Second Ward, Minneapolis

This is the public policy forum of Minneapolis Second Ward (Green) City Council Member Cam Gordon and his staff. We use this space to talk about some of what Cam’s working on, explain his positions, and share a little of what life in City Hall is like. Please feel free to comment on posts, within certain ground rules. See our disclaimer, including ground rules, here:

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Katherine Kersten needs a fact checker

I was surprised to read in today's Katherine Kersten article that I was one of the 19 people arrested in the August 31 Critical Mass ride. To quote the Strib's conservative, fact-challenged columnist: "In August, after some of the ride's rougher elements provoked a confrontation with police, and 19 people were arrested, Gordon, whose aide was one of those arrested, called foul." [Emphasis mine.]

Needless to say, I was pretty shocked. I don't remember being arrested on August 31 - heck, I wasn't even on the ride that day.

Maybe Kersten meant that Cam's intern was arrested August 31, as you can read here or here.

It's just not that hard to get these little details right. All Kersten had to do was contact one of her fellow Strib employees, Randy Furst, who managed to get his facts straight by the time-honored process of talking to those he was talking about. But one of the more amusing aspects of Kersten's laughable sloppiness was that, hours before this story was published, I had the singular pleasure to talk to her over the telephone. She was asking for "press releases," and I directed her to this blog, which it seems she failed to read. If she'd had a question, she could've asked me then. I'd have been glad to tell her that:

a) Cam has only one aide, and that person is me,
b) I was not on the August 31 ride,
c) I was not arrested August 31 and have never been, and
d) the arrestee with a connection to our office was a summer intern - I even could've given her his name.

The interesting question to me is whether Kersten's inability to get her facts straight is simple incompetence, or if the misstatement of fact was purposeful. Either way, though, if she can't manage to accurately state the simplest information, how can she expect readers to take her dubious conclusions seriously?


At 11:34 AM, Blogger Aaron said...

Katherine Kersten's role is to rile up people that are interested in facts, responsibility, ethics and progress. She does a good job. I'm not sure if anyone can justify her presence at the Strib as anything else.

At 2:17 PM, Anonymous anthony thompson said...

It seems to be a minor point, but she should have checked her facts.

I see Council member Gordon participated in the September CM ride.

Did he run any red lights while doing so? Did he block traffic at all?

or, did he follow the rules and laws of the road?

At 8:36 AM, Blogger Urbanopolis said...

Katherine Kersten is no doubt the best comic relief to the Star Tribune since Garfield the cat. The more you continue to read the article the more you want to bust out laughing.

Btw for NRP could the Council please take out their Commons Project line-item and restore NRP funding. Thanks.


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