A Kinder, Gentler Kersten?

Categories: General Archive

Strib Scribe Embraces Diversity, Sort of

Check out the new, much perkier Katherine Kersten in today's Star Tribune: A nearly benevolent photo tops her column. It's light years from the witchy-poo rendition Blotter griped about on the occasion of her debut. Do you suppose Kersten's gotten happier, or is it that the Strib's corporate minders have concluded that it's okay, just this once, to burn film until you get it right?

Strib decision makers have been quick to admit that Kersten's hiring was part of a calculated strategy to reach out to suburbia and exurbia. But given today's topic, ostensibly civil rights, we have to wonder whether the copy-massagers on Portland Avenue were taken aback by the arch-hawk's early columns. What else besides an in-print lecture on the virtues of homophobia would explain Kersten's reaching out--reportorially, anyhow--to St. Paul Human Rights director Tyrone Terrill? A black man spouting a Bill Cosby-esque take on inner-city violence, but a black man nonetheless.

We're also impressed to see that Kersten has made strides toward conquering the anectdotal lede (two paragraphs of touching personal history cascading predictably to an epiphany, which sets readers up for the "nut," or hypothesis). This kind of story treatment has become de riguer for any daily newspaper making token efforts to reach out to young people and women--and show us one that isn't.

Just who do you suppose is co-opting who?


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