Ken Barlow's KSTP billboard picture defaced with "slacker" tag [PHOTO]

Categories: Media beefs
barlow billboard tag.jpg
Aaron Rupar
By the looks of it, a vandal has a beef with Ken Barlow.
In October, KSTP meteorologist Ken Barlow spoke publicly for the first time about his struggle with bipolar disorder. Months later, an Uptown-area billboard featuring his likeness has been defaced with a "slacker" tag.

SEE ALSO: KSTP wants answers from Minneapolis police over cameraman shoving incident [VIDEO]

Coincidence, or does the graffiti allude to Barlow's condition? It isn't clear, but if there's no connection, then why was Dave Dahl's mug conspicuously exempted from defacement?

Passages from the October Pioneer Press piece where Barlow went public with his bipolar diagnosis suggest the graffiti could be related. For example:
[Before his diagnosis], [t]here were [times] when Barlow was so depressed he couldn't get out of bed. Some days, he had to drag himself to work...

Barlow said that when he was let go from WBZ in 2010, it was a cost-cutting move and had nothing to do with his diagnosis. He never told anyone there that he was bipolar.
But other parts of the article indicate that Barlow is anything but a "slacker":
[T]hrough it all, [Barlow] said his bipolar disorder never affected his work ethic. He hasn't missed a day on the job since his initial diagnosis in Boston.

"I've always had that focus like a laser when it comes to work because I love my job," Barlow said. "I know I have to do certain things like work and I feel so much better when I do them. It's kind of a medicine for me. Without that, it would be very difficult."
Perhaps the moral of the story is that it's simply a bad idea to install a billboard -- especially one directly across the street from Liquor Lyle's -- so low off the ground that anybody with a can of spray paint can climb up there and start vandalizing. After all, this is the exact same billboard that made headlines last fall when its "Vote Yes" on the marriage amendment message was defaced with pink paint.

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help

Top-notch reporting. Upton Sinclair would be proud. 

jason.dorweiler topcommenter

Yeah this is just a tag. That billboard always gets hit. I may or may not have done the same thing a while back. Same goes for the ad space that was on the Drugstore building a half block down. I believe its being turned into a restaurant now...


Totally agree. I didn't mean to imply anything. I was just poking fun at some neighbors.


Not adjacent to Shameless, Inc. - across the street. This billboard is actually adjacent to a tanning salon and the Scottish Rite Temple. So, let's start blaming the Masons. Also- if anyone at Shameless were to witness somebody tagging a billboard in direct view of their shop they would be 86'ed for life.

Nuevo Andrewismo
Nuevo Andrewismo

Ha! Dave Dahl is a global warming denier. What a fucking idiot.


I know it doesn't jive with your "hard-hitting local reporting", but this just a tag and has nothing to do with who is on the billboard. That is unless bathroom mirrors and signposts across Uptown/Loring Park/Downtown are all also SLACKERS. It's a very ubiquitous tag...

You'll also note that billboard is immediately adjacent to a business which sell high-end spray paint.

Eric Kanzenbach
Eric Kanzenbach

Then they should get on their job and make it not be SO DAMN COLD!!!


@kjp0403 Absolutely. I don't think anyone would blame the business (hence not naming them). I'm simply building credence to the case of it being completely unrelated and not directed at Barlow.

Now Trending

Minnesota Concert Tickets

From the Vault