Yes, I'm Aware Of Pointergate

« November 2014 »

Memo to Stan Hubbard: HANG ON TIGHT.

Fucking up is difficult, I know. It's embarrassing. You feel bad, because you know you made a horrible mistake, and everyone else knows you made a horrible mistake, and everyone's yelling at you about it. You feel defensive. And when you feel defensive, you'll be tempted to defend yourself, even though you know you fucked up. Normally, I would advise someone in your situation to just fess up, apologize, and put the whole thing behind you, but you, Stan Hubbard? Hang on tight to your delusional defense. The longer you hang on, the worse it'll be.

There's no way a reader of this column can have missed Pointergate, right? I mean, it's been memed, it's been on The Daily Show, it's been everywhere. But fine, I'll recap. The new mayor mayor of Minneapolis said that sometimes police abuse their power. The Minneapolis police decided to counter her statement by abusing their power, digging up a Facebook photo of Mayor Hodges and a get-out-the-vote volunteer pointing at each other, and fed the photo to apparently known asshole reporter Jay Kolls.

Kolls then aired a story on KSTP accusing the mayor of flashing gang signs with a convicted felon, because that's what the police said happened. It was immediately clear to anyone with a quarter of a brain that it was two people pointing at each other. It was even clearer when a video was released of the photo being taken. It was even clearer that it was bullshit when the video revealed that the CHIEF OF FUCKING POLICE was there when the picture was taken.

When all this was revealed, KSTP followed a pattern familiar to anyone who's paid attention to race relations over the years - the station immediately dug up every negative incident and photo in the volunteer's past, painting Navell Gordon as a dangerous criminal thug in order to make him seem less sympathetic and therefore make their story somehow more valid.

And then, when station owner Stan Hubbard was confronted by protesters, he defended all of it as if it were somehow defensible. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

“Interestingly, right at that time, this man had a website. And I’ve got his website pictures, where he had a gun in his belt, he’s calling the police pigs, and he’s going like this with other people. And guess what? That website was taken down right after we contacted the mayor’s office. You’ve been sucked in, folks. I’ll say one more thing to you. We do not micromanage our news department.”

There is one group of people who think a young black guy disrespecting the police is damning evidence that he is an irredeemably bad person, and therefore anything done near or to him is somehow justified. It's odd that Stan Hubbard would publicly out himself as part of that group, commonly known as "racists", but I do appreciate it. It makes hating on him a lot easier.

Also, nobody's asking you to micromanage your news department. I know that baselessly reporting whatever authority figures tell you regardless of how ludicrous it may seem is the foundation of 21st century journalism, but when basic facts discrediting your story are discovered by the Internet within hours of your story airing, it's probably time for you to macromanage your news department.

Unless, of course, you're totally unconcerned with your station's news being completely fucking wrong. In which case, by all means, keep digging that hole. Eventually it'll be big enough for the whole damn station.