The Rake Blog on the Strib and Katherine Kersten
It would be tough to pick the most idiotic version of a Katherine Kersten column, but today's certainly has to be in the running. KK's unhappy that people are attacking her for extolling the religious types who hate gays.
You can read it for yourself, if you have a strong stomach. If you really have a strong stomach, you can read Kate Parry's defense of her from yesterday.
Well, I've got news for KK, Parry, and Gyllenhall: what pisses people off about Kersten is not what she says. Hell, I read the Wall Street Journal's editorial page, and if I can take that, conservative speech must not be what sets me off. What rankles about Kersten is SHE'S INTELLECTUALLY DISHONEST.
She makes assertions she can't back up, answers criticism with ad hominem defenses, and rouses rabble just to instill fear in the morons who eat what she shovels. (BTW, here's a good analysis of some of her shortcomings.)
Those who provide her with that shovel should be ashamed. Kate and Anders, the reason for your job is to provide truth, not so called "balance". Having Kersten balance out people like Nick Coleman, who can actually think, is a continuing insult to your readers. Besides, I never realized the paper was supposed to be a teeter-totter.
A sharp Rake commenter pegs it:
For the first month KK was in the Strib, I read her columns regularly. I couldn't understand why, in the name of balance, the Strib would allow someone like Kersten to destroy the standard of public debate in the paper (assuming the Strib had a standard to begin with). There are plenty of articulate conservatives out there (e.g. David Brooks, George Will, etc.) who would be much better suited to counterbalance the liberal op/ed page. Her writing offers no new insight or illumination into any of the issues she addresses. I can't find a coherent theme or purpose to her columns other than her radical new assertion that we'd all be much happier if we could just agree with each other.
Then it occurred to me that the Star Tribune doesn't care about the quality of debate, they care about the bottom line. They don't want discussion, they want attention. The more people who read the paper the better. Period. They don't care who and they don't care why.
And it's not just the neo-conservative suburbanites that they're targeting. Every day Kersten's baseless drivel hits the newsstands, every liberal political blog in the state (and there are quite a few) posts something about how moronic it is.
Until the Strib offers something better, let's stop wasting our time. Find something else to read.
~Posted by: Theo at November 14, 2005 02:50 PM
Amen, Theo. From now on, Read Menace is a Kersten-free zone. Now, if I could just get my wife to agree to cancel my subscription to the print edition.
~Posted by: OT at November 14, 2005 03:47 PM
I do subscribe to the print edition. However, the "Reader's Representative" is pathetic at customer service. The first time I wrote her, my email went into the black hole. The second time I wrote her (about Kersten's nonsense), after 2 or 3 days I got a canned response.
I understand that when the strib was looking for a conservative columnist, they were specifically looking for a female. So Katherine Kersten was an affirmative action hire. She was also a bad affirmative action hire. If the strib really wanted to have an articulate conservative female voice, I'd suggest Peg Kaplan. Peg Kaplan always has something on her blog that is well worth reading.
UPDATE: There's lots of comments about the Kate Parry, the strib Reader Rep's pathetic defense of Kersten at MN Speak here. Spotty at the Cucking Stool busted Katherine Kersten for plagiarism here.