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The Star Tribune op-ed page’s war on Kersten

[Note: Editorial page editor Scott Gillespie’s comments added below.]

Trust me, I had this little item on my list before Mike Bonafield’s Katherine Kersten interview today … though it somewhat informs that.

Last week, City Pages’ Kevin Hoffman noted a Star Tribune op-ed response to Kersten’s infamous gay-marriage column with, shall we say, a little extra disdain.

As it turns out, an even better example came out a few days later, in very same Strib op-ed section. L.K. Hanson’s “You Don’t Say” cartoon, featured above, sports a caricature that looks more than a little like Kersten.

The big-mouthed figure utters phrases like “Feminists have ruined things for ladies like me” while sitting under an Oscar Wilde quote that reads, “I have never come across anyone in whom the moral sense was dominant who was not heartless, cruel, vindictive, log-stupid and entirely lacking in the smallest sense of humanity.”

Though no names are mentioned, Hanson — a retired Strib graphic artist — says, “As far as I’m concerned, let’s just say you’re not the first person to notice” the resemblance. It’s not the first time Hanson has been accused of taking shots at Kersten in the Strib’s pages.

By the way, Hanson, like Wilde, is openly gay. The opposition to Kersten might, as Bonafield indicates, be “liberal rage” or Strib groupthink, but sometimes, it’s just that she’s messing with people’s lives.

Update: Fair is fair; I had my cheeky little headline, but editorial page editor Scott Gillespie wanted to make sure there’s no doubt about his position on Kersten:

We’re definitely not conducting a “war on Kersten,’’ as your headline states. Katherine provides a perspective that adds to the diversity of opinion on our pages, whether the Editorial Board agrees with her positions or not. She consistently serves up strong, often controversial columns, and we value her contributions.

As for counterpoints: We’ve always felt that our central role is to host the debate, which means giving space to those who disagree with our views or those of our regular contributors. Katherine wrote an especially provocative column. We felt the parody was a creative and equally provocative response. L.K.’s pointed cartoon, as always, represents his own opinions.

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Comments (5)

  1. Submitted by Ed Stych on 11/19/2009 - 11:38 am.

    The liberals are embracing Oscar Wilde as their standard bearer of morality and high-mindedness? Boy, now there’s a losing marketing angle!

  2. Submitted by David Brauer on 11/19/2009 - 11:43 am.

    Ed – I think Wilde is better known for pointing out hypocrisy and moral balderdash. As valuable.

  3. Submitted by William Lindeke on 11/19/2009 - 01:21 pm.

    you left “log-stupid” out of your quote. [Fixed, thanks – DB]

  4. Submitted by Ralf Wyman on 11/19/2009 - 01:28 pm.

    I don’t think it’s rage at all. Well directed, appropriate anger is not to be feared or smeared.

    KK took ungrounded pot-shots at a broad swathe of people in her interview at MinnPost.

    I think the married, gray haired grandmothers from Bloomington that volunteer with my organization on marriage equality would be quite surprised to hear that they are “authoritarian, totalitarian,” consumed with anger and hell-bent on destroying marriage.

    One dear lady e-mails her 20 year old grandson to ask for his feedback on things we’re considering and he writes back “cool, grandma.”

    But KK doesn’t know any of these people. She surrounds herself with people who are as terrified of change as she is, so she can’t see the love, the hope and the striving for fairness embodied in these delightful accidental activists I know.

  5. Submitted by Sheila Ehrich on 11/19/2009 - 09:35 pm.

    I appreciate that the Strib is trying to have diversity of opinion, but couldn’t they please find someone who uses proper grammar and actually has something smart to say instead of just a re-hash of far right opinion that can be heard almost anywhere these days?

    I know for a fact that there are lots of truly smart (intellectual) and witty conservatives in this town whose offerings would not only bring diversity to the paper but also engender discussions of ideas in the letters to the editor rather than beratings of Ms. Kersten’s writing and research abilities.

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