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, talk radio, and social and alt-media in the same way D-Con Mouse Pellets honor the best in rodent culture.
The Nick Coleman/Brian Lambert Memorial Award For Broadcast Excellence: With the virtual demise of the Twin Cities’ liberal “AM950″, you’d think we’d be going begging for a recipient for this traditional honor.
This year, the award goes to Minnesota Public Radio’s Keri Miller.
Don’t get us wrong; Miller is not a thud-witted radio pretender like Coleman was, nor a chuckling Uptown caricature like Lambert. Miller has a multitude of approaches; one minute – say, when interviewing any Republican or conservative – she’s acerbic and aggressive, badgering and hectoring and interrupting to the point it’d be fairer to say she “occasionally allows her conservative guests to interrupt her interruptions” (Mike Wallace’s ghost reportedly wanders the miles of halls at MPR urging Miller to “dial back the cranky, toots”). The next minute – when a DFL politician, dependent or employee is on the air, usually – she’ll sound as if she may be giving the guest a back massage. The real show of Miller’s expertise? As Bill Glahn notes, she’ll even do both during the course of the same interview!
So fear not. The legacy of Brian Lambert, Nick Coleman and Andrew Colton lives on. Whoever Andrew Colton was.
The Larry Jacobs “Most Overquoted Person in the Twin Cities Media” Award: This award – which has also gone to Professor David Schultz of Hamline University, a relentless liberal who seems to be regarded as the only knowledgeable source on Minnesota conservatives – is rarely a huge surprise.
But let’s give a nod to tradition; the award this year goes to none other than Larry Jacobs himself, especially in honor of his NYTimes piece declaring Minnesota the winner over WIsconsin in the blue vs. red economic battle, even though Minnesota’s experiment with spendthrift liberal government hadn’t really taken effect yet.
The John Najarian Memorial Award for Surgically-Precise Sarcasm: This award goes to this blog’s good friend John Gilmore at his blog Minnesota Conservatives, who satirized with a brilliantly straightened face the ideal of reading Twin Cities liberal bloggers in a piece which, tart tongue notwithstanding, is an essential read, even down to its ingeniously snarky title “On It: Reading Minnesota’s Liberal Blogosphere“. The mark of Gilmore’s pithy genius? He mixes in some sincere, legitimate, deserved compliments; to the excellent if equally snarky Tony Petrangelo, and the City Pages’ Aaron Rupar (Gilmore says he has “ a large measure of personal style that’s impossible to pick up in any journalism class”, which is true; while Rupar punches his ticket as a DFL water-carrier, we must give credit where due; Rupar isn’t the onanistic panty-sniffer his colleague Kevin Hoffman is) and Sally Jo Sorenson, who can be annoyingly juvenile but is a capable reporter with – improbably – a sense of integrity).
But then comes the payoff – “compliments” that, to those who’ve followed Minnesota’s liberal ‘sphere for any time at all, are just howlers; Eric Austin has “an admixture of deadliness and humor” (only his logic is funny; his “deadliness” is against those who can’t fight back). And attorney Gilmore must be paying some intra-professional respect to Steve “Spotty” Timmer, calling him an essential read notwithstanding Timmer’s very dubious grasp (or misleading explanation) of the law.
But the true mark of Gilmore’s genius? In a piece ostensibly urging people to read liberal blogs, he directs people to read Minnesota Progressive Project, which is a little like introducing people to French cuisine with a tastefully-arranged Merde au Vin Flambé – a cunning double-cross if there ever were one.
Anyway – bravo, John! Oscar Wilde applauds from the great beyond!
The George Santayana Memorial “He Who’s Forgotten History Is Condemned To Be A Liberal Academic” Award: This year, it goes not to an academic,per se, but to a blogger.
Sally Jo Sorenson – who, I take pains to note, is one of those rare Minnesota liberal bloggers who doesn’t seem to deserve police surveillance – is a perfectly fine writer. But one might assume that she skipped a few history classes to concentrate on the Poli Sci, if you catch my drift, not that I have a “drift” or anything.
The “Minnesota Nice” Award: Minnesotans are an accomodating bunch. If one of us needs some help, someone will no doubt be there to pitch in (see also: Rep. Martens, above).
