch lines in the history of the American gun control debate last month.
In the seventies, at the crest of the gun control tide, one of the big gun grabber organizations – I want to say it was the “National Coalition to Ban Handguns”, which I believe morphed over the years into the “Violence Policy Center” – gave out “Gun Free Home” signs to people who wanted to put their support for gun control on their front door.
Didn’t last long, of course – homes with the signs had a burglary rate at least an order of magnitude higher than their neighbors. The signs disappeared faster than the campaign.
And Mr. Etzioni proved Dennis Prager’s dictum that “it takes an elite university education to be this stupid” by suggesting gun-grabbing families give it another try.
The “Minnesota Nice” Award: The Minnesota left spent a year and a half convincing Minnesotans that love, not dogma, was the answer.
And what love they preached:
It passed without a peep from the Twin Cities media, who were apparently still spent from their years of trolling Tea Party rallies for any hint of deviance.
It could happen to anyone, I guess.
The “The Media, The Media, The Media’s On Fire! We Don’t Need No Water, Let That Liberal Institution Burn!” Award: goes not so much to “Politifiact”, but to the final positive conclusion reached this past year that Politifact is less concerned with “fact” than with fluffing the left’s narrative, and is of no more value than “The Daily Kos” for finding “facts”.
The Dennis Prager “It Takes A University Education To Be This Stupid” Award: This award is always a brutal slugfest among many – indeed, an entire academy – full of contenders. But the clear winner was Jeff Kolnick, from Southwest Minnesota State University, for this gale of unsupported illogical logorrhea that the Strib favored as an op-ed, and that would have been returned to any freshman comp student as poorly argued and unsupported.
The Just Remember, Libruls are Teh Smrt Award: Awarded, this year, to Steve Timmer’s copy-editor, whoever it is.
The Elvis Costello “Shut Up Or Get Cut Up” Award: No contest this year. It goes ot U of M Professor William B. Gleason.
While spending this past year exercising his beaver-like work ethic in his demanding job as a chemistry professor at the U (as opposed to writing thousands and thousands of tweets about the subjects of some impotent outrage on U of M time – no, perish the thought), Gleason filed a specious FCC complaint against Jack Tomczak of The Late Debate – at the time, heard on a little potboiler of a station in the north suburbs. Tomczak, taking his infant daughter with him, went to the U of M to try to see Gleason hard at work curing cancer and stuff, and recounted the expedition on the air. Gleason filed his meritless complaint. The station’s management showed why they’re managing an obscure gospel station, and folded like a cheap end table, and whacked the show…
…which moved over, eventually, to a full-time slot on AM1130, with a paycheck and an audience.
(Gleason also filed a “harassment restraining order” against Tomczak, in court – but failed to show up for the hearing. Clearly, this was because of his grueling research schedule. Not, good heavens no, because he’s a narcissistic bully who runs like a scared bunny rabbit, like all bullies, when he’s stood up to. Perish the thought).
The Benito Mussolini “The Enemy Of My Enemy Is My Friend” Award: In a related incident, this goes to MinnPost’s Brian Lambert, for uncritically (as in, “like a trained bobblehead”) siding with Gleason in the above episode - because Tomczak was a former Michele Bachmann aide, and thus beyond the local lefty snark-based media’s self-imposed pale.
The Cicero/Demosthenes/Socrates Award For Excellence In The Advancement Of Keen-Eyed Rhetoric: This goes to the entire Twin Cities left, the apotheosis of whose entire argument over this past year (outside of those paid for by Alida Messinger) was the handful of glitter thrown at their enemy du jour.
The Jordan Daycare Providers’ Association Award For Excellence In Airtight, Unreasoning Groupthink: This one was too hard to choose; it had to go to Just About The Entire Minnesota Sorosphere for their disgraceful conduct in re Rep Franson’s comments about the state and dependence culture. After a video in which she said dependance treated people like animals – as in, pets or livestock, dependent on a benevolent master – the local left translated it (context be damned) into “The Poor Are Animals!”, and sat back and giggled.
Franson laughed last, of course (as noted waaay above).
The “Every Junior High Impressed-With-Himself Chess-Club Prig” Award For Intellectual Rigor: This dolt, who argued (in, what else, the Strib ) that liberals are right and conservatives are wrong because, well, liberals are right and conservatives are wrong.
The Blog Neologism Of The Year: This one goes to Mr. Dilettante, for “Helga Braid Nation“, describing the mass of Minnesota voters whose primary argument for subsidizing Zygi Wilf’s real estate investment with your money and mind was that they dressed like stylized Vikings.
Yeah, that was about all there was to it.
The Nancy Pelosi “You Won’t Know What It Means Til You Do It!” Award For Wishful Planning: This one is shared between Governor Dayton, Ted Mondale, and “Helga Braid Nation”, for pinning much of the funding for the stadium subsidy on a form of gambling whose receipts have been dropping for decades, that doesn’t really jibe with how Minnesotans gamble, and whose machines can’t get state approval, leaving even more of the subsidy in the lap of the Minnesota taxpayer than before.
The Claudius Caesar Award For Excellence In Praetorian Guardsmanship: This is another shared award, between the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute and the entire Twin Cities media, who conspired to keep video of a particularly dissociative, rambling, downright bizarre Mark Dayton speech hidden from the public.
And finally, the capstone of all the awards in this annual event…:
The Charles Townsend Award – In 1765, British parliamentarian Charles Townsend, in noting the Colonies’ protests against the Stamp Act, said:
“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?”
And this year’s winner is Jim Schowalter, head of MMB, who – at a meeting of business leaders at an outstate company shortly after Barack Obama’s “You Didn’t Build That” jape, basically said…
…the same thing; that Minnesota business exists because of Minnesota government, so we should all shut up and be happy to pay for a better Minnesota or there will be consequences.
That’s it for this year! But have no fear; every year provides a bounty of material for which I give daily thanks.
Til next year!