Al Franken Finds Unlikely Ally in Fight Against Comcast/Time-Warner Merger

John Taylor via Flickr
Does anyone think this is a good idea?
Al Franken has spent years railing against the proposed merger of Comcast and Time-Warner. As the regulatory approval process drags on, Franken and his lefty compatriots opposing the merger have picked up a few deep-pocketed allies from the right.

Republican Super PAC Conservative War Chest announced last week it will begin airing two-minute ads opposing the merger in five states because it would increase the power of "the nation's most powerful and even militant left-of-center political force."

See Also:
Comcast Is Terrible, Part 5,467

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Fox News Cries "Censorship!" in Full-Page Strib Ad Over Battle with Dish Network

Categories: Media

Screenshot of Fox News commercial
This is 100 percent about money
Your old, kinda racist grandpa may have noticed Fox News has been unavailable on Dish Network for the past three weeks.

That's because Dish Network decided to black out America's source of fair and balanced news until the two parties hammer out a new retransmission deal. With little progress made during that time, Fox decided to try to crank up the heat on Dish over the weekend.

See also:
Jon Stewart Rips Fox News Over Coverage of Star Tribune Story

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Cable TV Continues to Crumble as ESPN Offers Streaming Web Subscription

Categories: Media

Business Wire
This is what watching ESPN will look like on Sling TV
One of the last dominoes to fall in breaking up cable television's unfair, ridiculous practice of bundling dozens of channels together fell today, when Dish Network announced its new Sling TV service will offer ESPN and ESPN2 as part of a streaming package sold for $20 per month.

Sling TV will be available as an app/streaming website in the same manner as HBO Go, which, by the way, is rolling out its new standalone streaming subscription in April -- just in time for the Game of Thrones premiere.

See also:
Why Everyone's Streaming Music and Everyone's Happy

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George Will Gets "Lie of the Year" for Misreading U of M Ebola Article

Keith Allison, via Flickr
Conservative columnist George Will spouted an impressive amount of nonsense this year
Washington Post windbag George Will went on Fox News during the height of the Ebola scare and claimed the deadly disease could spread through airborne particles, much like the flu, directly contradicting medical experts.

When he was pressed to reveal his source, Will cited a University of Minnesota commentary taken completely out of context.

See also:
No, the University of Minnesota Isn't Saying Ebola Is Suddenly Airborne

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The Top 10 of the Top 10 Lists That Declared Minnesota Fabulous This Year

Categories: Lists, Media

Photo from Pixabay, image by Ben Johnson
Seems like Minnesota is in the top 10 of just about everything these days

If you've been paying attention over the last year, you know that we have it pretty darn good in Minnesota. It seems that every time new, dubiously researched national rankings come out, our fair state finds itself near the top.

We here at City Pages love telling you about it. That's because A) Minnesota is awesome and B) a wonderfully unreasonable number of people will click on any story that includes a list.

So without further adieu, here are the Top 10 top 10 lists Minnesota landed on in 2014:

See also:
Minnesota State Fair: Top 10 Places to Poop

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Internet Scandal Reveals Twin Cities Has Nation's Most Attractive People

Categories: Media

Creative Commons
Miamians were initially named the best looking. Then the internet rose up like a really scary fish, scalding Travel + Leisure with criticism.
It all began so innocently. Travel + Leisure, the storied New York vacation magazine, had just released its latest internet list. "America's Most and Least Attractive People," based on a readers' poll, would bring a definitive end to the nation's most pressing debate.

At issue: which cities have really good looking people, and which towns are loaded with mutts.

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Society of Professional Journalists Calls Out KSTP for #Pointergate

Tony Nelson
KSTP continues to get hammered for #pointergate

KSTP is still getting publicly pounded for #pointergate almost two weeks after the ill-fated segment aired.

Yesterday the Minnesota Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (MNSPJ) issued a statement asking KSTP to disavow the story, calling it "fundamentally flawed and based on a faulty premise -- that a silly gesture made by the mayor in a candid photo amounted to a gang sign."

See also:
#Pointergate Photos Point Fingers at KSTP

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Strib Wrestles with MN Department of Public Safety Over Cell Phone Tracking Documents

InfoSec Institute
The agency that interprets the state's public records law has weighed in on attempts to get more information about cell phone tracking devices such as StingRay and KingFish.

In a ruling Monday, acting administration commissioner Matt Massman opined that the Minnesota Department of Public Safety should no longer withhold its contracts and non-disclosure agreements with device maker Harris Corp. James Eli Shiffer, a watchdog and data editor for the Star Tribune, has the story on his blog, because he's at the center of it.

See also:
Sen. Branden Petersen's cell phone tracking bill becomes law

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KSTP's #PointerGate: Reporter Jay Kolls Doubles Down and America Facepalms

Categories: Media
By noon Friday, #pointergate was the top trending hash tag in the entire United States. Vanity Fair called it "pathetic." Daily Kos called it the most racist news story of 2014.

If you don't know by now, it all started Thursday night when Jay Kolls of KSTP insisted that Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges had flashed "a known gang sign" during a voter drive on the city's north side. The proof? A photograph of her and Navell Gordon, a volunteer with Neighborhoods Organizing for Change (NOC), pointing playful fingers and smiling.

See also:
Twitter Erupts After #PointerGate Story, KSTP Tries to Defend Itself

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Twitter Erupts After KSTP #Pointergate Story, KSTP Tries to Defend Itself

The #pointergate picture, from KSTP's website

Twitter is blowing up right now over something happening in Minneapolis -- though it's definitely not for something good. It's called #pointergate -- and it's ugly, and probably racist.

It all started with a story from KSTP with the ominous headline "Mpls. Mayor Flashes Gang Sign with Convicted Felon; Law Enforcement Outraged." But the actual facts don't line up at all. It seems the picture was taken while Hodges was helping out with the community organization Neighborhoods Organizing For Change, and that "Convicted Felon" was Navell Gordon, a volunteer. And plus, obviously, it looks like a simple point. Not a gang sign.

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