The top-10 NewsCut posts of 2016

Posting will be light to non-existent today as this is the annual shopping trip for my wife and I me to the Mall of America, where the actual point is just to look at people.

I was going to just post some videos of penguins so that you didn’t come here for nothing today only to find out there’s nothing here, but let’s do that December thing instead and reveal the top 10 most popular blog posts for NewsCut for 2016.

Penguins, unfortunately, did not make the cut this year.

10) After Trump attack, a defense of fellow Minnesotans

The weekend before the election, Donald Trump flew to Minnesota and delivered a broadside against immigrants reminiscent of an attack he made in Maine earlier in the campaign. Local officials stood for fellow citizens. A few days later, the reason for the visit and the message became more clear.

9) Wait, what? Supreme Court casually guts 4th Amendment
If evidence can be used against you that is the result of an illegal stop by police, what’s to keep police from stopping you illegally? You can be stopped now for doing nothing wrong, Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote in an astounding piece of writing that should be required reading for anyone who’s ever been tempted to read the Constitution.

8) Adios, Car Talk!
Tom and Ray Magliozzi retired from the show in 2012, and Tom died in November 2014, but NPR and producer WBUR in Boston kept the program alive with reruns, which has led to questions — raised in this space in 2012 — about whether public radio and its audience could successfully birth the kind of programs that catapulted public radio into the mainstream in the ’70s and ’80s. It takes risks to do that and it’s easier taking risks when you don’t have much of an audience, not so much when you’re popular.

7) Cars parked in driveway are public safety hazard, MN court says
There’s little Minnesotans love more than griping about their neighbors, so this August decision really struck a nerve. A Minnesota law requiring collector cars to be “screened” from public view has survived a challenge from a Cleveland Avenue, St. Paul man who buried two of them under tarps.

6) Crying Robin Hood guy is a Minnesota hero
A lot of the online crowd piled on Sean Kehren, who had the misfortune of giving a damn about politics and taking part in civic life. When he was shown crying at the Democratic National Convention, he became a target of the online people, none of whom pulled a woman from a burning wreck in 2016, another fact that separated Kehren from his detractors. Unfortunately, the video of his heroism is no longer available online. A few days later, he had a great conversation with MPR’s Mark Zdechlik, just in case his critics didn’t feel foolish enough. Kehren just missed out on being NewsCut’s person of the year.

5) Just take the last piece, Minnesota
lastpiececookiesI’ve seen a few people take the last piece of holiday goodies in recent weeks around the World Headquarters of NewsCut. And each time they do, a person seems to mutter, “I’m not from here.” Tracy Mumford looked into this phenomenon in September. Tracy, by the way, is embarking a new series for MPR: trailer parks.’

4) In boycott over U of M suspensions, the issue isn’t football
This is a late entry into this year’s competition, of course, coming as did just last week when the University of Minnesota football team boycotted team activities in support of 10 athletes who were disciplined for taking part in an alleged sexual assault. The post also contributed to the most number of emails I received saying “thanks for writing this.” The fact so many people didn’t want to post that message in the comments section is, itself, illustrative.

3) Maple Grove kids fight back against the racists
The kids of Maple Grove Senior High School did what they could after Election Day to fight back against the racist graffiti that was scrawled on the walls of a bathroom at their school. They lined up to welcome everyone to the school. The principal, Bart Becker, ended his daily announcement with ‘I love you all.’ The idea, thanks to this post, spread to Maine a week later.

2) In attack on KARE reporter, Star Tribune columnist crosses the line
btn_janaIf ever there was a time for everyone to cut everyone else some slack, the days after the discovery of Jacob Wetterling’s body was it. Indeed, in the wake of the recitation in court of the last minutes of Jacob Wetterling, one could almost feel Minnesotans pulling just a bit closer, trying to shield themselves from the indecency and depravity of it all. So you knew it couldn’t last long.

1) Bob Hoover, one of history’s greatest pilots, dead at 94
My takeaway from the (easily) most viewed post of 2016 is the number of people who suggested in the comments section that the story wasn’t true because it wasn’t online anywhere else. Some of you have no faith in NewsCut. No faith at all. Do something about that in 2017.

