The real journalistic question of Pointergate

Video of last night’s public forum courtesy of the UpTake.

The brouhaha over the so-called Pointergate story has mostly blown over, but the local chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists put on a panel Monday night to explain why they had publicly criticized KSTP’s handling of the story. Both KSTP and Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges declined to participate, which would have made it a lot bigger deal. Most of the discussion, like much of the long-running social media traffic, revolved around the racial angles of the story.

But for me, the actual journalistic question was answered clearly by one of the SPJ panelists, Duchesne Drew, managing editor for operations of the Star Tribune. The Strib had been approached by whoever was peddling the story and decided to pass. As a news story, if you don’t believe that Hodges was knowingly flashing a gang sign, then there is no story, Drew said.

Everything else that has blown up around this instance of journalistic malpractice by KSTP should keep coming back to that question. It’s hard to believe that anyone could believe that this common pointing-at-each-other photo pose is evidence that whoever is pointing is showing solidarity with a particular gang who might also use a finger-pointing sign.

KSTP, which has aggressively defended the story, has never actually said that they believe this to be so, only that their police sources say it is so. In his courageous but nonetheless ill-advised public appearance at Augsburg College to defend the story, KSTP owner Stanley Hubbard fell back on a tired old journalistic trope that we-didn’t-didn’t-say-it-was-a-fact-but-it’s-a-fact-that-some-police-said-it-was-a-fact.

In the long original Pointergate story itself, a retired policeman asserted on camera that it was a gang sign and that the public was endangered by the mayor showing solidarity with a gang. And the president of the Minneapolis police union also went on camera to state that the incident raises the question about the mayor: “Is she gonna support gangs in this city or cops?”

Yikes. That would be a powerful question for anyone who believed that the mayor was knowingly flashing a gang sign. But, as Drew suggested, there is no evidence for that. And in the absence of any such evidence, what KSTP had (and the Strib also had but declined to pursue) was either a non-story or a powerful piece of evidence of just how bad relations must be between the mayor and some elements of the police force for whom the union president is a spokesman.

The latter might make an interesting story.

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Comments (36)

  1. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 12/09/2014 - 11:47 am.

    Really?

    ” Stanley Hubbard fell back on a tired old journalistic trope that we-didn’t-didn’t-say-it-was-a-fact-but-it’s-a-fact-that-some-police-said-it-was-a-fact.”

    Is this really an old trope? I thought journalistic integrity required an effort to verify whether or not what someone is saying is actually true? Accordingly the story if any, would be that someone is making false accusations about an innocent gesture Hodges made at a public function.

    I know that the press is sometimes criticized (by the likes of me no less) for acting like stenographers rather than journalists but this was way beyond the pale. One thing it is to report what Michel Bachmann said simply because SHE said it, (that’s irritating enough) but a retired cop commenting on an out of context photo? That’s not a “trope”, it’s flat out unscrupulous journalism if you ask me.

    Hubbard’s response thus far while long winded and indignant is devoid of integrity, which is sooooo typical unfortunately. It’s also a little ironic because guys like Hubbard frequently pontificate about integrity and personal responsibility, yet his excuse is: “I just broadcast it to 4 million people, I didn’t say it myself” Hey Hubbard, I say stuff all day long, and a lot of the stuff I say is more interesting than a photo of Hodges pointing at someone (not because I’m so interesting, but rather Hodges pointing at someone is soooooo mundane)… where are your cameras? You want my address?

    Meanwhile (not that anyone cares) but I find I just can’t watch KSTP news anymore because Hubbard has completely blown their credibility. The story was bad enough but Hubbard’s subsequent dodging makes it worse. Even when they have stories that interest me, like last night they had a story of some kind about that stupid non-park that’s going to be part of the Viking’s stadium… I had to turn the channel because even if the story interests me I just can’t trust their reporting. If you can’t trust them to handle a simple photo, how can they be trusted to handle more important or complex stories?

