Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Kline, Reporter Diaz and Torture

After reading Strib reporter Kevin Diaz's fluff piece on torture in today, I find myself asking the Elvis Costello line: What's so funny about peace love and understanding?"

"Torture protest by fax"
Cute fun title ...kudos in minimizing torture while catching our attention…

"A small group of demonstrators protesting Rep. John Kline's position on terrorist interrogations ran into unexpected resistance last week at the Republican's Burnsville office."

"First, they said, they encountered a police squad. Then they found the door locked and cardboard taped over the mail slot. A property manager asked them to leave. Finally, the seven -- described on the anti-Kline blog LakevilleDad as seven "old time peaceniks" -- contented themselves to holding up signs outside that said "Tell Kline to say NO to torture." "

Kevin, you'll never be a big time reporter until you get the order right...
1. cop
2. protest
3. Kline's congressional office visit (untapped mail slot)
4. Kline's campaign office
5. back to Kline’s congressional office, where this time they encountered the taped mail slot...

I’m no reporter but I can’t help but notice you missed some real story lines like why were they protesting Kline’s policy on torture? Or maybe discuss first amendment rights and the barriers that some might try and throw up against them. But instead you decided, 'why deal with substance when fluff is easier, faster, and much more funnier!' Or…

  • Why was a police officer was there before the protesters (easy enough to verify by a call to the cop shop …Did Kline call? His staffer? The landlord on Kline’s behalf? What was the reason?
  • I came late and no property manager was there to ask me to leave but there was a tow truck in the parking lot idling with it’s driver inside for an hour before it left. You left this out totally! Who called the tow truck? Why? What was the intent?
  • Congressman Kline’s office was closed (as in locked) during regular business hours but his staff could clearly been seen inside through the untapped mail slot that later was tapped over! (see the order above) or review the incident by an eye witness account from Lakeville Dad. Does Kline’s staff usually keep the office locked during business hours while hiding inside? Why? Is that usual for a congressional office? Some might ask if it’s maybe a tad unprofessional?

"They also encouraged drivers-by to call Kline. The number they held aloft, according to Kline staffers, was his fax number. The machine took three calls. They were answered by a long, screeching beep. "

I just now checked the number posted up at DU (so I assume it is the same as on one of the signs) and it is indeed a fax number with a long, screeching beep…which would make it both more informative and less damaging than Kline himself…but most anyone who’s review Kline’s vote record in the last four years knows that. Perhaps before this election is over you'll stop kidding around and do a serious piece about it.

So thanks Kevin in the lesson on how to kiss butt with a Congressman while make light of serious issues. It was very Rovian of you to avoid the real issue. You do your profession, the newspaper and the people of Minnesota a real ‘unservice’ treating this story as a laugh while reminding us of why most people no longer get their news from the newspapers!

You keep it up and you'll be joining the big time reporters at National Enquirer in no time. Let me know if you need a reference. Until such time your silence on what's important like the recent U.S. policy on torture and Kline's position will continue to grow 'like a cancer' doing more harm to our society.

"The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls. And tenement halls. And whispered in the sound of silence " or even in blogs...but they apparently won't be written by you.

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