Monday, August 23, 2004

Throwing Down the Gauntlet

I'm not sure if I've ever seen someone personally attacked in the Star Tribune the way the Powerline guys were on Sunday. In an editorial by Star Tribune editorial staff member Jim Boyd, the distinguished John Hinderaker and Scott Johnson are referred to as frauds, smear artists, and immoral slime throwers. In addition, there are contemptuous of democracy, unintelligent, and surrogates of the Bush machine.

He went on to say they were "freelance racists, hobby cops, misanthropic frat boys, lizardskin cigar monkeys, jerktown romeos, and ninja dittoheads..."

Actually that last part is Garrison Keillor's description of Republicans in general. But I'm sure in Jim Boyd's eyes, these terms equally apply to the Powerline duo. And these assertions are no less absurd than the invective aimed at our Northern Alliance colleagues.

As this election season progresses, I think weere going to have to get used to the fact that this is how Democrats respond to any substantive issue that threatens them - with childish name calling and hysterics . But, as I heard John O'Neill say to an interviewer this weekend, 'you know you're not over the target unless you're receiving some flack.'

The gents from Powerline have responded to Boyd and have invited him to debate these issues face-to-face, LIVE during an upcoming Northern Alliance Radio broadcast from the Minnesota State Fair. Since Boyd referred to them as frauds, I think he owes it to them to show up. It's what any professional journalist, and frankly what any real man, would be compelled to do.

Jim Boyd's professional credibility is on the line with this one, not to mention the institutional reputation of his employer, the Star Tribune. Are they interested in substantive debate on the issues, to the benefit of all Minnesota voters? Or are they only interested in hit-and-run-and-hide cheap shots? We shall see.

Along with Powerline, we encourage you to email the responsible parties at the Star Tribune, Jim Boyd and editorial section editor Eric Ringham.

boyd@startribune.com

eringham@startribune.com

Let them know your feelings on Boyd's piece and how interested you are in hearing a full debate on this issue at the Fair.

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