Thursday, August 03, 2006


The Inverted Wall Street Journal

Eric Black, bless his heart, runs a really nice blog called The Big Question under the auspices of his bosses at the StarTribune. Now, if you were to believe the screechings emanating 24/7 from the Republican Noise Machine, the Strib is a Commie, Commie, COMMIE newspaper, yadda yadda yadda. And it's difficult on any given day to read the letters section of the paper (or the online entities associated with it, such as Eric Black's blog: Check out today's offering, for example) without running into Yet Another Screed from some Limbaugh/Hewitt/Soucheray/FOX/Powerline Kool-Aid Junkie about the alleged Commieness of the Strib. So I figured that I was doing poor Eric Black a favor a couple of weeks ago when I pointed out on his blog that D.J. "Doug" Tice, a guy whose conservative Republican preferences are well-known, well-documented, and of long standing, is in charge of the political newsroom at the Commie Strib. (But to judge from his reaction, Eric himself apparently wasn't too sure that I really was doing him a favor.) Even as I was mulling over this today, I picked up this week's City Pages, which just happens to feature Britt Robson pounding what he apparently figures is another nail in the "liberal StarTribune" canard coffin. And as with my comments over at Eric Black's blog, his main evidence is D.J. Tice's conservatism -- specificially, Tice's history of vocally espousing conservative Republican causes. Among other things, Robson states that in 1991, he himself left the now-defunct Twin Cities Reader after then-editor Tice published a pro-Desert-Storm editorial.) But Robson goes further, and strongly hints that Tice was trying to take an old traffic ticket and turn it into a gay smear against Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Hatch -- a charge Tice denies even as he defends the alleged validity of the questions his reporters asked Hatch. More and more, I'm beginning to wonder if the Strib in many ways isn't an inverted Wall Street Journal. Whereas the WSJ has an archconservative editorial staff and a top-notch, generally neutral newsroom, the Strib seems to be moving, under Tice's leadership in the newsroom, to having a liberal editorial staff and an increasingly conservative newsroom.

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