For those who doubt the claim the StarTribune is a far left rag, I am taking apart the political stories for today, September 6,2010, Labor Day to prove the point. For those unfamiliar with the RedHammerSickle (StarTribune) newspaper, it is a committed part of the Democratic Farmer-Labor Party in Minnesota. It will pretend from time to time to be a neutral voice in the wilderness, but given a freedom-loving conservative ideal and a collectivist dogma, it will chose the collectivist viewpoint every time. At no time in the recent past, with the exception of inaugural day of The Dear Leader, has this cage liner expressed his leftist philosophy so completely. Completely missing is any nod or hat-tip to even moderate leadership in this state. So, why Labor Day, other than it’s the traditional kick-off of the political season?
Labor Day is a tradition that was started in the late 1800’s with radical trade unionists. Originally, the International Workers Day was set for May Day, May 1st, and many countries continue this tradition celebrating at that time. May Day was chosen because of the Marxist reference to the piggish, evil capitalist bourgeoisie stealing poor farm workers from the land and depriving them of their traditional spring feast. The labor leaders in the United States, along with President Grover Cleveland, chose the September date because they hoped it would distance itself from the more radical Marxist/Anarchist elements. It didn’t work.
To begin this broadsheet review, it is necessary to consider the placement and juxtaposing of stories in the physical newspaper. Above the fold, front page is the prime real estate of the newspaper. This is the announcement of the theme of this collection of stories. It is meant to entice the viewer by saying, ‘pick me, pick me’ from the other periodicals available. It is also the first glimpse of the viewer, whether they buy it or not, to what content may be included.
The RedHammerSickle’s September Labor Day edition begins with two political headlines; “Rybak (Minneapolis mayor and man who never met a tax increase he didn’t like) seeking police, fire cuts” and “Trolling for officeholders: When no one wants the job.” These don’t appear to be too sexy or enticing at first glance, they are not. But what they do is telegraph the DFL strategy for this 2010 election season. First, in larger font, the Rybak article expresses the fear we must all embrace. If we don’t raise taxes, the criminal element in this city will be raping and plundering its citizenry. If we can’t afford basic civic protections, we are in really deep doo-doo. The second headline is suggesting our anger and frustration with public officials is unfair. These people are just hard-working selfless individuals who are sacrificing so much for love of country and state. We must give them a break and not criticize too much.
Raise taxes and give them credit for trying. That is the theme for this paper. You see, the Democratic Party is in a serious pickle. They are falling in the polls and this political year seems very dire. They can’t run on their records because they are at odds with the American people on every issue. They cannot run on their own personal popularity because everyone despises their wasteful actions, arrogant behavior, and Ruling Class mentality. So, the StarTribune (Official Newspaper of the DFL) argues we are in terrible condition which means more from you, the voter, and by the way, don’t be so mean.
Below the fold is less powerful real estate. It is hidden under the folded paper and behind the paper in coin boxes. But, it is still front page and still powerful. “(Carpetbagger) Franken ratchets up rhetoric in war against corporate power” reads this story title. The Mark Ritchie-installed senator remains unpopular except among the star-idolizers and committed socialists in the state. His job approval simmers below 50 and that ain’t good. So, occasionally the RedHammerSickle prints a story that makes him look like a tireless warrior against the evil, headless, mindless corporations. They believe his brand of sad conspiracy-theory of Marx versus Smith will resonate with Minnesota voters. The entire story is a position paper on the role of government as unappreciated savior over mean private actors bent toward the destruction of liberty. Get the picture. Poor, set-upon public servants, who are only doing their best, must seek more power and money from the people to combat evil and help good win out. Remind you of anything?
The next carefully positioned political articles are placed on page four, as a kind of triple whammy. “Wisconsin Democrats welcome Obama,” “Obama planning Minnesota visit before elections,” and of course the piece de la resistance, “Obama will propose extending business credit.” The three articles are situated to give maximum impact and relay a specific ideal. They are specifically chosen to hammer an impression on the public.
The first is the conquering hero is coming to a triumphant welcoming. Wisconsinites are enamored of the young, clean, articulate president, or so it implies. The state of Wisconsin is opening up its arms and hearts to this, our Dearest of Leaders. Yet, as we actually read the article, the president will not be greeted with a ticker-tape parade, but sulking union officials who are annoyed they haven’t gotten card check yet. We also find the Democratic senator of the state, who is even in the polls with his Republican rival, won’t even be there to greet Obama. (Maybe next time) Last time he was in the state, Obama was featured at a campaign fundraiser for the Democratic candidate for governor. Now that candidate is behind both Republicans running for the office. Not exactly the magic they had hoped for.
But, Minnesotans, never fear, The Won will be in this state before November. He will grace us with this presence on at least one occasion. Too bad he’s about as popular as lutefisk, only 44% of Minnesotans approve of the job he’s doing. But, never fear, his appearance will excite the Socialist Worker’s wing of the DFL which will pull the election rabbit out of the hat, just like they did for Margaret Anderson Kelliher. Wait, she lost to Mark (Worst Senator in the Country, until Al Franken appeared) Dayton. Maybe rallying the leftwing base isn’t the best idea after all. Oh, well, gotta give them credit for trying.
Finally, this intellectual triptych completes the picture being painted, Obama’s working hard. He’s not just eating shrimp in Martha’s Vineyard or playing golf with the stars, he’s got an economic plan. He wants to extend business credits. Business. See, he’s not a far left socialist. He wants to let businesses create wealth, so he can steal it and take credit for it. Obama is working so hard and at such a cost just to make your lives better. We must give him the benefit of the doubt. Don’t be so mean.
Finally we get to the section that is supposed to give us opinion. (Doesn’t it seem like we’ve already got a great deal of that in the news section?) The actual RedHammerSickle editorial is one from 1935. Why 1935? I’m glad you asked. We were in the full bore suffering of the Great Depression. Joblessness was even worse than today. The brave, hard-working, long suffering president was doing his ever-loving best to jumpstart a stagnant economy. Critics assailed him from both the right and left. Labor Day was the day that would lift the American worker to stand even with the capitalist. If we gave the farmers and laborers equal footing with the businessman, the economy would sputter to life. If we empower the downtrodden, the weary, the oppressed, this will all pass away.
It didn’t. Let’s just remember that.
And on the Opinion Exchange, which suggests opposing viewpoints, we have two commentaries. One is from a plaintiff employment lawyer arguing the unemployed are getting screwed by the unemployment system, an argument that holds about as much water as a cookie sheet. The other article is a mocking, yet sincere suggestion that if we all just go to the Dollar Store and Subway, the economy would do just fine. It’s entitled, “Maybe Americans should just go shopping” as a kind of middle finger to George W. Bush while at the same time suggesting we should do just that.
The unemployment article names the antagonist, the mean taxpayer who won’t pay for lazy slackers to lay around in Laz-E-Boys. The shopping article names the antagonist, the mean consumer that won’t buy Twinkies. It is we, the voting public, who are to blame for the mess we’re in. It is the poor, hard-working bureaucrat and Democratic officeholder who are being stressed and blamed and defamed, by us. They are just trying their best and we don’t appreciate their blameless efforts.
They didn’t mean to say it, but they really just don’t like us.
That’s what this paper believes, but didn’t intend to say. This election is not so much Democrat versus Republican (Republicans have no power), it’s a battle between those in power and the people. It’s not a battle between the establishment and the populace; it’s a battle between the entitled class and the productive class. We see this every day, but today our detractors confirmed it. Unwittingly, the StarTribune did just that.
Cross-posted at True North