Story? What Story?

This morning, Scott wrote about the fact that the Minneapolis Star Tribune has been scooped on a story that took place in its back yard: the six traveling imams. The Strib hasn’t seemed to mind being left in the dust on the story, and has demonstrated a studied lack of curiosity about, for example, the national imams’ convention that was held here in Minneapolis, from which the traveling imams were returning, or the role played by Congressman-elect Keith Ellison in that convention.
Now, I guess, we know why. On our radio show today, we talked about the Star Tribune’s seeming lack of interest in the traveling imams. This prompted an email from a listener who passed along his own email exchange with Anders Gyllenhaal, the paper’s managing editor. Our listener wrote to Gyllenhaal twice; this is his first email, dated November 25:

Why is it that the StarTribune has dropped the imam incident at the airport like a dead fish?
Seems to me you should have one of your “crack reporters” checking into the
1. Who were these imams? Specifically Omar Shahin, who was their spokesman. What about his relationship with Hamas and Kind Hearts Organization, both known Muslim terrorist sympathizers.
2. Were their actions just a set-up to embarrass US Airways? What were they saying in Arabic? I understand there was an Arabic speaking passenger on the plane who knew.
3. What was Keith Ellison doing at their meeting? This is especially a good question due to his snubbing the President’s reception for union bosses and being a poster boy for the Muslim terrorist sympathizing CAIR.

Our listener wrote again on November 29:

I sent you the following email on 1/25 asking why you have dropped the imam incident. I received no answer and have not seen anything in the Strib, except some insipid article about a pray-in and boycott of US Airways. If you want to see a complete report on what I suggested to you 4 days ago, just watch the Hannatty/Colmes show at 8 on Wed night. They will cover the whole sordid affair.
Too bad the Star Tribune did not have the guts to follow up on the real story.

On November 30, he got this response from Gyllenhaal:

Thanks for your note, and the follow up. I don’t think the paper dropped this story, but I do think it had run its course. I would like to have seen a story delving into who these folks were, a good suggestion, but I don’t think it’s timely at this point. I think this is one of those stories that runs for a couple of days, then subsides. I gather you disagree, which is fine.

Interesting. It’s mostly up to newspapers, of course, whether a given story “runs for a couple of days, then subsides,” or, like, say, Valerie Plame or the Foley instant messages, becomes a long-running soap opera. Presumably Gyllenhaal was expressing his own editorial judgment about the traveling imams story.
Still, I’m not sure we’ve heard the last of it, even in the Strib. What if, once Keith Ellison has been sworn into office next month, he introduces legislation to ban airport profiling as “discrimination” against Muslims? What if he cites the story of the six traveling imams in support of his legislation? Would that be enough to lure the Strib into investigating the imams’ convention in Minneapolis, and Ellison’s role in it? Would it cause anyone at the Strib to wonder whether Ellison and the imams planned the US Airways stunt for the specific purpose of being a springboard for such legislation? Or will the story be lost in the memory hole, as one that has “subsided”?
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