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Late Night: The Curious Incident of the Newspaper in the Night-time

Sherlock Holmes questions the StarTribune’s editorial board.

Inspector Gregory: “Is there any other point to which you would wish to draw my attention?”
Sherlock Holmes: “To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.”
Inspector Gregory: “The dog did nothing in the night-time.”
Sherlock Holmes: “That was the curious incident.”

from “Silver Blaze”, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Because it never gets old.

On Monday, October 27, the Minneapolis StarTribune’s editorial page writers endorsed a man for Minnesota’s Eighth Congressional District whose every officially-announced stance is one that their paper has, up to now, opposed:

While praising Mills for his “intelligence and pragmatic instincts,” his “realism,” and his energy and “zest,” the paper also noted that it “would welcome more specifics” when it came to entitlement reform and — most importantly — that it differed with Mills “on a number of issues.”

How many is “a number”? Hard to say, exactly, but a look at recent Star Tribune editorials and Mills’ policy positions and statements shows that the candidate and the paper seem to disagree on quite a bit, including prominent issues such as gun control (which the Strib duly noted), taxes, Obamacare, the environment and foreign affairs.

How to explain this? Here’s a hint — the paper’s new owner, Glen Taylor, a longtime Republican and former member of the state legislature, said back in April, around the time he bought the paper, that it would become less liberal under his watch. (Not that the paper was really all that liberal to begin with.) Of course, he tried to say that it wouldn’t be because of his actively pushing the paper rightward, but one has to wonder why the Strib, which used to at least endorse Republicans whose public stances matched the paper’s stances, suddenly wrote this incoherent endorsement of a man with whom they categorically disagree on pretty much every major issue.

Then again, it could be the vast amounts of ad money spent on the Strib by Mills’ family’s business. You know, Mills’ Fleet Farm?

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