And now, it’s time for the highlight of the Shot In The Dark season; the fourth annual Shootie Awards for 2009.
With these awards, we hail some of the lowlights of the year in the Twin Cities blogosphere. We hope you enjoy the awards as much as we disliked reading the crap that won ’em…
The Dan Rather Fake But Inaccurate Award: The Minnesota Progressive Project – the descendant of MNBlue – has cut a wide swath in the local alt-media, where “Cut a Wide Swath” means “let a lot of incredibly dim dolts write a lot of really stupid crap”.
Among the worst this past year was last March’s “big scoop”, where MPP “journalist” “Jimmy Olson” “discovered” (from a friend that, he assured the MPP’s audience, had “written a book about Clear Channel!”) that Townhall was “paying” AM1280 to air the Northern Alliance Radio Network. His “investigation” showed that, yes indeed, the station would rent airtime to people, although nothing whatever to do with his allegations.
“Olson” turned out to be one Fred Gates, a congenital crank; his “source” was a local internet-radio host who was somewhat nonplussed that Gates had completely mugged the context of his original remarks. Along the way, I discovered that Gates had actively marketed untrue aspects of his story to MPP founder Joe Bodell, and that Bodell bought into the lies without question.
The Nick Coleman “Look At Me, I’m An Engineer” Award For Jumping To The Wrong, Politically-Motivated Conclusion: We have a tie this year!
Last summer, after part-time teacher and census-taker Bill Sparkman was found hanging from a tree deep in the heart of Kentucky’s meth-lab country, local leftybloggers leapt into action instantly.
- City Pages generic angst-filled hYpStR Matt Hoffman went all “Burn Notice” on us before the police had even adjourned to the donut shoppe: “Now a census worker has been found in what appears to be an anti-government lynching. Does Bachmann own some responsibility?”
- Dusty “The Michael Brodkorb Of Snark” Trice delivered a verdict before they’d actually cut Sparkman’s body down: “I’m going to say it again because sadly I feel it bears repeating. I strongly believe that the inflammatory rhetoric Rep. Michele Bachmann thinks passes for policy debate is going to end in violence. “
Just like Coleman’s engineering verdict about the I35W Bridge Collapse (David Strom and Tim Pawlenty blew it up to kill granny!), both were comically wrong. And worse, nobody ever answered the question – after all that defamation of Bachmann and all other conservatives, maybe it was the climate of hatred the left created that pushed Sparkman over the edge?
The Les Nessman Buckeye Newshawk Trophy: That’s gotta go to Aaron Landry of MNPublius, who gave himself a promotion from “Adenoidal Pet-Blogger for Al Franken” to “Senior Corresopndent” in an interview with some unsuspecting Brit rag.
MNPublius is, lest we forget, a blog.
Perhaps Landry could get promoted to Tijuana Bureau Chief next?
The Rochelle Olson “All The News That’s Fit To Painfully Wrench Out Of Context” Award For Suspiciously Selective Reportage: This award – a Twin Cities media staple – goes to John Fitzgerald of the liberal think tank MN2020. In a hit piece report issued last June and seemingly custom-made for Teachers Union publication, Fitzgerald demanded the closure of Minnesota’s charter schools…
…over a series of accounting bobbles that are maddeningly mundane, completely common, and if regarded as capital offenses would result in the closure of virtually every small non-profit and smaller unit of government in the state.
The “Minnesota Monitor” Memorial Memory Hole Rotorooter Award: Goes to MN2020 again – for quietly tiptoeing away from the above demands by quietly ignoring the fact that they’d ever happened.
The Nick Coleman “I Know Stuff” Award For Showing One Doesn’t Know Enough Stuff: In a stunning upset, this award goes to Nick Coleman, who “left” the Star/Tribune as a putative “cost-cutting measure” to go to work for a “think tank”, but still seems to contribute columns to the “Strib” as often as many other “columnists” – who two months after the MN2020 report went down with all hands, published a column basically regurgitating every single talking point from the think tank’s hit piece, seemingly editing them only to throw in a few of his trademark leaden snarks. And that’s it!
The Reynolds Aluminum Company Lifetime Achievement Award: This is a joint award – to “Legendary Investigative Reporter” Seymour Hersh, who at a seminar at the U of M attended by a cadre of slavering media fanboys and former Vice President Walter Mondale, secretively “dropped a bomb” about a covert US military organization, “Joint Special Operations Command”, carrying out assassinations around the world, acting as Dick Cheney’s private military (according to evidence in his book that was going to come out soon, honest – right after he provides the evidence for his three year old claim that US Special Forces were preparing the ground for an invasion of Iran)…
…and the roomful of slavering media fanboys, none of whom could apparently be bothered to Google “Joint Special Operations Command” and learn that it’s existed since 1980, and was established by Walter Mondale’s old boss, Jimmy Carter.
We’ll be waiting on Hersh’s book. Oh, my, yes we will.
And finally, the highlight of every year…:
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?”
After two years of endless panjandrum from the Democrats about “infrastructure”, they finally got full control of everyone’s piggybanks.
And spent the “infrastructure” money on pretty much everything but fixing infrastructure!
And that’ll do it for the 2009 Shootie Awards!
2010 is another whole year; we’ll be watching!