The Pulitzer Prize for breaking news goes to…

I would like to recognize Minneapolis’s Star Tribune for its significant contribution to the degradation of the civic life of the Twin Cities and to the decline of Minneapolis. To say the least, owner Glen Taylor has a high tolerance for mediocrity. After all, the guy owned the Minnesota Timberwolves for over 25 years. Yesterday, however the Star Tribune was recognized for excellence in one category of this year’s Pulitzer Prizes.

The paper’s mediocrity is manifested virtually every day on its editorial side. The paper’s institutional voice combines cowardice and stupidity in roughly equal measure. The editors have overseen the city’s descent over the past year with an attitude of serene oblivion.

The problem extends to its news side with respect to its coverage of state politics. I laid out my case against it in “The role of the Star Tribune” and posted my correspondence with editor Rene Sanchez complaining about their coverage in “In which I write the Star Tribune.”

The Star Tribune has overlooked huge stories in its own back yard, such as the fraudulent 2009 marriage of Ilhan Omar to her brother. When it finally caught up with the story in 2019 — a story in which the paper itself was a well-concealed actor — reporters Patrick Coolican and Stephen Montemayor did an excellent job. Any reader who applies a soupçon of common sense to their story will find that what we have here is an almost unbelievable scandal. The Star Tribune, however, has been pleased to leave it there.

Working side by side with several Star Tribune reporters over the past five years, I have come to respect their professional skills. I would like to extend my congratulations to the reporters who helped the paper snag this year’s Pulitzer Prize for breaking news. The 2021 Pulitzer awards are posted here. The award to the Star Tribune is posted here.

The award was conferred on the staff of the Star Tribune “[f]or a distinguished example of local, state or national reporting of breaking news that, as quickly as possible, captures events accurately as they occur, and, as time passes, illuminates, provides context and expands upon the initial coverage” — “[f]or its urgent, authoritative and nuanced coverage of the death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis and of the reverberations that followed” (listing stories).

The reporters on the stories listed in the award are Libor Jany, Liz Navratil, Paul Walsh, Anna Boone, Jackie Crosby, Kavita Kumar, and Andy Mannix. (Mannix is the reporter who wrote the story based on leaked grand jury information in the Floyd civil rights case that is now the subject of an investigation by United States District Judge Patrick Schiltz.) For some reason that is not apparent to me, the Star Tribune mentions no particular story or reporter by name in its own coverage of the award.

Among the listed stories are the May 28 video “Violent night in Minneapolis: Businesses looted, burned” and the June 3 interactive feature “One week in Minneapolis.”

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