Should the manifesto have been publicized? (5×8 – 7/25/11)

A manifesto manifesto, U2 in the rain, a more perfect Union in St. Paul, Cuddyer in focus, and the land of 10,000 Santas.

The Monday Morning Rouser…


Warning! I do not have an answer to the question I’m about to ask. I am conflicted, which is why I bring it up. Perhaps we can work through it.

Should the news media have publicized Anders Behring Breivik’s “manifesto” calling for war against Islam? And, if so, where in the order of things should it be placed?

I noted yesterday, for example, that the Star Tribune chose to put the manifesto story on page one, while putting a story from the shooting victims’ perspective farther inside the paper.

The manifesto was a recruiting tool for Breivik, the distribution of which required him to make a big splash so that the news media would help circulate it. On the other hand, journalists operate under the “5W and 1H” guide when writing stories — who, what, why, where, when and how? The manifesto certainly illuminates the “why” aspect of it.

The killer at Virginia Tech a few years ago also had written a manifesto. A Canadian Broadcasting Company news executive wrote at the time about why his manifesto would not be publicized:

“[We will] report the essence of what the killer was saying, but not do what he so clearly hoped all media would do,” CBC news chief Tony Burman said. “To decide otherwise in our view would be to risk copycat killings.”

It did not print or publicize Breivik’s manifesto, either. Instead, it simply reported the “why” as indicated by Breivik’s lawyer.

Few other news organizations exercised such restraint. The New York Times, for example, embedded a video and copy of the call to revolution in one of its blogs.

The Internet, of course, allows unprecedented freedom of information to flow. If news organizations should exercise restraint in participating in Breivik’s plan, other websites or blogs will gladly fill the vacuum, which might be one reason why embattled mainstream sites and newspapers have seen fit to carry the message forward.

It would be interesting to know whether there was significant editorial discussion first.

Should Anders Behring Breivik’s manifesto and video have been distributed by the news media?


Hey, it rained at Woodstock, too.

Not everyone liked it

Even the woman next to me made me laugh when, after her 89th “WOOOOOOOOOO” resulted in a few cold Scandinavian stares, she remarked, “Hey, I have lungs people!!!”


Light rail construction is changing the face of downtown St. Paul, apparently for the better. A few buildings have been knocked down to make way for the trains in 2014. Teresa Boardman, who writes the excellent St. Paul Real Estate blog, brings an artist’s eye to document the transformation. Today, she shows what happens when you take a big building out of the way and let the Union Depot dominate a corner, as it should.


Fourth Street downtown has never looked better than it does in the hand of Boardman.

Meanwhile, MPR’s Tim Nelson reports with light-rail arriving in the neighborhood, the Union Depot’s renovation project is underway in earnest.


You know who else has got a real eye behind a camera? A guy who has a real eye at bat (a guy who might be leaving Minnesota soon). Michael Cuddyer, the Twins most valuable player this year, has a Flickr stream of images he shoots at baseball parks he visits. Here’s a slideshow of them.

(h/t: Hart Van Denburg, Aaron Landry)


The Free Range Film Festival opens Friday in Wrenshall.

Free Range Film Festival Trailer from Joshua Carlon on Vimeo.

The early line for most popular film is Becoming Santa, the story of a Los Angeles man’s transformation into a professional Santa.

The Duluth News Tribune reports 30 men with white beards from Minnesota will head for Wrenshall. They’re the Minnesota contingent of Santas, a group of about 100 people, the third-largest organized contingent of Santas in the country behind groups in California and Florida, according to the paper.

Bonus: What if people were as cool as dogs?


The University of Minnesota and the system of state colleges and universities are having to adapt as they absorb cuts to their state funding. Today’s Question: What change would you most like to see at Minnesota’s public colleges and universities?


As far as I know, we’re not covering AirVenture in Oshkosh, which opens today. For a little more than a week each year, the Wisconsin city becomes the headquarters of aviation in the world; its control tower becomes the busiest in the world.

If you’re interested in following the coverage, I recommend EAA radio (disclaimer: I volunteer with EAA Radio when I attend Oshkosh), which is primarily a group of St. Cloud State University students who create an outstanding radio station each year.

Watch live video from EAA Radio – Live from AirVenture! on

Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) – First hour: The future of the University of Minnesota. Guest: President Eric Kaler.

Second hour: What should be on your summer reading list?

Midday (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – First hour: The famine in Somalia.

Second hour: The Boy from North Country, a documentary about Bob Dylan.

Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) – First hour: Rebecca Traister, author of “Big Girls Don’t Cry: The Election That Changed Everything For Women.”

Second hour: End-of-life essays.

All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) – Eleven cities have passed domestic partnership registries. The main movement has been in the suburbs, and Crystal and Falcon Heights are the next two cities considering them, MPR’s Sasha Aslanian reports. While the registries,which apply to opposite-sex as well as same-sex couples, don’t have much force of law, same-sex marriage advocates are buoyed by the symbolism.