I have to admit, I spent last night watching the Yankees pull out the Twins’ toenails twice, so I didn’t get to Fox9’s lachrymose Robyne Robinson good-bye until this morning.
However, City Pages’ Kevin Hoffman has obsessively followed this escapade (sometimes to a fault) and pretty much nailed Wednesday night’s politico-journalistic ethical crack-up in a post Thursday, especially with the killer “endorsement video.” (Though geez, somebody buy that FlipCam a tripod!)
Since the lieutenant governor talk broke, I’ve trained most of my fire on Fox9 itself, not Robinson. I haven’t taken a position on her ability to be lieutenant governor or governor, because I’m still learning about her life history and work.
But I’ll say this: Matt Entenza’s new running mate has not acquitted herself with honor here.
It is, perhaps, corny to expect politicians to hold themselves to higher standards. Robinson, instead, has shown a politician’s grasp of rationalization. As the Strib’s Neal Justin noted in a tartly written post Wednesday:
She and her station say there’s no conflict of interest until she officially announces she’s a candidate. Bull. The minute she said openly that she’d think about it should have been the minute Fox officials thanked her for her service and showed her the door.
Right diagnosis, but why only hold Fox responsible for acting? Someone with honor would’ve taken herself off the air (or loudly tried to) the moment she seriously considered an offer to become a politician.
Robinson has maximized attention as Fox9 has maximized sweeps-month ratings. Both can probably laugh off the ethics ankle-biters. But rather than beginning her political life with a Profile in Courage, Robinson has debuted with a Sketch of Self-Interest.