A Long Time Ago, We Used To Be Friends, But I Haven’t Thought Of You Lately At All.

I’m not going to lie – because I have no reason to. I used to be a bit of a fan of former Minnesota Public radio journalist/personality Bob Collins.

We always got along relatively cordially, back during the glory days of blogging. I invited him to an MLB party, he accepted, and was photographed at least once sitting at a table of style with Republicans, seemingly enjoying himself.

And he’s giving me two of the better compliments I’ve ever been given, ever, during my career as a dealer list pundit – about my music writing and, at least once, about my chops as a political journo. And call me a pollyanna – only God can judge me – but for that I am grateful.

Bob retired last year. In honor of his last day on the job, governor waltz proclaimed an entire state wide day in Collins’ honor.

But all is apparently not well. Maybe retirement doesn’t agree with Bob? I don’t know.

But something seems to have snapped in the intervening time:

We’re not done yet:

This, on top of an ongoing string of fairly vile and tone-deaf tweeting over the past year or so – one of which referring to the “Center of the American Experiment” as the “Klan Robe Crowd”, which I’m sure must have been a surprise to Mitch Perlstein).

I started out by asking two questions. One was pretty concrete – “did MPR know about this sort of bias and bigotry when he was working there?” I’d have to say “of course” – because it’s part of their organization’s track record (and by “organization”, I mean that whole building, not the newsroom). Garrison Keillor’s behavior was the worst-kept secret in Twin Cities radio…in the 1980s. And yet they tolerated it because it didn’t hurt them until #MeToo made complacency too costly among MPR’s key demographic group, virtue-signaling white middle class progressives. I’m going to guess (and feel free to set me straight, if you’re an MPR employee) that his views may have been regarded as aggressive but codgerly by the management, and likely a sizeable and vocal majority of MPR donors.

My other question – “how common are these views in the newsroom?” They’re not. MPR’s newsroom is one of the least objectionably biased in town. They’re not perfect, and that is very much as distinct from the rest of MPR (Keri Miller is as obvious a DFL PR flak as there is in town), and they’ve certainly done less reaching out to conservatives outside elective office in recent years than they were, say, ten years ago. While I have little doubt most MPR reporters are fashionably left of center in their personal lives, most of them do an acceptable job of covering the whole story and sticking to the facts.

But Bob?


(Title Reference, just because it’s not universally known…)

17 thoughts on “A Long Time Ago, We Used To Be Friends, But I Haven’t Thought Of You Lately At All.

  1. I was a follower of his NewsCut blog on MPR.

    I always new he was a committed lefty, as most MPR employees are, I never new he was so bitter and angry.

    Keri Miller or Mary Lucia should have him on their programs to discuss these tweets.

  2. He appeared to be objective, in the days when MPR listenership needed that to justify listening to MPR instead of that awful, right-wing, partisan, slanted Faux News which was nothing at all like quiet, mellow, objective, middle-of-the-road MPR News.

    Until Bad Orange Man. Then, all pretense of objectivity is gone. It’s us against them; the anointed against the hordes; the cultured against the unwashed.

    Trump’s greatest achievement is tricking Liberals into tearing off their own masks to stomp on them in rage shouting, “See what you made me do!”

  3. The simple truth is, Trump Derangement Syndrome is not really about Trump. It is about the end of the Progressive Dream.

    Bob and his ilk had the luxury of being wise, tolerant, sensible and earnest as long as they felt they were on the winning side of history – but 2016 shook their faith. It was all, “My God, we could lose this WHOLE thing!”

    Keep in mind that the Bob’s of the world have mortal enemies on both the right and the left. It is not just Trump and his supporters on the right, it is the crazy millennial harpies who took down his buddies Garrison Keillor and Al Franken and don’t see any reason why a white straight male like Bob should have a public voice.

    Then there is the Bernie Bros… I mean, it was noble to be an FDR/HHH liberal who could maintain radio silence on Mark Dayton’s mental problems and Gov. Walz shaking down the taxpayers for the state’s largest special interest (Education Minnesota) but these crazies want to line all your political allies against the political wall.

    So what’s a fella to do?

    Can’t lash out at the left.

    Might as well lash out at the right and maybe, just maybe, if you sound extreme enough, the harpies might let you hang onto at least the appearance of relevance.

  4. God bless you guys for putting up with MPR/NPR and actually even finding enjoyment therein, but I always found their nerdy earnestness shtick to be pretty grating (which is why that SNL Shweddy Balls skit was so funny). That they later revealed themselves to leftist asshoes only makes me feel better about my suspicions.

  5. So many thoughts.

    Fresch: he’s not just bitter and angry, he is clearly ill.

    Joe: yes, he has made them show their true colors, and made them think they are doing the smart thing.

    Greg: like your whole comment, but most important :TDS is real. We used to joke about Bush derangement, but that was just angry lefties being angry lefties. Many of these people are truly ill.

