All things considered, I think the Minneapolis Star Tribune is the worst newspaper in the United States. The past election season has shown its political reporters — witness their coverage of the Fifth District congressional campaign — to be by turns inept, vicious and unfair, though it was mostly inept. With the exception of Katherine Kersten, the Star Tribune’s metro columnists are a joke.
It is the paper’s editorial page that drags it to the bottom of the heap, rendering the paper distinctively lousy. Monochromatic and partisan, the Star Tribune’s editorials regularly deliver bullying rhetoric and ignorant assertion in equal measure and in lieu of argument. The Star Tribune’s stultifying role in Minnesota’s civic life is attributable to all of these elements.
This week the Star Tribune editorial page displays the kind of intellectual fraudulence associated with plagiarism. The Star Tribune wants so badly to be seen wielding the big stick of its elite exemplars in the mainstream media that it rips off the work of the New Yorker’s Hendrik Hertzberg in his November 6 New Yorker comment criticizing the record of the Bush administration.
Hertzberg describes the record of the Bush administration as appalling beyond dispute, cites the increase in the national debt and then comments on “the subcontracting of environmental, energy, labor and healthcare policymaking to corporate interests.”
Yesterday’s Star Tribune editorial, excoriates the Bush administration for “the subcontracting of environmental, energy, labor and health-care policy making to corporate interests.”
Hertzberg alleges that the administration has engaged in “repeated efforts to suppress scientific truths.” The Star Tribune editorial condenses this criticism to “the suppression of scientific truth.”
Hertzberg writes that Bush administration policies have “spurred inequality, replenished the ranks of the poor and uninsured, and exacerbated the insecurities of the middle class.”
The Star Tribune asserts that the Bush administration has adopted economic policies “that exacerbate inequality, heighten middle class anxiety and expand the ranks of the poor and uninsured.”
Here is the relevant paragraph from Hertzberg in its entirety:
That the record is appalling is by now beyond serious dispute. It includes an unending deficit