Duluth News Tribune follows through with Cravaack endorsement

The Duluth News Tribune followed through with its endorsement of challenger Chip Cravaack over incumbent Jim Oberstar in the MN-08 congressional race. My tip proved accurate. What I wrote Thursday then still stands. In fact the tone of the editorial only seems to back up the notion that the rowdy first debate was being used as a political opportunity by the conservative Forum ownership who sponsored it.

And now for a very interesting week.


  1. Nice to see the editorial pull out all the Republican cookie-cutter talking points. Don’t they have ANY original

    It is obvious that the Duluth News Tribune’s interest rests soley on less taxes for their corporation. The Iron Range and the Rangers are not really their concern.

  2. When all the newspapers are owned by right-wing front organizations/corporations, the effect will be no different than a State-run press—except that the sovereign will be a CEO, not a king, tsar or premier. Tea Party platform sounds a lot like “Birth of a Nation”, the KKK propaganda film foisted upon us as “history” over ninety years ago.

  3. You’re really grasping at straws if you think that the News Tribune set up Oberstar in the first debate and used it as a reason to endorse Cravaack. For that to be true, Chuck Frederick (who’s more than just slightly left of center) of the DNT editorial board would have to be in on it since he was one of the moderators of the debate. Dave Ross of the Duluth Chamber of Commerce would have to be in on it as well, as he was a co-moderator. No way the Chamber of Commerce would risk pulling such a stunt, as a good number of their members support Oberstar and have gotten millions of dollars in road projects from him. I am a Chamber of Commerce member and Cravaack supporter and even I would pull my membership if I thought they tried to pull a stunt to embarrass a politician. They’re not going to risk their membership roles.

    I think people need to face the facts and realize that Oberstar has nobody to blame but himself for his disaster of a performance in the debate at the DECC. Forum Communications might be a bit more conservative that Knight-Ridder (former DNT owner), but let’s just say that’s not saying much.

  4. You’re not the only one to say I’m stretching on the DNT business. As I’ve said, I’m not shocked about the Cravaack endorsement. And that’s all fine (not really, but it’s at least a separate matter).

    The issue I have is the lousy debate management being treated like an act of nature, as though the DNT/Duluth Chamber had no control. That’s not true. They had it in their heads they were going to endorse Cravaack and allowed a train wreck that benefited their candidate to play out. Then they used the “red faced Oberstar” imagery in their editorial when how could you not be red faced when someone near the front of the audience calls you a liar or people scream every time you try to talk. We’ve already litigated the debate, so you know my opinion about it.

    And anyway, this really doesn’t do any good. I have colleagues who want to “boycott” the DNT and that won’t do anything. Most members of the editorial board are just dragged along for this sort of thing, free to endorse the liberals on local races but not on the national races. That’s the nature of modern newspapering.

    The issue here is not the DNT fixing the debate. The issue is DNT incompetence.

    But again, none of this helps anything. The conversation is moot, held between people who already know who they’re voting for. I’m just frustrated that our region’s largest paper seems unable to facilitate a discussion on what’s really at stake here. A very serious, very large change in policy goals by our elected representative. A paper doesn’t go 36 years endorsing someone and then shift on a dime without a reason, and they’ll never admit the reason.

  5. Maybe they meant what they wrote about needing apply some brakes on the spending in D.C. In everyone’s defense of, or reasons for supporting Oberstar one of the top three reasons is always, he brings home the pork. I give them credit for giving Jim credit ( he has done some good) and then publishing letters of support for Jim with the remainder of the page.
    It has been my experience the last few years that Jim and or his staff have avoided contact with any constituent that he even thought had differing views. I’ve met a lot of people with similar experiences recently. I’ve voted for him pretty consistently and I have a habit of communicating with those that represent me. I had some questions for him and I got canned answers that had little to nothing to do with what I was asking. When I asked if there were any upcoming time last summer where he would be able to meet with his constituents he said it wouldn’t be fair because not everyone in the district can fit in the same building, and I swear I am not making that up. Three weeks later he is on the range at 2 union meetings and at 2 very minor ribbon cutting ceremonies in Duluth a few days later. Accessible to his “locked in” constituents and some fluff photo ops, but not much else.
    I’m not bringing this up just to complain, but he decided to represent a very small portion of the votes in this district while keeping the others at arm’s length.
    I don’t think the Moderators ever had a chance. They stressed civility before it started, during the debate several times, and the even stopped the debate and demanded civility. It did get better, but some in the crowd were there to get their digs in on both candidates. Bottom line Jim wazzed off a lot of people, some of them showed up there as I assume they felt it was their only opportunity to let him know how they felt about his representation lately. And some showed up there to slay the dragon their dragon named George Bush in a sheep’s skin no doubt. I was there, but didn’t take part in the booing and crap though I did chuckle to myself a few times at Jim’s antagonizing of the crowd, I had never seen anyone do that before. It was rowdy, but not terrible. I do agree it was unusual for a debate though. I admit I’m no longer voting for Jim, but to say the DNT set him up is to completely ignore the fact that Jim through his own actions has alienated a bunch of the people who he is supposed to represent. That was the driving factor of the crowd’s reaction against him, nobody from the DNT was holding cue cards or giving signals. It was not civil but it certainly seemed to be organic. Like I said they tried from the get go to nip it in the bud.
    Oh, and I think the mass of Oberstar supporters were in the back because they had an Oberstar rally downstairs before the debate so they were not in line. Note to self…don’t have rallys firing up supporters right before a debate and expect perfect civility 🙂

  6. Ziek…I’ve had the same experience as you. I asked Oberstar THREE times – “Why did you adjorn before addressing next years tax issue?”. Twice, he (his staff) answered me with form letters…not addressing my question whatsoever. He’s yet to send me an answer the third time. It’s been two weeks.

    He really believes he has deed to the position. He in no way believes he’s a “representative” of the people of the 8th district…ALL the people. Look at his actions the other day, he demeaned more than half of them.

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