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UCare pulls advertising from KSTP over Pointergate


This is always when it gets interesting. MPR’s Matt Sepic says, “The health insurance company UCare has pulled its advertising from KSTP-TV because of news report that has been dubbed ‘#pointergate’ on social media. …  UCare marketing director Dan Ness said the company canceled its contract with the station through the end of the year. … Station owner Stanley Hubbard called UCare’s decision ‘unbelievable.’”

Related: From a hundred citizens, an open-letter in the Strib to the Minneapolis Police Department regarding their Pointergate role. “We see clearly now that Pointergate was crafted as an attack on Mayor Betsy Hodges for speaking out about police abuse, timed to arrive the night before her news conference on police body cameras. Even while this plan backfired, Pointergate brought shame to our city, inflamed historic divisions and inflicted deep hurt on members of our community. We hold you responsible for this pain.”

The Groucho masks are a funny touch. Watching the MnSCU meltdown, Alex Friedrich at MPR writes, “The big nose and fuzzy eyebrows were a cheesy caricature of system Chancellor Steven Rosenstone, who bears a resemblance to Marx. The students’ posters spoofed the statewide presentations the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system has used to solicit suggestions for the overhaul. But behind the funny glasses and mockups lie real worries about what the overhaul will do to colleges. The small group is part of a revolt by students and faculty against ‘Charting the Future,’ the administration’s plan to revamp the system to make it more efficient and effective.

Oh, and welcome back. Amy Forliti at the AP says, “A Roman Catholic priest who is accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl in Minnesota has been returned to the U.S. from his native India to face charges, authorities said Monday. The Rev. Joseph Jeyapaul arrived in Minneapolis on Monday, just days after a high court in New Delhi, India, found no fault in a lower court’s decision to recommend his extradition … . Jeyapaul, 59, is charged with two counts of first-degree criminal sexual misconduct. Prosecutors say he raped a girl multiple times in 2004 and 2005, starting when she was 14.”

And while we’re on the subject, MPR has another story. “A Minnesota priest in prison for sexual abuse now faces a charge he sexually assaulted a teenage boy three and a half years ago in Wisconsin. Prosecutors in Chippewa County have charged the Rev. Curtis Wehmeyer with one count of second degree sexual assault. A 21-year-old man told Chippewa County Sheriff’s Department investigator Chad Weinberger in March that Wehmeyer provided him with alcohol and marijuana while they were on a camping trip in Brunet Island State Park in Estella, Wisconsin.”

In Rolling Stone, Jeff Allen works through the pros and cons of Kevin Garnett owning the Timberwolves. “So he should come back. Of course, what you don’t see many people talking about is the notion that  KG would be a terrible owner of a sports franchise. All the uniquely KG things he does that give him an edge on the court – punching dudes in the face, trash-talking, swearing on live television, head-butting hoop stanchions whilst yelling maniacally – could potentially hurt him in his quest to steer an NBA franchise toward competence. Owning and managing a franchise is a long game. It takes discipline, patience, analytical thinking and a willingness to recognize and acquiesce to the intellect of the scouts and eggheads under your employ. These are not skills that insanely competitive people like Kevin Garnett have typically displayed.”

Someone had a tough day. Mara Gottfried of the PiPress reports, “In unprovoked cases, a 32-year-old woman assaulted two women she didn’t know on St. Paul’s University Avenue, including pulling one to the ground and punching her in the head, prosecutors said Monday. Ebony Monique Steward told police she assaulted the 40-year-old woman ‘because she was a ‘white girl in the hood,’ and she doesn’t like or trust white people,’ according to the criminal complaint.”

The Lord and Lady, Minnesota’s “Scottish Royalty” are back in the news. Says Dave Chanen of the Strib, “Since January, millionaire Colin Chisholm sat in jail, claiming he was too poor to post bail. Through the months, he repeatedly denied charges that he and his wife, Andrea, took more than $167,420 in fraudulent medical and food-stamp claims over seven years. On Monday, a very contrite Chisholm agreed to a 21-month prison sentence and admitted that he committed a major economic crime. Speaking barely above a whisper in Hennepin County court, he told Judge Lois Conroy that ‘I take full responsibility for this.’ … Chisholm appeared to be heading toward a trial. He had discharged his attorney and was appointed a public defender. He also claimed that media reports about his crimes were false.”

No, not another “Bestest Yummy Restaurants” listicle, but an award show — for foodies. Reporting from the 4th Annual Charlie Awards, City Pages’ Mecca Bos has the rundown of winners. Among them:

“Outstanding design: Coup d’Etat
Outstanding pastry chef: Jon Kraus, Patisserie 46
Outstanding service: Corner Table
Community hero: Vincent Francoual, Vincent
Outstanding food truck: Moral Omnivore
Outstanding local brew: Westside IPA, Harriet Brewery
Outstanding bartender: Jesse Held, Parlour, Coup d’Etat
Outstanding menu item: ‘The Grill Charlie’s’, two tenderloin sliders with bearnaise from the St. Paul Grill
Outstanding restaurant: Brasserie Zentral” 


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Comments (21)

  1. Submitted by jason myron on 11/18/2014 - 06:49 am.

    Hubbard is incredulous

    that normal people who don’t live in his political vacuum find his “news” department to be nothing better than tabloid? Good to know…

    • Submitted by Tom Clark on 11/18/2014 - 07:44 am.

