A few local media links to get our week started:
♦ KARE11’s Boyd Huppert and Jonathan Malat win a national Edward R. Murrow Award for a story on … a duck in a truck. I’m pretty sure that when Murrow was covering the London Blitz during World War II, he’d never have guessed his legacy would be honored with such a tale. But it’s impossible to surpress a smile watching this piece, and Hupert, Malat and KARE excel at this sort of storytelling, so sincere congrats to them.
♦ It was only a matter of time before burnout afflicted one of Minnesota’s political-reporting corps, and MPR’s Tom Scheck cries “Uncle” — or rather “Father” —as his six-month-old son proves a bigger priority than waiting out the eight-month-old U.S. Senate recount. Scheck will be taking a leave through Labor Day — and congrats to MPR bosses for letting him do it.
Scheck’s recapitulation of the endless tease of a slower political season is worth reading, but my favorite part is in the comments: Bill Prendergast, creator of the comic “False Witness: The Michele Bachmann Story,” predicts Scheck will get bored with the kid fast, subverting his intention not to “blog, to tweet or to contact sources.” Will Scheck prove as obsessed as Prendergast? Stay tuned!
[Update: Scheck politely informs me that he’s not burned out, it’s just that looking 20 years down the road, his son’s formative months trump politics. I think this makes it even more likely he’ll slip up and tweet before Labor Day, though.]
♦ If you scratched your head trying to figure out why the Sunday’s Strib offered oddly newsless B-section coverage of Hennepin County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin’s cute, water-loving 3-year-old, take note of the byline: Kate McCarthy, who happens to be married to McLaughlin’s Government Center colleague, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman.
McCarthy, a former PiPress journalist, has been freelancing lifestyle features for the Strib since March, with more legitimate angles than the McLaughlin valentine. In an editor’s note, Nancy Barnes justified carving out some of the Section Formerly Known As Metro as a return to classic newspapering: “… this content appeared in local sections before standalone daily lifestyle sections were born decades ago.”
Maybe so, but hitting mush a few pages into the second news section — at least this past week — doesn’t exactly buttress the Strib’s attempt to brand Sundays as the place for tough-minded coverage. Even if you’re more tolerant of weekend fluff, writing that’s better suited to one’s Christmas letter hardly qualifies as what Barnes terms “helpful family news.”
♦ City Pages’ Bradley Campbell — honing his specialty as a Twitter connoisseur — ranks Timberwolves forward Kevin Love’s Top Ten “off the charts hilarious” tweets. It’s Campbell’s second post on Love’s 140-character emissions in a week, and it’s time for Brad to admit he’s nearly as addicted to Twitter as some of us much mocked early adopters. Still, I can’t argue with his taste.