MinnPost bills itself as the home of high-quality, "thoughtful" journalism in Minnesota, so a number of its readers reacted with contempt this morning when its interview with the Strib's conservative columnist, Katherine Kersten, offered enough softball questions and unchallenged assertions to make Larry King blush. Readers peppered the comments section, and they challenged MinnPost via Twitter.
Michael J. Bonafield interviewed Kersten in his "Quite Right" space, and gave her free reign to re-assert opinions on gay marriage she first made in a recent Strib column.
If MinnPost wants to be a seriously considered media site, why do they have their self-admitted conservative advocacy journalist - Quite Right - Mr. Bonafield to a puff-piece on a conversative columnist? If non-spin news reporting is all but dead as it seems to me to be, shouldn't advocacy journalism at least try to be challenging? Shouldn't Bonafield be interviewing someone like Nick Coleman, and leave Katherine Kersten to someone who could challenge her POV?
So, Kersten believes that marriage should be between men and women exclusively because of nature's law, i.e., sperm + egg = baby. A true journalist would have stopped her then and there and asked Kersten if she thinks sterile M-F couples should be allowed to marry.
I sympathize with the interviewer not wanting to get off-track and cover a handful of topics, but I continue to believe - even though nobody actually doing the interviewing seems to - that part of being a successful interviewer is stopping the subject when they say something patently false, eg, "Marriage is a universal institution, across the world, through time. It has always involved two people of opposite sexes."
Call me a "liberal rager" if you must, but in her very first answer, in her second paragraph, she states without equivocation this notion that marriage has always been two people, one man one woman. Its just utterly not true. Never mind various gender mixings in various indigenous cultures, Biblical times were rife with men with multiple wives. So clearly she starts out - once again, after thoughtful people have repeatedly pointed out her false basis for argument - she starts out with an utterly false premise and is off to the races.
There was some love in the room, though.
And when will MinnPost hire full-time conservative writers to interview the liberal newsmakers that populate this site?
And who knows what else the commenters had to say. MinnPost has a fairly strict, moderated comments policy, starting with a registration requirement and the use of a real name.
Meanwhile, on Twitter, here's WCCO's Jason DeRusha tweet to MinnPost's David Brauer:
@dbrauer His bio probably shouldn't characterize his career as "print journalism" - and then say it was all opinion writing.To which Brauer replies:
@DeRushaJ To me, editorials and ops columns are journalism ... though not always high quality. Do say more on bad-j point tho.Molly Priesmeyer :
@dbrauer So if they want an "alt-perspective," does that mean that MinnPost is a liberal paper? And if it is, why make attempts to placate?Brauer again:
@mollypriesmeyer We definitely skew lib, but not relentlessly like GOP spins. Why is having Mike necessarily placating?Brauer has also posted some thoughts on the Strib's op-ed "war on Kersten."
The drum beats on.