The smartest writer at the Star Tribune


 The Star Tribune launched a local parlor game of sorts when it began a hunt for a new Metro columnist.

Local media obsessive David Brauer took suggestions in MinnPost, which brought out the usual suspects, none of whom would ever take the gig (Garrison Keillor? Amy Klobuchar?)

Well, I know who I'd pick if I was editor of the Star Tribune, and a riff in this Sunday's paper is a prime example why.

I'd take Chris Riemenschneider over any of the other candidates. I don't know if he'd want the job, nor whether he'd even be considered, since he's a music writer rather than the traditional grizzled City Hall reporter. But he's young enough and tuned-in enough to help the somewhat stodgy Strib make the transition into the digital age. Plus, he's a joy to read.

His column in this Sunday's paper, The HD revolution will not be televised, is a good example why: it's the liveliest piece of writing the daily has published in months.

Here's the part that did it for me:


But here's the thing: Shape aside, there's nothing wrong with my old TV. The picture looks as fine today as it did in 1991 -- freshman year of college, when I needed a new TV like Lil Wayne needs looser-fitting jeans.

Since then, I've gone through four cars, three computers, three iPods and about 16 digital cameras. If all electronic goods lasted as long as that 27-inch beast, Best Buy would be headquartered in a strip mall in Richfield instead of the giant office buildings it has there now. 

I would pair him--like Coleman was married to Kersten--with James Lileks, who was the proto-Riemenschneider and has a similiarly snappy voice, even if he does occasionally go off the rails.