And so last year when Governor
Messinger Dayton announced his budget, it was a natural assumption that Carrie Lucking – Executive Directrix of “Alliance for a “Better” Minnesota” – would be there to tweet about the picayune details found deep inside the Governor’s big, thick budget.
Notwithstanding the fact that the details were buried deeeeeeeeep inside a budget that had supposedly been available to the public for precisely 13 minutes when Lucking wrote the tweet.
Some cynical wags said it had to be because Lucking had to have gotten a copy from Bob Hume, a senior staffer for Governor
Messinger Dayton and, rumor and innuendo and a rogue Strib article had it, either Lucking’s boyfriend or spouse.
Me? I think Hume and Dayton got their copies from Lucking, after Messinger dictated it.
Anyway – all that cooperation? It’s just nice.
The “The Media, The Media, The Media’s On Fire! We Don’t Need No Water, Let That Liberal Institution Burn!” Award: This one goes to the entire mainstream-media “Fact-Checking” racket, which seems to have morphed more into a “Democrat Ministry of Truth” than it even started out.
The Just Remember, Libruls are Teh Smrt Award: I’ve noted it before; the Democrats should have been able to impose some kind of gun control law this past session. They controlled the legislature, and they have a governor who does whatever his ex-wife tells him to do. They couldn’t have asked for a more favorable situation – other than the whole “Minnesota is closely divided between the GOP and DFL” bit.
But the DFL House Metrocrat caucus’s gun-grab brain trust – Representatives Paymar and Hausman – not only introduced a raft of draconian assaults on the Bill of Rights (all of them crudely copied-and-pasted from other state’s bills) guaranteed to inflame the peasants.
Best of all? When it came time for Hausman (who represents Saint Paul’s House District 66A in the same way Prince Charles of Wales “represents” the Welsh) to introduce one of her gun-grab bills to the House Judiciary Committee, Hausman was nowhere to be found. So Chairman Paymar, likely in violation of House rules, allowed Martens – a registered lobbyist – to do Representative Hausman’s job, reading the bill into consideration.
Rumor has it the DFL will just let Alida Messinger, Michael Bloomberg and George Soros sit on the house floor and cast their votes for them in 2014.
The Cicero/Demosthenes/Socrates Award For Excellence In The Advancement Of Keen-Eyed Rhetoric: The gun control movement in Minnesota hired Richard Carlbom, PR-chitect of the Gay Marriage law, to help them try to jam down anti-rights legislation in the next session.
One of the reasons was the comedic ineptitude of the Minnesota gun movement’s current leadership.
And while Representative Heather Martens has earned plenty of brickbats for her tone-deaf, unintentionally comic performances over the past decade or so (and a Shootie award or two, including this year, which see), the breakout performer was Jane Kay of “Moms Want Action”. It’s a safe bet that a big part of what will no doubt be the gun-grab movement’s push toward calming, “reasonable” talk about “responsible” laws and “sane” approaches is to try to counter the Jane Kay’s legacy as a purple-faced hate-clogged caricature who, notwithstanding a slopped-on coat of feminist sloganeering, managed to simultaneously make her message cheaply sexist (while utterly un-sexy) and self-marginalizing at the same time.
If Richard Carlbom spends his first three months doing damage control, Kay is part of the reason. And for that, she earns the award, and earns it well!
The Walter Duranty Award: Among Minnesota’s “Libertarian” “movement” – which coalesced around the Ron Paul campaign in 2012 to seize a disproportionate control of the MNGOP – were quite a few one-time, there-and-gone “activists”, a gratifying number of very sharp people who did a good job in bringing solid, needed libertarian politics to the MNGOP, and – at the very core – a group of smirking, preening, frat-boy-esque self-styled “Anarcho-Libertarians” who really were only there to pee in all the peasants’ Wheaties and then slap themselves on the back and laugh at the complaints.
Now, if the question is “is our government too powerful” and “do we need to limit the power of government over the individual”, I’m with you. Government is too big. We need to carve much of it out and toss it away.
