A message to Jennifer Bjorhus [updated]

The Star Tribune is a major metropolitan daily backed by the resources of a billionaire owner with an incredibly high tolerance for mediocrity and embarrassment. In addition to the Star Tribune he also owns the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves.

The Star Tribune could serve as a constructive force opposing the civic degradation of Minneapolis, but it is crippled by cowardice and left-wing hackery. The paper’s inability to serve a constructive civic role is its greatest failure by far. I don’t want to minimize it.

However, it also fails as a provider of news. Today Jenifer Bjorhus reports on the dismissal of a lawsuit brought by the Minnesota Automobile Dealers Association against the state of Minnesota, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, and the Commissioner of the MPCA:

A federal judge has dismissed the Minnesota Automobile Dealers Association’s lawsuit against the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) over a proposed electric vehicle rule.

Environmental groups celebrated the decision as victory for clean air and consumer choice. The MPCA said the quick dismissal confirms that its rule-making is following the correct process “designed by the Legislature.”

But the dealers vowed to keep fighting what they call a “divisive and unnecessary” mandate that will swamp them with thousands of unwanted electric vehicles.

The lawsuit was dismissed with prejudice, meaning the dealers could potentially sue again. Association President Scott Lambert said his organization is weighing its options.

Bjorhus serves up this quote from the Minnesota Center for Environment Advocacy:

The Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy issued a statement saying the MPCA’s new rule will give Minnesotans more choices on the dealership lot.

“By affirming the rulemaking process, the court sent a clear signal that the MPCA is well within its authority to set the clean cars standards already adopted by 14 other states,” said Joy Reopelle Anderson, a lawyer at the center.

The text of the decision by Judge Wilhelmina Wright is posted online here. It is also linked in Bjorhus’s story here.

I wrote Bjorhus earlier this morning:

Dear Ms. Bjorhus: I write for the site Power Line and probably read the Star Tribune more closely than is good for my mental health. I posted a comment on your MADA dismissal story to the effect that it was incompetently edited and reported, but your moderator is protective of the sensitivities of Star Tribune reporters, editors, and readers from a basic understanding of the story. [My comment has turned up since I sent this message.]

Judge Wright’s dismissal of the case was without prejudice, not with prejudice. Moreover, it was based on lack of subject matter jurisdiction, including the Eleventh Amendment bar. Your quotation of the third-party to the effect that Judge Wright was affirming the rulemaking process is therefore blatantly false. Her ruling had nothing to say about the merits of the administrative process. If you had bothered even to mention the ground of her dismissal — lack of jurisdiction — the falsity of the comment you quote might be apparent to readers. As it is, your story is both mistaken and misleading.

Incidentally, back in early 2016 I wrote about Judge Wright in “The confirmation of Wilhelmina Wright.”

If I hear back from Bjorhus I will post her response in an update.

UPDATE: Jennifer Bjorhus responded late Sunday morning. This is her message in its entirety: “Yes, we are correcting the mistaken reference to prejudice in the story. I certainly know the difference between the two. The story clearly links directly to the judge’s decision so readers can access it.”

Responses