December 29, 2004

I'm Happy

Really and truly happy that I let my subscription to the Star Tribune lapse.

I don't want to be held responsible for paying this guy's salary. Read the whole thing. If for no other reason than the novelty of having your eyebrows hit your hairline.

I find it absolutely breathtaking that a columnist of Coleman's (supposed) lofty reputation gets to vent his spleen in such an incontinent way across the Strib's Metro section. Think about it. If it had been a conservative columnist (like the Strib would employ one of those, but work with me here) who'd ragged on Kos like Coleman ragged on Powerline, I bet that column would have been in the bin before the ink was dry.

Where were the freakin' editors? Probably giggling and snorting with glee over the conference room table, not realizing that it's probably not a good idea to piss these guys off. After all, what's a law degree for if not to provide a really good reason to sue the pants off a newspaper for libel. (further footnote can be found here) I compliment the Powerline guys for handling this in such a classy way. I don't know that if I were baselessly accused of the same things that I'd be able to hold my temper.

Although, I do kind of wish they'd get ticked off and do something to hold Coleman accountable. And I think I have an idea of how to do that, provided I may be so bold. When I first moved to the Twin Cities, I worked for a large law firm downtown. I had flexible hours and late one night, I was walking back from the office to my car and had to pass by the Lutheran Brotherhood building. I was surprised to see five separate camera banks set up on the sidewalks outside the building in what was a deserted downtown. I wondered what was going on, and hurried home to catch the news.

Turns out that before I'd even moved here, WCCO-TV---the local CBS affiliate---had produced a series of investigative reports about Northwest Airlines safety practices. NWA had thought these reports painted a distorted picture and had sued. Instead of taking it through the worst of the court system, the case wound up at the Minnesota News Council. The News Council takes complaints from ordinary citizens who feel wronged by the press. They hold hearings and decide whether or not the news organization is at fault. While essentially a shortcut around libel laws it nonetheless lets displeasure with a media outlet be known. In the NWA case, while financial damages were now off the table, some big journalistic poobahs were rolled out to rule on what were, effectively, purposefully distorted camera shots in the promos that gave the wrong impression to the viewer. If this sounds familiar it's probably because Mike Wallace flew in for the hearing and reported on it for 60 Minutes. While WCCO was found to be less than honest in its reporting and the station did win an Emmy for the series, WCCO's golden reputation was tarnished nonetheless.

It would be nice to see the same thing happen to Coleman. If for no other reason than he would be forced to retract his statements or at the very least be held accountable for them.

I hope they file a complaint.

Posted by Kathy at December 29, 2004 04:06 PM
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