Monday, July 25, 2005

Paul Scott, Diversity's Champion

Paul Scott's comment piece expresses his disapproval of new Metro columnist Katherine Kersten. He expresses some of his expectations this way:
When Star Tribune editor Anders Gyllenhaal introduced Katherine Kersten in May as the paper's new metro columnist, he described the résumé of a writer with broad experience in life. Readers of his glowing welcome might have expected to find the work of a curious, critical thinker. Anyone familiar with her previous op-ed work, a page where her opinions seem more well-suited, would be safe to assume her positions would lean to the right. Fair enough. Kersten herself hoped for her column to offer "a diversity of ideas ... a diversity of perspectives on the world." Even better.

Scott is then dismayed that Kersten expresses conservative views. Apparently one just doesn't do that if they have broad experience in life. She even had the temerity to disagree with the bishops when they publically demanded a tax increase. With "conservative boilerplate", even! Somehow the fact that columnists like Nick Coleman, Doug Grow and Kim Ode never express viewpoints other than the liberal ones escapes Mr. Scott. He characterizes the other Metro columnists thusly:
Nick Coleman is a writer in the mold of crusty big-city columnists everywhere: straight-talking, populist and nobody's fool. He may have taken on the conservative bloggers at, but he appears to oppose their pompousness more than their politics. Doug Grow is hardly a Leninist mouthpiece -- he will hunt down inept bureaucrats and he is not above tarring all legislative power players with the same brush. CJ is a gossip columnist in a town with mostly news-anchors for celebrities, and Joe Kimball graciously keeps tabs on Grand Avenue and the Ordway.

It completely escapes him that Coleman and Grow have never been known to advocate any sort of conservative thought, which in Scott's view is OK, but heaven forbid the Strib have a local columnist who looks at things from a more conservative point of view. Coleman a populist? Sure, but only if the populism is that of the Left. He also suffers from a nasty habit of writing fact-challenged columns about people he doesn't like (check out Power Line's archives). Grow's criticism of bureaucrats is a good thing, but does not change the fact that he approaches political topics only from a liberal viewpoint. Has he ever said anything good about conservative political ideas? Not that I can remember. Why doesn't Scott write columns criticising them for their lack of diverse thinking? Because he wouldn't recognize diverse thinking if it walked up and hit him in the face with a creme pie.

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