Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Dear Nick Coleman...

I've been accused of a lot of things before, but a "gruppenblogger"? That's a first.

Yes, I understand you've been a newspaper writer/columnist for many years, and you probably have a rolodex the size of your ego. I further understand that you're the Red Star columnist the righty bloggers love to hate, but do you understand why?

I'll give you my perspective with a response to the comment you left on 5/16/06, in response to this post.

Rambi, baby:
Good start. It's like we've known each other for years.

You are missing the point... Your blog is based on the premise that everything Strib is bad, everything Righty Blog is good
Not everything in the Red Star is bad. Lileks is pretty good, and Kersten is tremendous. The rest of the paper is leftist and multiculturalist propaganda. I believe I've documented that fairly well here and at Anti-Strib.

Because I'm more of a (crime) news aggregator than an original content provider, my points are backed up with examples and/or news links. I don't make assertions without some backup, although I do give editorial comment. So in a sense, my blog has the validity of the professional news media, and you can take that for what it's worth.

Righty blogs are not always good, although we are a growing alternative to the dead tree media. I don't think you and others in your business like this.

Think about it: Rambix and the Red Star became popular because people were able to access news stories they wouldn't find in the Red Star and other big media news outlets. Sure, there were the odd stories here and there in the MSM, but never the big picture of crime news, and many stories have been simply ignored or even suppressed.

One of the best examples I can think of offhand was the savage beating of a pedestrian taking a stroll around Lake Harriet. If the story appeared in the Red Star it was not prominent, yet I found it through other news sources and posted it here, along with many others that came in under the radar (see my 2005 year end roundup). These stories are important because they affect you and me, and not some nameless gangbanger on the north side.

I can't prove this, but I suspect the Red Star has a protective reflex for Minneapolis, and particularly liberal hangouts like Lake Harriet. I would feel confident predicting that many Red Star reporters and editors live in or near Minneapolis, and it hurts the area if they report danger, so they avoid it or bury it in the back pages.

It's obvious that there is a "market" for this kind of news, and readers are turning to blogs like this one in ever greater numbers to fulfill their information needs.

..but the issue of crime in Minneapolis is not liberal vs.'s good guys vs. the guns and goons...
We agree on this, but the political position is relevant, because liberals approach crime issues different than conservatives. Mayor Rybak is a liberal - how's it working out for him? Mayor Giuliani is a conservative, and he cleaned up NYC. Conservatives don't care about "root causes" and "rough childhoods" until the immediate problem is solved, then maybe they take the time to look at those things. Thugs understand power of authority and surety and swiftness of justice, and if those elements aren't present, they get all "Minneapolis" on us.

...for what it's worth, I agree that soft-headed thinking has helped let the crime thing get to the dangerous point where we find ourselves now...and I appreciate much (but not all) of the points you make on your blog...and, in fact, I've been making many of the same ones in my column in the Strib since my return there from St. Paul in late 2003...
We agree on the consequences of soft-headed thinking. This relates to my point above.

I also recognize your history of crime reporting, and I appreciate that, but you often fall into the liberal trap (as do your colleagues Rosario and Grow) of looking for the humanity of the criminal and the reasoning of his actions, or throwing blame at some conservative for cutting funding which results in some poor mope turning to violence due to "lack of options".

My sympathies lie with the victim, and I find it offensive when the Red Star (not necessarily you) minimizes the criminal's behavior or otherwise makes excuses. I've documented those instances as well. That type of reporting is insulting to the good people of the community.

You won't find too much criminal sympathy here, and I think people find that refreshing.

In fact, regarding the lampooning of Mayor Rybak's infamous "high-risk activities" quote in June 2005, it was ME who started the fun...with the column I posted here in two parts earlier...Your gruppenleaders at Powerline didn't climb on board until August, I believe...but as always, whatever they write they think they invented...The bottom line point is that raising awareness of crime and its costs requires all sides in the public arena to pull together...
Nick Coleman 05.16.06 - 9:35 am
If Powerline stole your idea, well, I don't have a dog in that fight. But to imply they are unoriginal would be folly, and they have the TIME cover to prove it.

I again agree with you about the merit of all sides pulling together, but the left side is going about it all wrong. I've posted solutions culled from readers (most specifically Nordeaster), but this comes from the right. I haven't heard any valuable solutions coming from your side since the push for more streetlights following the Zebuhr slaughter.

By the way, would the Red Star ever call a murder like Mr. Zebuhr's a "slaughter"? Well, it was a slaughter. And that's why more and more people are tuning in to blogs like this one, because we tell it like it is, and we report that which is not being reported in the MSM.

And thanks for your comments.