The hidden war (Five by 8 – 9/21/10)

1) Here’s something you don’t see every day. A story from a war we’re having. Today, nine soldiers were killed when a helicopter crashed in Afghanistan. The one TV network that covered the story — CBS — did so with file footage of helicopters, and a woman standing on a roof in Kabul, reading details from a press release from NATO.

Increasingly, the most solid reporting on the war — the war part of the war — is coming from non-mainstream sources. This comes from Global Post. The blog can be found here. Note: The following contains strong language. War is like that.

Have we ever had a political campaign in the middle of a war, and have it not be the central issue?

2) The air continues to turn foul over the sudden cancellation of the premiere of Troubled Waters, a documentary about pollution in the Mississippi River that may have angered agricultural interests at the sponsoring University of Minnesota. Yesterday the Minnesota Daily made it apparent that it was Karen Himle, wife of the former business partner of GOP IP gubernatorial candidate Tom Horner, who was primarily responsible for pulling the plug. She’s head of university relations.( Here’s the flow chart for that department).

Late last week, the head of the Bell Museum at the U of M issued a release explaining the reasons the film was pulled over the objections of just about everyone who had anything to do with its production. Today, the Star Tribune suggests that inside the Bell, it is not a happy family.

The head of the film unit at the Bell gave the Star Tribune “a list of 27 scientists at the U and elsewhere who were part of the review process, as well as 17 resource managers and extension educators, 10 farmers and nine science writers and communication specialists.” That wasn’t good enough.

The people who appear to have called the shots on this aren’t talking. The head of the film unit at the Bell Museum said she doesn’t think outside influences were exerted to kill the film.

MinnPost’s David Brauer points out that one reason there’s suspicion about the circumstances surrounding this particular film, is it’s not the first time the U has killed an unflattering portrayal of agriculture.

Based on what you know about the ‘Troubled Waters’ controversy, what is the best course of actiononline surveys

3 First written anonymously as “Twin Cities White Collar Man Walking,” the Homeless Help Network has grown to make the homeless more visible. It spawned We Are Visible. Chris Jenks writes it. A few years ago he was just another guy with a nice home, a few cars, and money socked away. Today, he’s homeless. He tells his story to The Story’s Dick Gordon.

4) What happens when police wait for a month to investigate a crime? A man gets his reputation destroyed. Ask Joe Halvorson, whose story is being told in a series in the Red Wing Republican Eagle.

5) Needle Doctor is leaving Dinkytown, the Minnesota Daily reports.

Needle Doctor is a perfect example of how a small business can survive by being nimble. When Best Buy moved into the market years ago, the owner turned to the Internet to compete.

Bonus: Who knew there was a search for the woman who was the girl in this famous ad?

It was presumed that the woman was found in the ’90s. But now it’s been revealed that she was a fake and the real person has just been found.

Picture of the Day (So far): Wanted: Copy editor in South Bend.


The billboard has been fixed.

Breaking: Twitter is under attack.


A group of economists on Monday declared that the recent recession lasted 18 months and ended in June of 2009. Does the recession feel over to you?


Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) – First hour: The lending practices that experts blame for students’ struggle to pay back their loans.

Second hour: Gary Shteyngart, author of “Super Sad True Love Story.” His previous books include “Absurdistan.”

Midday (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – First hour: The complexities of putting a balanced budget together in Minnesota.

Second hour: IP gubernatorial candidate Tom Horner, taped yesterday at the Humphrey Institute candidate series event.

Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) – First hour: The United Nations General

Assembly: What’s the point?

Second hour: Can social media save the world?

All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) – During the housing boom, many tradesmen and construction workers moved to places like Isanti County to pursue their own American dream. But in fall 2010, they are the new poor. Isanti County used to lead the nation in growth. Now it leads the state in foreclosures and delinquencies. The residents are fiscal and social conservatives and want home-grown solutions rather than government. But the recession, and being the epicenter of the latest foreclosure crisis, has tested its ability to innovate.