  2. Submitted by John Edwards on 12/09/2014 - 12:16 pm.

    An Interesting new standard

    Duchense Drew has set an interesting new standard for his newspaper: “if you don’t believe the story to be true, then there is no story.” What a subjective standard that is.
    For example, in recent months the Star-Tribune ran front-pages stories alleging that Republican Gov. Chris Christie was involved in Bridgegate; Republican Scott Walker illegally coordinated campaign activities; and Republican Gov. Rick Perry abused his power. At the same time, the newspaper had no story about Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s interference with an anti-corruption panel he created. All the charges, including against Cuomo, were inspired by high-ranking political opponents. None has turned out to be proven true, yet the Star-Tribune ran stories about the allegations against the Republicans. Drew’s real reasoning in Pointergate appears obvious: Mayor Hodges—like Cuomo—is a liberal Democrat: no story there. It will be interesting going forward—particularly with this new standard—to see what stories Drew’s paper will now be able to print. I will especially be watching so see the criterion he uses to decide what is “true,” especially those involving charges liberals make against Republicans that in the past have been printed routinely in his newspaper.

    • Submitted by Sean Olsen on 12/09/2014 - 12:28 pm.

      The “you” in question

      “if you don’t believe the story to be true, then there is no story.”

      The “you” referred to here is not Drew, but the for-some-reason-still-unnamed-law-enforcement-sources pitching Drew the story.

      • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 12/09/2014 - 12:43 pm.

        New Standard?

        “Duchense Drew has set an interesting new standard for his newspaper:”

        Integrity is “new” standard? Now that’s harsh.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 12/09/2014 - 01:25 pm.

      Three Points

      1. The Republican governors you mention are all listed as potential Presidential contenders in 2016. That gives the charges against them national interest. Governor Cuomo has about as much chance of being the Democratic nominee as Larry the Cable Guy.

      2. “None has turned out to be proven true,” yet all of those matters remain under investigation. Gov. Perry is still under indictment, allegations about Bridgegate continue to come out, and Gov. Walker’s activities are still being investigated. It is a true story, for example, that Gov. Perry was indicted. Should the news be embargoed until he is convicted?

      3. Where do you and your fellow conservatives get the idea that every negative story about a Republican politician must be countered by an equally negative one about a Democrat? “Governor Rick Perry was indicted, but remember what Andrew Jackson did to the Indians.” Do you even pay attention to what your people are doing, or is it all a matter of keeping score?

    • Submitted by Theo Kozel on 12/09/2014 - 02:07 pm.

      A few facts wrong

      1) That ‘Andrew Cuomo is a libera’l is questionable, in fact he was primaried by Zephyr Teachout due to dissatisfaction on the left.
      2) Your paraphrase of Drew is completely off, since the actual text reads “if you don’t believe that Hodges was knowingly flashing a gang sign, then there is no story”
      3) The Scott Walker investigation resulted in 6 people indicted, 15 felony indictments, and 6 people sentenced. To say that they were not “proven true” is ludicrous.
      4) The Rick Perry case is ongoing and in fact a Texas judge refused to throw it out as recently as 11/8.
      5) “At the same time, the newspaper had no story about Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s interference with an anti-corruption panel he created” is DIRECTLY contravened here- http://m.startribune.com/nation/270052721.html.

      The sad thing is, I could go on, but 5 easy, quick and major points of misinformation in your 10 sentence post is sufficient to highlight the general character or your remarks.

  3. Submitted by david hanners on 12/09/2014 - 12:23 pm.

    For the life of me, I just do not understand why Kolls and KSTP just don’t do the right thing and admit they screwed up. Drew’s summary is correct: unless you believe the mayor was knowingly flashing a gang sign, there’s no “there” there. To buy the cops’ argument that KSTP has bought into, you have to believe a) Hodges knew she was flashing a gang sign or b) that she is somehow in league with street gangs or c) that the gangs are/were intent on using the photo as a recruiting tool. (Do gangs have Uncle Sam-like recruiting posters? Come to think of it, Uncle Sam is flashing a gang sign on the iconic “I want you!” poster. Damn! Who knew?!)

    The whole episode is absurd. Kolls and KSTP got played by a source. Were I not in a foreign country, I’d stand on Kolls’ coffee table in my cowboy boots and say, “Hey, you screwed up. It happens. Fix it and move on.”

    • Submitted by Todd Hintz on 12/09/2014 - 03:35 pm.

      Recruiting

      I have to wonder how effective a recruiting tool this photo would be for a gang. “Hey, join MY gang because I have the support of a middle aged white lady!” How is that going to go down with some sixteen year old kid from the ‘hood? “What, you got the support of one of my grandma’s friends? That’s so bad ass of you, dude!”

      Hubbard and KSTP can slice and dice this story all they want, but none of it makes sense in the least. They need to reboot their management and integrity and give it another go.