  6. Some idiot former speech writer for Carter said on twitter that it is time for a military coup. Kurt Schlicter replied “take point bitch.” I don’t think we are going to see Collins anywhere near the action.

  7. kinlaw, I agree the derangement is very real – but could anyone be that obsessed with Trump, or Bush, or even Reagan? Remember Reagan Derangement Syndrome?

    I know a couple of people like that and I like to tell them, it’s okay to be mad at Trump or even disgusted with his over-the-top personna – but why not be angry at something substantive? You know, like about something that actually matters?

    Last year, my dog went on a barking jag. It’s not unusual for him. We live in the country and there is a lot of coyotes around – and foxes and the occasional miscellaneous varmint – and he being the noble dog that he is, protects the homestead from such things.

    So there he was barking and carrying on – so I went out to see what it was. A turtle was crossing the yard – going from the ditch to the pond.

    I guess you could call it Turtle Derangement Syndrome.

    It is all about barking at things you can’t control.

  8. Kurt Schlicter puts out some great stuff. Of course, his responses to lefties like said speech writer, are classic.

  9. Rather telling, I think, that Collins chooses as his Twitter pic the image of Ed Asner (Lou Grant on Mary Tyler Moore), who is one of the biggest leftwing blowhards in the business.

  10. Ed Asner is a Democratic Socialist.

    To understand what that is, you have to know that the Democratic part is how they attain power, the Socialist part is how they hang onto it.

  11. I have mocked Mitch’s naivete regarding leftist slobs like Bob Collins and Eric Black for years. Some people just need to learn the…well, some never learn:

    “My other question – “how common are these views in the newsroom?” They’re not.”

    Right. OK. And the Minnpost is high quality, non-partisan reporting for people that care about Minnesota….Carry on.

    Finally, three words for Bob Collins: You first bitch.

  12. I have mocked Mitch’s naivete regarding leftist slobs like Bob Collins and Eric Black for years.

    Enh. You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.

    I step outside the echo chamber. I meet some disappointing people. Doesn’t reflect on me.

    ight. OK. And the Minnpost is high quality,

    I was talking about the MPR newsroom. Minnpost is flaming garbage.

    Finally, three words for Bob Collins: You first bitch

    Agree 100%.

    You want to lead an eliminationist cultural jihad? Take point, sparky.

  13. Also – I think he may have muted me after I pointed out that he, like most climate change jihadis, likely has many times more carbon footprint than most of us skeptics…

    …being a private pilot with an airplane, and all that.


  14. I grew up in a Saint Paul blue-collar neighborhood in the 50’s and 60’s. Back then racist humor and racist language was pretty common. I mean for God sake, Amos and Andy was still on TV.

    Some people hated black folks, others were scared of them and still others couldn’t care one way or another – but racist language was like the air we breathed.

    And then it wasn’t.

    Now you have to be black to use the N-word.

    The same principles apply to people like Bob. He gets to say what he wants about who the people around him hate or fear because there is no consequences for doing so.

    In Bob’b world, the language of hate against conservatives is the like the air they breathe.

    Until it isn’t.

  15. I’ve been on point for 20 years, Mitch; and you know it.

    During the mid aughts, I was certainly one of the reprobate’s most hated right wingers in the TC. They hated me because I said the truth, spoke it plain and was happy to do so standing right in front of a crowd of them; still do.

    I warned you about Bob Collins, about Eric Black, about Robin Marty (who is today a nationally recognized author and speaker on the joys of bloody infanticide btw), I warned you about Brodkorb. You defended all those people, and they are proved themselves the worthless slobs I said they were.

    I know you were talking about MPR; so was I. If after all you’ve seen and heard, you still believe there is 1″ of daylight between MPR and the Minnpost…wew lad; that’s disheartening. But as you say, you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.

    The political landscape has changed. The reprobates are not going to like you if you humor them. The white hot hatred Collin’s is spewing didn’t just suddenly bubble up, it’s always been there. He was just to much of a skulking coward to speak his mind…personally I prefer Bob Unchained. Checking over his writings for the past few months, Eric Black isn’t far behind, btw.

    We’ve been friends, online and irl, for 20 years Mitch. We are still friends. Friends don’t let friends mingle with leftist degenerates. I’ll stay out here on point; just wish the rest of the platoon would pay better attention to my hand signs.

  16. btw, I see, leafing through his twitter spew, that Collin’s is a big believer in White Privilege. I’m sure that he is parlaying his pension, free time and comfortable Woodbury home into Big Hearted Bob’s Reparation Station:

    Come borrow Bob’s car, anytime….need a temporary crib? Bob’s got 2 guest rooms ready and waiting.

    Wanna fly to that Fiddy Cent gig in KC? Fasten those seat belts! Need someone to watch the shorties while you blow off some steam downtown? Bob’s got you. Come empty Bob’s fridge; Dove bar’s y’all!

    lol, no. Bob’s not gonna let any disadvantaged Negroes get within a mile of any of his stuff. That’s because he’s not the white man keeping them down; *you* are. And it’s his job to let you know it.

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