The Strib Snubs Ellison, Delicately

Today the Minneapolis Star Tribune announced its choice for the 5th District Congressional seat that will be contested in the Democratic primary on September 12. The Strib bypassed the DFL’s endorsed candidate, Keith Ellison, and instead endorsed Martin Sabo’s former chief of staff, Mike Erlandson.

Anyone curious as to why the Strib didn’t want to sign on with its party’s endorsed candidate would have gotten no clue from the paper’s editorial. It had kind words for all of the Democrats in the race; here is what it said about Ellison:

Keith Ellison, an attorney from north Minneapolis and a two-term member of the Minnesota House, has reminded more than one voter of the late Paul Wellstone. He brings a passion for progressive causes, a gift for grassroots mobilizing — and a promise that he has sorted out his careless finances.

That’s it: no reference to Ellison’s membership in the Nation of Islam, his use of aliases like Keith Hakim, Keith X Ellison and Keith Ellison-Muhammad; no reference to his anti-Semitic comments; no reference to his association with, and endorsement of, leaders of gangs who murdered policemen; no reference to his consistent support for criminals like Assata Shakur and Kathleen Soliah.

And yet…one gets the impression that the Strib’s editorial board is somehow aware of these things… that it wasn’t only Ellison’s financial incompetence and scofflaw personality that caused the paper to turn against its party’s endorsed candidate. It was almost as though the Strib’s editorialists knew about these issues without ever having read about them in their own paper… almost as though the Strib’s editorialists have been reading Power Line.

A postscript: the Strib flashes its far-left credentials in this excerpt from its endorsement of Erlandson:

He has the endorsement of the League of Conservation Voters and the support of Pennsylvania Rep. John Murtha, one of Congress’ most courageous and thoughtful critics of the war in Iraq.

Since the Strib keeps telling us how unpopular the Iraq war is, it is not clear why Murtha’s opposition to it is “courageous.” Why doesn’t the paper say it is “opportunistic”? Just one of those mysteries of journalism, I guess. What I really like, though, is the Strib’s claim that Mad Jack is a “thoughtful” critic of the war. Murtha wants to remove our troops from Iraq and station them in Okinawa, where, he says, they will be ready to return on a moment’s notice! We ridiculed Murtha’s knucklehead proposal here and elsewhere. That’s the Strib, though: the paper where “thoughtful” means “so crazy he makes you laugh out loud.”

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