  4. Submitted by Robert Langford on 12/09/2014 - 12:32 pm.

    Another “gang sign” photo?

    Today’s NY Times has a similar picture of a young boy “signing” ( Page A24) at Catherine, Dutchess of York to the “signing” young man in the KSTP broadcast. KSTP should cover that in the same way if they really are serious about Hubbard’s defense of their coverage. Years ago, there was a condition of integrity attached to a station license. That does not seem to apply any longer, at least to the media owned by the Hubbard interests. Isn’t it clear that this was not a news story, but rather propaganda by the St. Croix resident family who want to demean our mayor?

  5. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 12/09/2014 - 12:53 pm.

    Not credible

    I’m inclined to go with Dave Hanners on this one.

    As I think I said in a comment at the time, Betsy Hodges is a grandmother, for heaven’s sake. In order for the televised report to have any credibility, you have to believe wholeheartedly in Hanners’ a), b) and c). You also have to believe that “…If it’s on TV, it must be true!” Sorry, it doesn’t pass the smell test now, and it didn’t at the time, either.

    John Edwards’ paranoia is duly noted, but this incident had nothing to do with politics, liberal or conservative. The mayor of a city the size of Minneapolis has a calendar filled with public appearances and photo ops, and the assistants drive you from one event to another, where you just hope you don’t look completely ridiculous in the resultant image. Sometimes, it doesn’t quite work, but to assert that the genteel white grandmother in the photo is knowingly flashing gang sign or is somehow in league with street gangs is laughably stupid.

    Whatever reputation KSTP might have had for gravitas in newsgathering and reporting went up in smoke with that alleged “story,” and at least in my household, it’ll be quite some time before I tune the TV to KSTP for anything more than tomorrow’s weather forecast.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 12/09/2014 - 01:16 pm.

      KSTP’s Reputation for Gravitas

      It has been a long time since I have taken KSTP seriously as a news outlet. Their curious appetite for blood, gore, and guts was always bad enough, and memories of their slavish coverage of the Ventura administration (your average lapdog would have been embarrassed) don’t help. It is, however, their fervent bias against the city of Minneapolis that pushes them over the edge. I think their idea of reporting can be summed up by three rules:

      1. If it bleeds, it leads;

      2. If the bleeding is in Minneapolis, it merits a pre-broadcast teaser;

      3. If it happens on light rail in Minneapolis, Mr. Hubbard will plotz from joy.

  6. Submitted by Connie Sullivan on 12/09/2014 - 03:29 pm.

    One wonders what the local ultra-conservative press would make of the color of the mayor’s various outfits.

    I’m sure that this female politician who is too young to wear all dark clothes has been wearing vibrant gang colors on this day or that. Maybe even the colors of rival gangs, as she moves from turf to turf in Minneapolis. She’s probably stirring up all kinds of gang mischief in her wake. Where’s the Hubbard station when you need them to follow up on what her wardrobe signals about her gang affiliations and turf-crossing gang war inciting!!

    Hubbard could hire their sources–that retired cop who seems so afraid, and the too-long-in-the-post police union head–as wardrobe consultants about where Mayor Hodges can wear this blue or that red or a certain shade of purple, or orange, or green, etc., without offending either public decency or gang sensibilities.

    I mean, we can’t have our mayor go around innocent of what her clothing choices mean to gangs!

  7. Submitted by Ilya Gutman on 12/09/2014 - 07:01 pm.

    What fits the print

    All this discussion and Mr. Black’s piece itself missed the major point: The story in question was not about race but about a mayor but was made to be about race by eager racism scouts. Without racism charge there would have been no national story about this story. I personally do not believe that the mayor flashed this sign knowingly – she just copied what the other guy was doing without thinking which is bad enough because I tend to believe that this sign is not as innocent as many want to present (after all, I think some kids were suspended from school for this sign).

    By the way, a criterion that a paper should print anything it believes in may lead to interesting things: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/chris-weigant/interview-with-the-author_b_6291612.html.

  8. Submitted by Hiram Foster on 12/10/2014 - 10:20 am.

    Dan Cohen

    For me, this comes back to the Dan Cohen case which raises the question, when does the fact that there is a source for a story, become the story? What I thought was interesting here was that the police union, it seems, has been mining data in order to find items that can be used to embarrass the mayor. That indicates that there is bad blood between the mayor and the police, which is, I suppose, information of some significance.

    Whenever journalists receive information from a source, they are at risk of assuming and relaying the source’s point of view at the expense of maintaining journalistic objectivity. At the very least, that was a problem here.

    • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 12/10/2014 - 11:50 am.

      That’s actually the story

      The bad blood between the Police Union and the Mayor IS the story. What’s funny is that this story would still be unknown were it not for the Union’s clumsy attempt at dirtying the Mayor. Aside from the black eye KSTP has gotten from this, the Union came off like a bunch dopes. Nothing like a racial profile of the Mayor to prove you don’t have a problem with racial profiling on the force eh? This was a perfect storm of incompetence and stupid.

      • Submitted by david hanners on 12/11/2014 - 06:46 am.

        Were I the mayor or Mr. Gordon, I’d be tempted to send a Data Practices Act request to the Department of Public Safety to see just how many cops in how many departments have typed my name into their computers. I once did so, and found that even though I had been stopped by police a grand total of twice in my 20 years in Minnesota, numerous police departments had run inquiries on my name over the years. One of the perks of being a reporter who wrote about cops, I guess.

  9. Submitted by Hiram Foster on 12/10/2014 - 12:29 pm.

    The police

    I don’t think the police came off as dopes here. They did, after all, succeed in persuading the KSTP reporter to buy their spin. People try to manipulate the media all the time. It’s up to the media not to be manipulated and it’s up to consumers of news to recognize spin when they see it.

    • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 12/10/2014 - 06:06 pm.

      Dopes I tell ya.

      Both the cops and KSTP doubled down on this story, which was a ridiculous attempt to paint an innocent gesture as an ominous or even dangerous expression of gang affiliation. It was stupid, and all those involved in the attempt ended up with egg on their faces. If MPLS cops driving by they Mayor having her picture taken would seriously conclude or even suspect that some kind of gang activity is taking place, then they are dopes pure and simple. There are attempts to manipulate the media, and then there are stupid attempts to manipulate the media. I suppose you could try to give MPD credit for KSTP’s lack of integrity but it’s kind of wash either way.

      • Submitted by E Gamauf on 12/11/2014 - 06:03 am.

        Finger-pointing Patent Pending

        You encapsulate it well, nonetheless:

        This wasn’t a blog out of someone’s basement. The people who said this was a gang sign are incredibly excitable or manipulative, imo. That’s the nicest possible way to say it.

        Its not as though pointing has gone out of vogue because a gang adopted a gesture.
        If anyone honestly felt it was somehow inappropriate, right or wrong, what they thought it meant was never well explained & there were smarter ways to go about calling it.

        Asking the question:
        If the accusers thought it was a gang sign, what did they think it was supposed to mean or do,
        in the wild-hair fiction they constructed?

        Somebody took not just the “media” for dupes, but also the viewers as the end goal.

        Its no big leap to think someone wanted to [potentially] influence the media by implying vague negative connotations. This media outlet eagerly complied, whether ineptly, or with deliberation. (Funny how its not called liberal media, or conservative media this time, just “media”).

        KSTP damaged its reputation as a news source in these histrionics & there is no ducking that conclusion.
        The station, however, isn’t the only station to have gone over the top in coverage, though its no consolation or defense to say that other stations occasionally do it too.

        Did we learn anything useful in this?

    • Submitted by jason myron on 12/11/2014 - 06:48 am.

      Was KSTP really manipulated?

      Or was it just being willfully obtuse? If you read any of Koll’s tweets attempting to defend his “reporting,” it’s obviously the latter.

  10. Submitted by Ilya Gutman on 12/10/2014 - 08:42 pm.

    Everyone keeps discussing this story for its merit which was not the issue that brought it to the nation’s attention – non-existent racism of the story was. The story itself is not worth discussing and it would not have been discussed here if some people did not invent a racist overtone in it.

    As for what the sign means, I tend to trust police on that since I do not have a clue (and neither all the commenters here who, I hope, are not gang members).

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 12/11/2014 - 10:11 am.

      Non-existent racism

      Would the police union have sent in its tip if Mayor Hodges had been pointing at a young white man? Would KSTP have run the story at all?

      Just because racism doesn’t happen to you doesn’t make it non-existent.

      • Submitted by Ilya Gutman on 12/11/2014 - 07:47 pm.

        Yes, non-existent

        Everyone is saying that the police union strongly dislikes the mayor so yes, of course, they would have sent the tip if she were pointing at a crocodile if they thought it would damage her. Would KSTP print this story with a crocodile? Sure if they don’t like the mayor as well. Again, nothing about racism here which is why the SPJ did NOT criticize KSTP for that. Stop looking for racism in every nook and cranny…

        • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 12/12/2014 - 09:36 am.

