Star Tribune blasted for "puff" Michele Bachmann coverage

bachmann strib.jpg
Normally, the Star Tribune and Fox News wouldn't be mentioned in the same sentence...
The Daily Kos' Bill Prendergast has put the Star Tribune on blast for going soft on Michele Bachmann.

SEE ALSO: Michele Bachmann's Keith Ellison comments: Media criticized for "unconscionable" headlines

In a column entitled "Bachmann update: why this nut wins her district," Prendergast characterizes a September 28 Strib report on Bachmann's recent swing through her congressional district as "outright distortion" and as "free political advertising for Bachmann courtesy of the Minneapolis Star Tribune."

Here's how the Strib report, entitled "Bachmann on the move in her toughest race yet" and written by Jennifer Brooks, begins:
The baby knocked over a glass of water. Without missing a beat, Rep. Michele Bachmann crouched down to mop up the mess.

"I'm used to it," said Bachmann, who is facing an unexpectedly tough re-election campaign for her fourth term in Congress. "Just like I'm cleaning up the mess in Washington. How many times have I cleaned up spilled milk at home? I was fully prepared to do what I do in D.C."

Bachmann dealt with the puddle, then ran a wet wipe across the baby's cake-covered face for good measure, all while answering a constituent's question about the medical device tax in the president's health care bill. It was Thursday afternoon in Forest Lake, and Bachmann was on the third stop of a daylong swing through the Sixth District.
The reader is left with the impression that Bachmann is some sort of "supermom/policy whiz" (to use Prendergast's words), but the report avoids substantial issues, like exactly what question about the medical device tax Bachmann was attempting to answer while "cleaning up the mess."

More from Prendergast:
That's reporting from the Minneapolis Star Tribune ("the Strib"), the most important daily paper in Minnesota. It's also widely considered to be the "liberal" paper. And that's the imagery they're using to sum up Michele Bachmann for Minnesota voters these days.

This newspaper story doesn't go on to report "the question about the medical device tax or Bachmann's answer." Reporting Bachmann's position on that issue (or any other) is not the aim of this kind of reporting. The aim of this kind of "reporting" is to present Michele Bachmann as some kind supermom/policy whiz. It's not objective or even-handed reporting.

The Strib reporters and editors read the political media. So they're all waaaaay past the the point where anyone familiar with the facts would sum up Michele Bachmann as a "supermom/policy whiz."

That means the imagery employed amounts to outright distortion--since there's nothing in the article to counter it. There's no reporting that acquaints the readers with Bachmann's record with the truth--or her positions on issues--or her actual record in the legislature. Bachmann's charge that the US government has been infiltrated by Islamic extremists? That is presented as if it's a legitimate difference of opinion.So this a piece to puff Michele Bachmann, and that's all it is.
This morning, Brooks took to Twitter to respond to the Daily Kos' criticism:

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17 comments
mellster1
mellster1

Why do we constantly call out The Media when we know that since media deregulation, there is no longer any pretense of balance or objectivity? This is why I laugh at the same old whining about "the source of" whatever story being "liberal media bias". There is no more bias except on the part of the corporation that owns the opinion you, dear reader (whoever you are) dose yourself with regularly. The lady that wrote this "news story" probably wasn't permitted to discuss things of  any "substance" whatsoever with Michelle Bachmann.

CinBlueland
CinBlueland topcommenter

Stib is only conservative if your barometer is centered on DailyKos and the like.  Most conservatives consider the Strib just a step above Pravda when promoting the progressive agenda.

dsanders2628
dsanders2628

This "reporter" has a history of the too-perfect quote and the pat illustrative story, just as you see in the Bachmann piece ... one of these days, some gutsy editor will call her on it, look deeper and melt that smirk.

webcelt
webcelt

I notice no response to Prendergast's point that fact-checkers had to stop checking Bachmann because it would be all the debate coverage they'd have time for. That's a pretty big deal, yet mysteriously got left out of the article. A  "reporter" is on Twitter engaging in pissing contests instead of doing her own fact checking.

stribrooks
stribrooks

@eric_pusey Psst. You misspelled "butt." Don't worry, I don't judge.

Ray Aune
Ray Aune

And apparently a foe of falafel.. still don't know whether or not that statement of hers regarding it being a 'gateway food' is satire or not but it certainly has.. truthiness

CinBlueland
CinBlueland topcommenter

You're kidding right? Although to be quasi fair.. Using dailyKos as a barometer will make anything looked skewed. DK and their minions on DemocraticUnderground think the only "fair" reporting of a Republican should be them burning in a pool of fossil fuels.

Before MB can chime in.. No I'm not defending Bachmann, just commenting on the source of this article.

If Aaron is going to be this lazy he may as well just start copying and pasting posts from MotherJones, and ThinkProgress as well.

eric_pusey
eric_pusey

@stribrooks I do judge you. Why won't you fact check @MicheleBachmann? Why nothing about her positions on issues? #Fail #Journalism

YipYee
YipYee

 @CinBlueland Some days you conservatives rail against the mainstream media's bias, but when it's presented like this, you just rip on Kos and call Aaron "lazy"?  Let me strap on my lollerskates.

CarlosMillantros
CarlosMillantros

 @CinBlueland - Lets not point out the obvious faults and trends of mainstream journalism, who if anybody is going to highlight the fact that our beloved check and balance press is doing a lackluster job reporting on our elected officials? Surely not you. 

CinBlueland
CinBlueland topcommenter

 @YipYee Part of it is I don't really like Bachmann so hard to get too worked up.. But when I see source material from DailyKos, MotherJones, ThinkProgress or MediaMatters.. There is media bias and blind partisan hacks.

CinBlueland
CinBlueland topcommenter

 @MisterOpus1  @YipYee ad hominem attack? WHAT? Sorry Rather's report was blow out of the water by pretty much everyone except partisan hacks.  Non issue now much like Obama's funding of a Harvard education, no published comments.. How in the hell did he get accepted?  All moot points now..

Got your gov't phone and cheese? Line up O is your guy.

It's pretty cool for a few years ask Greece and Spain. No ask your dad.. What's the long term plan? Ya Romney isn't all cool n stuff. But who do you want watching your money? 

Shut up.. you made more than me.. gimmie.. I want a phone!

No really.. I''m coming to your house for your i5.. I deserve it. and you're going to pay for it. Bottom line.

 

YipYee
YipYee

 @CinBlueland It rings of Rather's comments in '04?  Are you saying the Strib made up fake pro-Bachmann coverage to advance their conservative agenda? That George Soros is playing chess when we're all playing checkers!

CinBlueland
CinBlueland topcommenter

 @YipYee  @CinBlueland BTW the "content over source" comment rings of the 04 election when Dan Rather used fake documents to promote his ideology. 

I know all progressives are a little soft in the head so if I use a militia blog to support my ideology it's OK?  So yes I always weigh the source when reading any article either left or right.

CinBlueland
CinBlueland topcommenter

 @YipYee  @CinBlueland I could be snarky and say FreeRepublic, The Blaze or ShotintheDark. I'd actually be OK with CP doing something but when Aaron and others only want to look from one side.. It would have been fairly easy for him to get a hold of Mitch Berg to get a counterpoint. One that is a local source and not on the Soro's payroll

(Sorry had to throw in the Soros bit to tweek MB if he/she is watching)

YipYee
YipYee

 @CinBlueland You're judging the article based on the source and not the content - if you think the DK criticism of the Strib is invalid strictly because of their slant, who would you trust to investigate that story?

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