PiPressers: No Surrender, but no Bruce either

The last time Bruce Springsteen played the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, he did so in October as part of the "Vote For Change" Kerry/Edwards campaign fundraiser. Pioneer Press reporters Chuck Laszewski and Rick Linsk were in attendance that night, and the duo was subsequently suspended by the Knight Ridder-owned paper for disregarding a memo from management that strongly urged the staff against attending political gatherings.

Springsteen returns to the Xcel May 10th as part of his acoustic Devils and Dust tour, but will his partners in free-speech crime be there? "Nope, I'm not going; I can't afford it," said Laszewski; "Rick can't either." That figures: For their actions, the reporters were suspended for three days without pay. The case is now in arbitration. "I was hoping," cracked Laszewski, "that Bruce would send us some free tickets." - Jim Walsh

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