          Pointing at a crocodile

          First, let me say (non-sarcastically, for once) that is a great image.

          Second, would KSTP have run that story to damage the Mayor if it had not involved a young African American male? Probably not. Racism does not need to be overt. If she had pointed at anyone or anything else, there would be no story. It is pointing at a generic African-American (face conveniently blurred, perhaps to add to the air of menace) that made it a story about flashing gang signs.

          There are subtle ways that racism is present in our political discourse even if the n-word is not mentioned. Political demagogues have learned how to bait races without mentioning the word at all (“Here’s a picture of the rapist Willie Horton, who . . . well, by gosh, now that you mention it, I guess he is black! Well, that has nothing to do with why you should fear him.”).

          • Submitted by Ilya Gutman on 12/12/2014 - 10:56 pm.

            Thanks

            Mr. Holbrook, thanks for the compliment but I’d like you to go further. You are basically stating that the true reason KSTP published that and the police Union informed them of this case was their racism and desire to show a generic black man in a compromising situation. However, this theory completely disregards the fact that there is a big animosity between the mayor and those two institutions. Occam’s razor principle states that usually the simplest explanation of a fact is the right one and there is no need to find more complicated ones. You are trying to bring up complexity of racism instead of using an obvious clue: they just hate the mayor. In other words you are looking for racism where it doesn’t exist and then attribute it as a motif without any specific proof; all you have is your conviction that it is everywhere. If a server in McDonald’s doesn’t act very friendly to you in the morning, most likely it is not because of you but because she didn’t have enough sleep or had a fight with her boyfriend.

            As for subtle racism, what do you want to be done if rapist Willie Horton is indeed black? In fact, most left-leaning media outlets will try to not publish his picture but do you think it is the right thing to do? And real political demagogues actually use race all the time (white person killed black teenager – who cares why and under what circumstances). And how about liberal racists – those exposed by the latest Sony e-mail revelations… I guess they are also hypocrites.

            • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 12/14/2014 - 12:07 pm.

              Racism

              To answer your last point first, yes, if the liberals you mentioned publicly decry racism, I would call them hypocrites. No “everyone does it to some extent” is called for–it’s hypocrisy.

              The hatred for the Mayor can use racism as a tool. How does it damage the Mayor to be seen pointing at a generic white person, even if you add in the commentary that this is a known gang sign? Probably not at all–the common reaction to that kind of story would be that it is a prime example of bovine scatology. If I am doing agitprop for the Police Federation, I surely know this. If I want to make my hit more effective, I know I’m going to get more mileage out of a picture that shows some African American flashing what I tell people is a gang sign.

              “In fact, most left-leaning media outlets will try to not publish his picture but do you think it is the right thing to do?” The picture should be published, and race mentioned, if it is relevant to the story (e.g. the physical description of an unapprehended suspect, or evidence of a bias crime). Otherwise, I don’t see the point.

              • Submitted by Ilya Gutman on 12/14/2014 - 10:46 pm.

                Not

                We are talking about a mayor of Minneapolis, where there is a sizable minority population and most people are liberal. So for all practical purposes, the effect would have been greater if she were pointing at a white gang member – this article would have scored more points. The fact that the other person was black just made it less effective in Minneapolis but that is what they had… No trace of racism here.

                Speaking of publishing pictures, do you think criminals’ pictures should not be published at all unless intended for the purpose of catching them? You see, I agree with that in general but I do not want white criminals’ pictures published but not blacks’. And while we are on this topic, you should agree that the race should not be mentioned at all…. including in description of Michael Brown case, right?

    • Submitted by jason myron on 12/12/2014 - 03:13 pm.

      You don’t have to be a gang member to figure it out.

      Just a cursory bit of research and a dash of common sense tosses the “gang sign” meme out of the window. It that’s a gang sign, you better start locking up politicians ( an example of which I’ve already provided for you) athletes and their fans, actors and their fans, families, including grandma and grandpa and about every kid in the country that’s ever taken a selfie with a bud.

  11. Submitted by Hiram Foster on 12/11/2014 - 06:09 am.

    Doubling down

    “Both the cops and KSTP doubled down on this story, which was a ridiculous attempt to paint an innocent gesture as an ominous or even dangerous expression of gang affiliation.”

