Chalk it up to another case of the dreaded MSM--and the logrolling world of the infuriated bloggers--missing the real story, but suffice to say that the true fate of the Star Tribune isn't found in the future of one Mr. James Lileks. It has everything to do with the real reporters who are getting jerked around by the "reduction" at the newspaper of the Twin Cities.
(For continuing Lileks histrionics, check out this post from ABC news on the reassignment of "one of the world's most popular bloggers." Note to Michael S. Malone: Lileks didn't blog for the Strib, he wrote an increasingly Family Circus-like column that did little to bolster the Strib's journo credentials. And need we point out that James Lileks is most certainly no E.B. White, let alone Jim Murray? Apparently we do.)
At any rate, the chatter on the real problem is out there for anyone willing to find it. Earlier this week on KSTP 1500-AM, venerable sports columnist Patrick Reusse likened the vibe at the paper to a scene in The Shining.
And a more thoughtful assessment was posted by one of the paper's most indefatigable reporters, Steve Brandt, on the Minneapolis Issues e-mail forum.
Quoth Brandt, who noted "this goes far beyond columnists":
"I think that like many newspapers, the Star Tribune will shift coverage in a more local direction. That probably means less in some places, and it will be interesting to see the impact on national and international coverage. Although it's certainly important to have people informed about national and international affairs, arguably there are many more channels to access that news [than] there are to find out what's going on [wherever] your City Hall happens to be.
"It would be nice to see [increased] coverage for Minneapolis, but I'm not holding my breath.
"One thing we know is that the newsroom will get a pretty [thorough] reorganization. We've been told that around a hundred of us in the newsroom can expect to do new assignments as a result of that."
Then again, others got out while the gettin' was good with the buyout packages offered earlier this year. A press release came over the transom this afternoon from advocacy group Growth & Justice over the current tax relief bill making rounds at the state legislature.
The author of the press release? Former longtime Strib Capitol reporter Dane Smith.