Geez, when KSTP’s Tom Hauser gets a GOP-related scoop, competitors’ knives come out.
In January, when Hauser broke the news that Norm Coleman wouldn’t run for governor, it provoked backbiting from KARE’s John Croman. “Norm leaked the news to KSTP, the station still battling hard in court to find the rest of his uncounted absentees from 2008. Just sayin’,” Croman tweeted.
On Tuesday, Hauser was again first with the news that Republican Tom Emmer had conceded the gubernatorial recount. Here’s how Star Tribune Nancy Barnes boiled down Hauser’s scoop in a Sunday column explaining the paper’s sourcing procedures: “The story was leaking out from a TV reporter who had close ties to Emmer.”
You can practically see her sneer. It’s a “leak,” not a story, unearthed by “close ties,” not reporting.
Lord knows, I’ve probably written more about KSTP’s links to the GOP than anyone else in town. But I try not to speculate about their reporting methods in a column touting my organization’s high standards.
Yes, Hauser is wired in the GOP world, and he and Emmer grew up as hockey-playing Edina boys. I’ve taken issue with some of the station’s subjective calls and objective omissions. Ownership’s decision to contribute directly to GOP-friendly groups encourages scrutiny.
I agree with Barnes’ larger point, that being right is more important than being first. But if she had any kind of class, she’d simply give Hauser credit, rather than tacitly diminishing his scoop or making what could be construed as an excuse for her own team.
And if Barnes cared to show just a bit of humility, she’d acknowledge that whatever KSTP’s leanings, Hauser has an excellent record for factual accuracy (three sources in this case), while her own paper, despite its laudable standards and achievements, sometimes falls short.