Media remembrances of 9/11 events

Editor’s note: Former Glean writer Max Sparber is filling in for Brian Lambert for a few days.

First off, it should be mentioned in at least one Glean that today is an anniversary. An awful anniversary. Awful in what was done to us, and awful in its results. It has scarred us, as great injuries do, and it would be improper to let this day pass without mention of that injury, out of respect for those that died that day, and those that survived and grieved. Although, it should be noted, this year is just a mention, as you shall see.

Here is a brief roundup of some local media remembrances of 9/11.

The PiPress offers an AP story about the decline in the number of 9/11 families attending the memorial. Many, we are informed, feel last year’s 10-year anniversary was a turning point in public mourning, and prefer to memorizalize the event privately. The Star Tribune republished exactly the same story but also a video showing the moment of silence for the public event. 

From MPR — well, the same story. Based on this, there seems to be a sort of local consensus to let mourners mourn in peace, and not make the anniversary of the event a news spectacle.

And so it is on to local news. And, I must say, when you encapsulate news for long enough, you start getting a sense of the importance of the smaller stories. For instance, Tony Wagner of the Minnesota Daily offers up a tale of University of Minnesota students who are desperate for a campus grocery store. It’s no small feat that the U has managed to avoid having one for about 15 years, but for little corner bodegas with limited selections. This is, after all, Minnesota, where people define their lives as much by what they eat as by anything. Our co-ops once went to war with each other, and might still again if the detente between The Wedge and The Seward ever turns hot.

Our students don’t live on pizza and Pop-Tarts the way other students do. No, we have vegetarian, localvore, gluten-free, free-range, organic diets. It’s bewildering the the University of Minnesota doesn’t have a grocery store that caters to what Minnesotans eat, which is, of course, almost nothing.

The Glean

And then there is the Frederick Melo PiPress story about St. Paul’s trees, which have taken such a beating from the drought that the city is asking residents to go out to water them. Must we ask? Minnesotans love trees. Remember back in the ’70s when Dutch elm disease broke out and we went around and inoculated every at-risk tree? We can’t even be sure Minnesotans are inoculating their children against disease, but, by gosh, we saved the trees, which for years afterward bore hideous markings and bled black goop to mark the moment of their saving. Heck, every year for May Day, the Heart of the Beast seems to bring out giant, walking trees who pass through Powderhorn. Do we really want these beasts to scold us this spring for neglecting our foliage?

Speaking of which, the Strib has a story by Pam Louwagie  that threatens with news that conditions just now are ripe for wildfires. Wildfires? Where are we, California?

We must be, because we’re just now about to do what California once did, and remind our gay and lesbian residents that they are second-class citizens, as far as marriage is concerned. According to MPR’s Laura McCallum, the marriage amendment is poised to pass. Well, at least we’re not disenfranchising poor and minority voters. Oh, wait, the voting amendment is poised to pass, too.

At least we might get the food we need to eat, the little of it we’re willing to touch. Perhaps some will sympathize with P.O.S., who speaks with real authority in the new video for a song with an unprintable title. Head over to City Pages if you’re feeling a bit put out this afternoon and want to watch the rapper break stuff.

Comments (2)

  1. Submitted by Mark Stromseth on 09/11/2012 - 03:12 pm.

    Polls Have No Value

    Laura McCallum apparently believes that polls are correct: that is, they are infallible, and have actual value in predicting the outcome of anything.

    Sadly, she is mistaken, like so many others in the so-called “news” business. Asking 551 people for how they would vote if the election were held today is fraught with problems, including the exact wording of the question, the way the question was asked (inflection, or emphasis of voice by the person asking it), the mood of the person being asked, and the time of day they were asked. Aside from that, 551 is not enough of a sample to make any judgement.

    If you remember, all the polls showed that Jesse Ventura would lose the election when he ran for governor, but there it is: he won.

    The moral of this story is for the media to stop putting faith in polls, and stop reporting them, as reporting something that hasn’t happened as though it’s inevitable does adversely influence elections, and that’s not their job.

    • Submitted by Frank Phelan on 09/11/2012 - 05:40 pm.

      As I Recall…

      The polls just before the election had Coleman, Moe, and Ventura in that order but very close. With a typical margin of error being 3-4% my recollection is that the last polls showed it nearly a dead heat.

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