Newspapers Without a Compass

Oct 31

Newspapers Without a Compass

Few people take newspaper endorsements seriously anymore. It is obvious that editorial stamps of approval have virtually no impact on the outcomes of elections and that they are often nothing more than thinly disguised attempts to rationalize the choices that a newspaper believes will serve its economic interests best, prettied up with a bunch of cynical blather...

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STATE of CORRUPTION, Part IV: ZYGI WILF’s AIRPLANE

May 16

STATE of CORRUPTION, Part IV: ZYGI WILF’s AIRPLANE

    @stribgillespie: Highly placed sources say Zygi Wilf has downloaded a certain Randy Newman hit. That Tweet from the StarTribune’s Editorial Page Editor, Scott Gillespie, hit Twitter on April 20, a few days after the vote by a Legislative committee NOT to let the $1 billion boondoggle of a plan for a new Minnesota Vikings stadium go to the floor of...

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From the Vault: When Journalists Had Balls

Mar 02

From the Vault: When Journalists Had Balls

This item first appeared on my blog on March 9, 2011. If anything, it is even more timely today, as Minnesota’s leading news outlet stands to hit the jackpot with a Vikings Stadium deal that it relentlessly promoted. Ask yourself if it is even possible today for journalists to criticize their bosses, and their companies, in public or to openly adhere to a...

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Chuck Bailey: The Last Decent Newspaperman

Jan 05

Chuck Bailey: The Last Decent Newspaperman

One of the last newspaper editors who had the courage — and the decency — to quit rather than follow orders to gut his news organization has died: Charles W. Bailey, my first editor, ran the Minneapolis Tribune from 1972 to 1982, when he fell on his sword rather than carry out the wishes of the bean counter in the publisher’s office, a small-time...

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Black Friday for the STRIB

Nov 28

Black Friday for the STRIB

The rightward tilt of the StarTribune over the past few years has been most noticeable on the paper’s Op-Ed Page, which has twisted itself in pretzel knots trying to assure the wealthiest — and the rightiest — Minnesotans that the newspaper is on their side, even if on (increasingly rare) occasion, the scruffy staff still turns out a news story...

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From the Vault: Doochsbags

Apr 16

From the Vault: Doochsbags

  (This item was first posted Feb. 17, 2011, and is re-published as part of a series of older posts and columns). My ex-newspaper, the StarTribune, has begun, after years of sticking its head in the sand,  to “moderate” or approve reader comments before permitting them to be posted on the Strib web site. Finally, the doochsbags say they will do...

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Look at Them Nice Puppies!

Feb 22

Look at Them Nice Puppies!

It’s Puppy Time at the StarTribune again, so I thought I’d dig through the vault to share a column I wrote in January, 2009 –  but which the Strib refused to publish — about how puppies can help newspapers. Among the most interesting kibbles of info: The first puppy contest drew millions of page views — as many as the Al Franken-Norm...

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