    Both the cops and KSTP management got what they wanted, a story that damages a mayor they dislike which is being recycled in the media. From a journalistic point of view, this was a bad story, but journalistic standards and those who establish them in the news room aren’t calling the shots on this anymore.

    • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 12/11/2014 - 08:00 am.

      What?

      Hiram, you must be wintering down in Arizona or something. NO ONE is talk about Hodges as a result of this story, it hasn’t damaged her at all, on the contrary. “Pointergate” is the story that’s circulating, and THAT story isn’t about Hodges. Neither KSTP or the Police Union has gotten what they wanted out of this.

  12. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 12/11/2014 - 10:40 am.

    The real problem with KSTP

    I realize a lot of people have already kind of commented on this, but I think it bears some emphasis and clarification.

    The problem with Hubbard’s intransigence, and to some extent the Police Union now shares that problem for the same reasons, is that he’s converted this into an institutional problem. One thing it is to run a bad or unfounded story on occasion, almost every news outlet does that once and while, but Hubbard’s position and long winded defense of unscrupulous journalism is telling us that KSTP as an institution has no sense of integrity. That’s actually a much bigger problem for KSTP than the story itself. For one thing, unscrupulous journalism gives advertisers a legitimate reason to pull their ads and sponsorships from the station. And of course if gives viewers a reason to go elsewhere, and so long as the station refuses to acknowledge its shortcomings viewers may stay elsewhere. As a business KSTP is not the strongest station in the market and this won’t help. It’s ironic that Hubbard would pontificate about the virtues of “integrity” to an Augsburg audience while damaging his own business with such a power display of a lack of integrity, but like I’ve said before, that’s typical private sector executive behavior in America.

    The MPD now has a similar problem and the timing couldn’t be worse. Some unidentified retired cop mischaracterizes an innocent gesture as threat to public safety, then Union representatives AND acting officers support that charge. At that point it’s not just about one cranky retiree anymore, it’s a reflection of the institution itself. If this is the way the MPD “police’s” North MPLS, driving around looking for hand gestures, we have a much bigger problem than we thought.

  13. Submitted by Hiram Foster on 12/13/2014 - 06:47 am.

    KSTP has always been known as a right wing news outlet. It’s why the police shopped their photo there. The message presented by this story appeals and reaffirms KSTP’s audience in their beliefs, and won’t hurt them with those folks. The people who have a problem with this story, are either not watching KSTP, or they are watching it ironically. This story supports their views too.

    There are many constituencies out there and just because a news item doesn’t appeal to on constituency doesn’t mean it doesn’t appeal to others. In pushing this story, the police weren’t speaking to me. And it doesn’t make a lot of sense that they should, because my political views aren’t up for grabs. They may be speaking to others, conservatives, business leaders, and to the police themselves who may well feel they are the targets of what they regard as unfair political finger pointing.

  14. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 12/13/2014 - 10:14 am.

    Size matters

    There are limits to the wisdom of cynicism. Sure KSTP and the Police Union may play to their audience but Hubbard didn’t get to be a media mogul by driving advertisers away, and that’s what’s happened here, I think at least advertisers have pulled their ads. Beyond that, viewers don’t grow on trees and the audience that’s gonna want to see a story like this is getting smaller. Even here our standard conservatives hare having a hard time getting behind this story.

    Believe it or not I used to watch KSTP once in a while. Local TV news by and large is crap devoid of substance. Last night for instance while one station’s lead story was the anniversary of something that happened five years ago (serously, that’s your LEAD story?) another station was leading with the third anniversary of some kids dying somehow somewhere, in a car accident. Then everyone talked about Adrian Peterson and that was it, no news. So I would on occasion land on channel 5 in my futile search for actual news on occasion. Not anymore.

    I would be interesting to see if their ratings drop, but having said all of this I wouldn’t expect see much of a drop.

    And as for the Police Union, they need public support, and if they think they’re going to get it from reflexively anti-labor anti-union republicans, all I can say is they’re dopes. Even if such people like stories like this, it’s not going to help the Police Union.

  15. Submitted by Hiram Foster on 12/14/2014 - 07:42 am.

    There are limits to the wisdom of cynicism.

    Maybe, but other news organizations like Fox News go far beyond KSTP in testing them and still seem to be doing just fine. Hubbard became fantastically successful doing exactly what he is doing and I, for one, don’t expect him to change.

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