Oops, sorry, got a few details wrong.
It was James Lileks firing up Republicans at a McCain-Coleman-Bachmann rally.
It was just one presidential election ago that the PiPress suspended two reporters, Chuck Laszewski and Rick Linsk, for merely attending a Bruce Springsteen concert/fundraiser supporting John Kerry. Now Lileks, a Strib columnist, gets to lead something similar.
I didn’t think Chuck and Rick should’ve been piped then for going as civilians to a show, though the paper argued that financially backing a candidate, even at the nominal price of a concert ticket, crossed an ethical line.
I have no idea what the Strib’s ethics policies are, but I’m generally of the same mind here.
It’s not like Lileks has hidden his political light under a bushel; he’s a regular guest on conservative radio, and a local outpost, AM1280, hosted the rally. From the clip, it looks like Lileks was mostly introducing one of the top-billed Dem-bashers, Hugh Hewitt, though with a tasty appetizer of partisan carpaccio.
Still, can you imagine the apoplexy at Strib heaquarters had Nick Coleman done the same thing at Clinton/Franken last night? After all, this is a paper so fearful of late-campaign political expression that it has banned “partisan” commentary from its news columns.
Just so there’s no confusion, Nick wouldn’t do something like this in a billion years. This is, after all, a guy who’s gnawed the legs off plenty of DFL powers over the years. (Just ask Dee Long and Skip Humphrey.)
In other words, the Strib’s lefty columnist is not as reliably “partisan” as Katherine Kersten, and not as good a cheerleader as Lileks. But some things are OK if you’re a Republican.