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December 29, 2004
Nick Coleman Goes Insane

Minneapolis Star-Tribune columnist Nick Coleman went off his meds today, or on some new ones, in writing a smear job on Power Line, who he sees as his archnemesis these days. Without bothering to do any research whatsoever, Coleman accuses the "lads" of being unaccountable sellouts and worse:

The lads behind Powerline are a bank vice president named Scott Johnson and a lawyer named John Hinderaker. If you read Powerline, you know them better by their fantasy names, Big Trunk (that's Johnson) and Hind Rocket (Hinderaker). I will leave it to the appropriate professionals to determine what they are compensating for, but they have received enormous attention from the despised Mainstream Media and deserve more.

Oh ho, a penis reference from Coleman! What a great way to express his superior intellect and standards, seeing that he is a newspaperman:

I work for a dopey old newspaper committed to covering the news fairly while Powerline doesn't make boring commitments.

I guess "covering the news fairly" includes making thinly-veiled wisecracks about penis length in Minneapolis' "mainstream" newspaper. But Coleman, after all, "knows stuff" that we don't. Why, he even fixed it so that a Republican (gasp!) could get elected governor:

In 1990, I reported that this newspaper's endorsement of DFL Gov. Rudy Perpich was decided by then-publisher and Perpich crony Roger Parkinson. He had quashed the decision of the newspaper's editorial board, which had voted in favor of the Republican challenger, Arne Carlson.

The truth got out, the Republican won and the public was served.

He goes on to accuse the guys at Power Line of taking money without disclosure from various interests which Coleman never bothers to identify. He can't, because it's untrue, as John explains in his amusing reply to Coleman's rant. In fact, all Coleman had to do to find this out was either to read what they had written, or simply pick up the phone and call them. Their phone numbers are available through their website, and certainly their e-mail address gets prominent display on their site.

In his undisguised hatred and fear of being held accountable for his mediocrity and bias, Coleman demonstrates why news sources like the Strib left themselves open for a counterreaction from bloggers. He not only failed to check out his assertions, he made them so ridiculous that they beg for the pinprick that this windbag so richly deserves.

Since he wants to tell true stories, let me tell one that explains a bit more about his approach to criticism. Not long ago, Coleman mixed it up over a column he wrote about a lack of books at a local school with a couple of our associates, Mitch Berg and Craig Westover. Since we all have our own radio show here in town, Mitch invited Coleman to join us on air with Westover to debate the issue. Instead of accepting our offer or even offering a professional refusal, Coleman left Mitch a barely coherent rant on his voice mail, demanding that Mitch post the "twelve shittiest things [Mitch] ever wrote about my kids" and payment of $1000 dollars to the school before Coleman would appear. (For the record, the only thing Mitch ever wrote about his kids was that they attend the same school system that Mitch's kids attend, something Coleman could have determined had he bothered to research the issue.)

I didn't know that the Strib demands $1000 for interviews, nor did I realize that they pay for interviews, but apparently that's the journalistic standard at the Strib these days. After all, Mitch contacted him in his capacity as a representative of the paper which employs Coleman; what else are we to think? When Mitch refused to pay for the interview, Nick Coleman sent a threatening e-mail proposing to "expose" us as cowards -- and then wrote a ridiculous column that referred to Westover as "Captain Fishsticks".

Namecalling, extortion, and threats -- that's the standards that Nick Coleman apparently wants to defend in his latest column. And Nick wonders why blogs like Power Line exist?

UPDATE: Welcome, Instapundit readers! You should make sure to read Mitch Berg's more in-depth response. King Banaian also notes how cool it is that Coleman essentially has to ride our coattails now.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at December 29, 2004 5:38 AM

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