Speaking at a gathering of Democrats in Denver last week, Keith Ellison argued that he could both represent Minnesota’s Fifth District in the House and lead the Democratic National Committee if elected its chairman. “All there is to do is to vote ‘no,’” Ellison explained, vowing that he would spend “every other moment” working for the party.
No comment was sought from Ellison’s Democratic colleagues in the Minnesota congressional delegation. Senator Amy Klobuchar, what say you? Senator Al Franken, who’s the big fat idiot now?
Incidentally, one can find Ellison’s argument about the minimal demands of his congressional position in Jonathan Martin’s New York Times article (linked above). I may be mistaken, but I can’t find it reported in the Star Tribune, let alone follow-up questions addressed to Ellison’s Minnesota congressional colleagues.
Concluding that his argument may not be entirely persuasive to the members of the DNC, Ellison has now committed to resign his congressional seat if elected chairman. Unfortunately, that commitment is contingent on his winning the job. If only Ellison were to resign his seat to run for the chairmanship of the DNC, there might be an outcome that would represent a win-win proposition for Minnesota and for the country as a whole. That, of course, would be Ellison’s loss of the DNC election following his resignation to seek the chairmanship.
Reporting on Ellison’s bid, Star Tribune Washington reporter Allison Sherry has emerged as an Ellison cheerleader and fabulist. Sherry’s reportage makes me wonder if there is there anybody in an editorial capacity at the Star Tribune who has the least professional pride. I’m guessing not.
As an Ellison cheerleader and fabulist, Sherry reports Ellison’s account of his checkered past as fact. In her original story yesterday on Ellison’s commitment to leave his congressional seat if elected DNC chairman Sherry reported: “”Ellison said he distanced himself from the [Nation of Islam] in the 1990s after helping organize the Million Man March. Ellison said he didn’t see anything fruitful come out of the March for African-Americans and he sought a more positive path to change.”
I wrote Sherry in response to her story when it was posted online yesterday morning:
Allison: In your story just posted, you note: “Ellison said he distanced himself from the organization in the 1990s after helping organize the Million Man March. Ellison said he didn’t see anything fruitful come out of the March for African-Americans and he sought a more positive path to change.” Do you know that Ellison first sought the DFL endorsement for office in 1998 as Keith Ellison-Muhammad, a self avowed member of the Nation of Islam? If so, I don’t understand why you report Ellison’s word and leave it at that. It is simply false.
Sherry revised her story after receiving my message; she made it even worse. In the final version of the story Sherry reports:
Since announcing he was going for the post, Ellison has been dogged by his past associations with the Nation of Islam and its leader Louis Farrakhan. The group has been dubbed a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Ellison helped organize the Minnesota delegation to the Nation of Islam’s Million Man March in 1995, hoping to advance positive change for black men. Later in the ’90s, he distanced himself from the organization, disavowing its “anti-Semitism, homophobia and … chauvinistic model of manhood.”
My comments on Sherry’s original version of the story apply even more so to the final version of Sherry’s story in which Ellison’s abandonment of the Nation of Islam “[l]ater in the 90s” is reported as fact.
I am at a loss. What is to be done about the epidemic of fake news in the Star Tribune?