      Hubbard isn’t really being incredulous

      He’s merely practicing the time-dishonored tactics of Dick Nixon. Admit nothing, deny everything, and make plenty of counter-accusations.

    • Submitted by Pat Berg on 11/18/2014 - 08:15 am.

      He gave an interview

      It seems to be kind of flying under the radar, but it was mentioned in the piece on the Ucare advertising withdrawal, so I went and found it:

      I haven’t yet listened to the whole thing, but here’s a quote from the printed summary:

      “This isn’t something we did. You can blame the police and you can yell at them. Don’t blame us. We’re only reporting the news, and we will continue to report the news. We’re very sorry if somebody was offended. The facts are the facts. We only report the facts, and the facts are that multiple police agencies said this was a bad thing.”

      and further down:

      “I think we’re doing a story next week, because every time we check the facts we find out more.”

      Oh – so they’re checking the facts now! What a concept!

      I can hardly wait to see what their “fact-checking” dredges up next . . . . . . .

  2. Submitted by Lynda Anderson on 11/18/2014 - 09:09 am.


    Tabloid TV like this is one of the reasons we stopped watching local news. I am not the least bit surprised that Hubbard still doesn’t understand why people might have a problem with the “reporting” of this story (and I use the term loosely) and the subsequent response from the KSTP staff.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 11/18/2014 - 09:49 am.

      I’m sure he understands

      He is just following a time-honored practice of those who cannot deny the indefensible: “I am shocked that you would say such terrible things about me!”

  3. Submitted by Bob Quarrels on 11/18/2014 - 10:33 am.


    In a way, it’s refreshing that a story on local TV news generates any kind of conversation at all. I thought it was just weather, cute children undergoing medical procedures and concerned corporations painting houses. If it weren’t for the flashing lights on cars out front, the camera crew couldn’t find city hall.

    Looking at channel 5’s ratings, the current boycott must have started in the mid to late ’80s.

  4. Submitted by Jeffrey Jerde on 11/18/2014 - 10:38 am.

    The sense of shame has gone away?

    I have a modestly large Facebook community for a guy of 63, and I’ve noticed in reviewing posts that a surprising number of gang signs are being thrown. Was there ever a day when people caught for doing shameful things would just lower their heads and say, “Sorry” instead of continuing the insult? Maybe KSTP-TV should do a story on that cultural change.

  5. Submitted by Jackson Cage on 11/18/2014 - 11:09 am.

    It might have been nice

    if any of the 100 letter signers had distinguished the Police Department from the Union.

  6. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 11/18/2014 - 11:26 am.

    Hubbard Shmubbard

    Look, the guy told an Augsburg audience that saying: “We didn’t say, THEY did”, is a fine example of journalistic “integrity”. Apparently the penultimate achievement of integrity in Hubbard’s view is to run with a story you don’t bother to verify and use sources you don’t bother to question. This is soooo typical, and by the way, a great example of taking personal responsibility Mr. republican. We didn’t say it.. they did… indeed.

  7. Submitted by jody rooney on 11/18/2014 - 11:46 am.

    Instead of Mayor flashes Gang sign

    perhaps the story should have read. Police Union accuses Mayor of flashing gang sign and then they could go on to talk about the animosity in the relationship.

    Frankly the immature reporter should be fired. I was appalled that an adult would exercise such poor judgement in responding to tweets. Anyone that incompetent should be gone.

    Mr. Hubbard clearly has not shown any integrity or taken any responsibility for his company. If he doesn’t understand the responsibilities of the 4th estate then it’s time to hit him in the pocket book.

    Who sponsors the news?

  8. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 11/18/2014 - 12:47 pm.


    “…Station owner Stanley Hubbard called UCare’s decision ‘unbelievable.’”

    Even more unbelievable is Mr. Hubbard’s inability to admit responsibility for the hysterical silliness his station has promoted. Close behind is the myopia abundantly displayed by Mr. Delmonico.

  9. Submitted by Dean Doherty on 11/18/2014 - 03:07 pm.


    And the timing of UCare pulling their vast ad dollars has nothing to do with Open Enrollment for health insurance being in full swing? Why hasn’t any other local tv station covered this ‘story’ on their website? Who else is following in UCare’s brave and principled footsteps? Exactly nobody so far. And why is it the marketing director who is the face of UCare on this issue of pulling their ad dollars in the name of social responsibility ? Isn’t this principled action more appropriately addressed by the communications director or perhaps someone a little higher on the UCare face-of-the-company roster? This is a marketing stunt plain and simple in my opinion. UCare is shamefully profiteering for free publicity.

  10. Submitted by Dean Doherty on 11/18/2014 - 03:15 pm.


    ‘Thanks to our major sponsors: UCare, Healthcare that starts with you.’ I trust they won’t now be pulling their ad dollars from MinnPost? Who else has followed by pulling ads from KSTP in the wake of ‘pointergate’? Nobody so far. And is Kare11, WCCO, or KSTP covering this on their respective sights? Not so far. I wish I could write more but I have to get my Open Enrollment done…. Hey, wait just a doggonne minute. Does this ‘story’ have anything to do with …? Nah, couldn’t be. Now, which insurer should I choose to recieve my healthcare premium. I won’t be able to change it all year so I’ll have to really think hard about it.

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