Administering justice with Justice and Drew

Jon Justice and Drew Lee invited me to join them on their show’s second hour yesterday morning to discuss the enforcement provisions of Governor Walz’s mask mandate. The show runs Monday-Friday from 6:00 to 9:00 a.m. on Twin Cities News Talk 1130 AM. I have embedded the second hour of yesterday’s show in podcast form below.

I asserted during my segment that Star Tribune reporter Jeremy Olson showed no evidence of having read the mask mandate order. I had emailed him early Thursday morning to ask if he had, but he didn’t reply to me. He did reply to two readers who forwarded copies of Olson’s responses. I posted one in the update to “A question for Jeremy Olson.”

Another reader sent Olson a link to my post and commented: “You should give your readers the information regarding penalties and fines and let them draw their own conclusions. If a law is not to be enforced, it’s probably not a good law in the first place.” Olson responded:

The max penalties are unlikely to be enforced, but they are what they are and I can find an opportunity to write about them.

I “infer,” since that terms seems to be all the rage, that people are planning to defy the mandate. Why else does one worry about the penalty level of something as stupidly simple as putting on a mask indoors? Again with the speeding analogy, I don’t really care about the fine amount unless I intend to drop the hammer down 35W. If you feel like sharing, email back and let me know whether you plan to comply….

And hi to Scott and anyone else you share this with! I have tried to be transparent with critics. I don’t mind that they challenge my stories or call out omitted information. I really believe an engaged readership stokes even better journalism.

Our reader responded to Olson’s inquiry:

I plan to comply unless I am confronted with the several exceptions outlined in the mandate. For example, I don’t plan to wear a mask while eating indoors in a restaurant or undergoing a dental/medical procedure. Do you? The numerous exceptions in the mandate read like something from The Onion!

While you may not care about a potential $25,000 fine, a small business owner might. Especially one who opposes Keith Ellison and his left-wing politics. The potential for selective enforcement of this law is frightening.

Again, your article should’ve detailed the penalties and let the readers draw their conclusions. That was Scott’s main point.

Thanks for your prompt reply and see if you can persuade Governor Walz to allow Scott to attend the daily briefings. As a lawyer, I always like to hear an opposing viewpoint.

I have no idea why Olson didn’t respond to me. I am pleased to be able to include his responses to our readers verbatim.

Before I joined Justice and Drew at the bottom of the hour they discussed Ilhan Omar’s interview with Esme Murphy on WCCO 4 CBS Minnesota. Murphy is a veteran reporter with her own televised Sunday morning show. When it comes to Omar, however, Murphy is more interested in public relations than news. Video of the interview is included with the story posted online under the heading “‘The Truths I Tell Are An Inconvenience’: Rep. Ilhan Omar Unapologetic, Unfazed In Her Quest For 2nd Term.” I have also embedded the video below.