But just as the “peace” movement 30 years ago wasn’t about “nuclear weapons” but “US nuclear weapons”, the Liberty Fratboys rose as one to applaud Edward Snowden’s assault on big intrusive government (qualified yay)…
…as Snowden applauded Vladimir Putin’s human rights record.
The “Every Junior High Impressed-With-Himself Chess-Club Prig” Award For Intellectual Rigor: After a long absence from this award, it almost feels like old home week, as we award this to a man who was once a candidate for a Shootie Lifetime Achievement award. That’s right – Nick Coleman, gone from the Shooties for years, is back, and he shows that he’s still at the peak of his game, where “his game” means “autoerotic and homoerotic japes delivered with all the grace of a Danish jazz band”, and “peak” means “same crap, different year”. This piece - which laces Coleman’s usual oeuvre of erection jokes with a long train of outright fabrications – was almost a return to the Nick Coleman of his Strib Columnists’ Row glory days,
except including the fact that nobody with an IQ above plant life read it. And for that, we salute Coleman. It’s not like we give these things away.
Well, actually, we do. But what I mean is…
…well, anyway, congrats!
The Nancy Pelosi “You Won’t Know What It Means Til You Do It!” Award For Wishful Planning: MNSure. Duh.
The Claudius Caesar Award For Excellence In Praetorian Guardsmanship: This is always a hotly-contested award – and getting moreso every year, as the “objective” media slides ever-more into the bag for the left.
This year it was a tight, tight race, nearly a coin toss. Both of the contenders in the final two exemplify the trend of “objective” “mainstream” media allowing (left-leaning and/or pro-big-state, pardon the redundancy) groups to underwrite “journalism” and “news coverage”.
At the end of the day, we decided to give the runner-up spot to Minnesota Public Radio News – a news organization that has not just any arm of government, but MNSure, perhaps the most controversial executive-branch project in the state this past year, as a sponsor for Keri Miller’s Morning Circuit - an MPR News production. A casual reader might note that this is a conflict according to the Society of Professional Journalists’ “Code of Ethics” (while the pros know, of course, that the SPJ code is nothing but a framework by which journalists evade all accountability).
The prize, however, goes to the MinnPost, whose coverage of Second Amendment issues this past year, while posited as “journalism”, was delivered with five-figure annual grant from the “Joyce Foundation” – which, the MinnPost never bothered to tell the reader, also sponsors most of America’s major gun-control groups, as well as “Take Action Minnesota”. So not only was there a never-explicitly-stated imperative for the MinnPost to slant its coverage – but the coverage itself was shoddy and risible, ranging from historically myopic to ludicrously badly-reported to just-plain-false and propagandistic, devolving eventually into an extended rhetorical tongue-bath for Minnesota’s incompetent gun -grab movement.
The capstone of the whole year? Accompanying one of the MinnPost’s pieces (citing a long-obscure and generally-debunked theory that the Second Amendment was instituted to defend slavery), the site decided to use this as an symbol for Second Amendment support:
In a just world, a news organization with integrity would apologize, not only for the post-hoc slander, but for its misleading, slanted and, frankly, bought-off “journalism”.
The world, of course, is not a just one. Does the MinnPost have integrity?
Oh, it’s a new year, full of promise, isn’t it?
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?”
Townsend’s statements sum up the arrogance of the professional bureaucrat, the institutional utopian, the Masters of the Universe who believe they were sent here to keep us peasants from crapping in our beds.
And for the first time in the history of the Shooties, the Townsend award goes not to a stupid statement by a politician, but a photo that gloriously sums up Minnesota under DFL rule in 2013:
Yes, it’s Zygi Wilf in a paroxysm of glee over all those taxpayer dollars he’s going to be marinating his tush in – but it could just as easily be Javi Morillo, or Elliot Seid, or Greta Bergstrom or Carrie Lucking, roiling in glee and amazed that they’ve been able to put one over on the rubes, as our “Governor” wonders what this thing on a long stick is and hopes Alida doesn’t take away his driving privileges.
You have to give them the money to know what the money is! Or something!
Or we’ll lose the Vikings!
Anyway – as long as there’s a New Years in Minnesota, there’s a Shooties. See you next year!