Scooping the Star Tribune

In Minnesota this year we have every state constitutional office on the ballot as well as both senators and, of course, all congressional seats. It is an unusual year. I don’t think we have seen its like since 1978. This year in addition we have competitive primary races on the DFL side for one of the Senate seats, for Fifth District representative, for governor and for attorney general. The primary election is next Tuesday, August 14.

Taking a look at the Star Tribune compilation of election stories here, I don’t think it has broken a single story on any of these races. The Star Tribune has turned in a performance that can only be deemed pathetic.

I therefore want to note the contribution of reporters working from outside Minnesota to deepen the knowledge of the choices confronting Minnesota Democrats. At The Intercept, Rachel Cohen has posted two reports on gubernatorial candidate and incumbent attorney general Lori Swanson’s misuse of her office in the service of her current campaign. Earlier this week The Intercept posted Cohen’s MINNESOTA ATTORNEY GENERAL — NOW DEMOCRATIC FRONTRUNNER FOR GOVERNOR — RELIED ON GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES FOR CAMPAIGN WORK, THEY SAY.” Late yesterday afternoon Cohen followed up with “’IT WAS ALL TRUE’: MINNESOTA ATTORNEY GENERAL’S FORMER DEPUTY SPEAKS OUT ABOUT PARTICIPATION IN POLITICAL WORK.”

Patrick Coolican reports on state politics for the Star Tribune. His daily Hot Dish Politics email newsletter is more interesting than anything that appears in the newspaper. Patrick saluted Cohen’s work yesterday on Twitter.

I wonder if the reporters and editors at the Star Tribune have any professional pride at all. To borrow the words of Bob Dylan, how does it feel, how does it feel to be scooped by out-of-town reporters covering your own beat?

You could have dug in to the story of DFL Fifth District congressional frontrunner Ilhan Omar. You had two years to do it. But no! You left it to PJ Media’s David Bernstein.

You could have dug in to the story of former Nation of Islam hustler, incumbent Fifth District Rep. and DFL attorney general wannabe Keith Ellison at any time over the past 12 years. But no! You left it to me.

It still wasn’t too late. You could have dug in to the Ellison story when he published his 2014 memoir expunging his record. But no! You left it to me.

It still wasn’t too late. You could have taken a whack at the story last year when Ellison sought the chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee. But no! You left it to Mother Jones’ Tim Murphy.

How does it feel to be scooped on your own congressman by Mother freakin’ Jones? To borrow from Mister Bob one more time, It’s alright Ma Jones, I’m only bleeding. Do you know you’re bleeding? I’m afraid that Bob was slightly more self-aware than you are.

Well, as Bob himself would put it, the hour is getting late. And yet again it isn’t too late, as Ellison seeks to become Minnesota’s top lawman. I’ve got a clip file that I’d be happy to share with you.

UPDATE: The Star Tribune has just posted Patrick Coolican’s story on The Intercept’s Swanson scoop.

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