Thank you for being a NewsCut reader in 2016. Thank you for reading all the way to the bottom of this lengthy post.

Here’s your reward.

  • Gary F

    Emmett and Erling didn’t make the cut? I hope Emmett knows Erling is always watching over him.

    • These are all based on traffic. That was KARE ‘s. Story

  • Jack

    Thank you for all your posts during the year Bob. We appreciate all that you do.

    Here’s to a great 2017!

    • Gary F

      Thank you Bob, great blog. Take the better half to Olive Garden for dinner.

      • wjc

        Gary, you are just mean. Olive Garden?

        Bob: get a shrimp basket and a beer at the 5-8 Club.

        • The 5-8 Club? I’d rather go to Olive Garden.


          Go north on 28th to Northbound Brewpub.

          • Jerry

            The correct answer is Masu at the mall.

          • There is no correct answer that includes the phrase “at the mall.”


          • Jerry

            How about: “If you are at the Mall, the correct answer is Masu”

          • >>How about: “If you are at the Mall, the correct answer is Masu”

            See my previous reply.


          • wjc

            Nice place, but I love the shrimp basket. Except for the toast they put in it. I don’t get that.

            Let me also plug the Riverview Wine Bar.

          • Gary F

            Town Hall Tap.

          • wjc

            Yes. And if you just want a cocktail or want to call for food, visit the DuNord Cocktail Room.

            The gin is outstanding.

          • We used to like the Napa Grille over there. Alas, closed now.

          • Rob

            Napa Grille. Good times. Sigh.

          • joetron2030

            Or Town Hall Lanes and get your bowling on.

          • Or the Blue Door pub and Parkway pizza…

          • wjc

            The one time I visited the Blue Door, the noise level was brutal. That keeps me from going back.

          • Rob

            Pro tip: ear plugs

          • I can see that…but it’s usually not that bad.

          • Gary F

            and stink like smoked meat all day? Only in summer when I can sit out side.

          • More deliciousness for me.

          • Rob

            And woe to all those standing downwind.

          • Gary F

            the place has great food and beer but your clothes smell like a smokehouse for weeks. I love smoked food, I just don’t want to smell like it for days. A combination of smoked food and dark beer can strain the marriage for a couple of days.

          • Rob

            I hear that.

          • Kassie

            So much truth.

        • Gary F

          Onion straws at the 5-8. then gelato at Fat Lorenzos,

          Bob is hooked after he read that great review of Olive Garden.

          • Jerry

            I thought that was just the Grand Forks branch. I don’t know if they all maintain that high standard.

          • Gary F

            They probably don’t. Point taken. Thank you.

  • wjc

    Thanks, Bob. NewsCut is one of my few daily internet must-reads.

  • Mike Worcester

    It’s always fascinating to see what topics make people put fingers to keyboard and speak up. I;ll admit there are times I think, wow, hardly anybody commented on that piece and others which make me say, why does this one have folks all riled up?

    Thanks Bob! 🙂

    • Sometimes a post can be awe inspiring and there’s nothing more to say. Ideally, you want comments to bring added value and personal experience to the table and sometimes there isn’t any.

      • Zachary

        I’m reminded of the Weird Al song “All About the Pentiums” where he uses this line:
        “…and posting ‘Me Too’ like some brain-dead, AOLer”
        and yes, he rhymes it with “Old Yeller” and “Sarah Michelle Gellar”

        I feel this way about some of the Obits.

      • linda

        “Ideally, you want comments to bring added value and personal experience to the table and sometimes there isn’t any.”

        Based on the number of comments/corrections/fixes, Bob, you are either not doing enough people watching or not helping your wife with the shopping – one of which could get you in deep water real quick. Based on personal experience, anyway. 🙂 Enjoy your day! We’ll all be waiting here for you tomorrow.

          • Rob

            What’s a strat?

          • Jerry

            A type of guitar

          • Gary F

            Stray cat

          • Jerry

            I didn’t know Brian Setzer played baseball.

            Edit: Actually, it wouldn’t surprise me if he did. He seems like that kind of guy.

          • X.A. Smith

            Brian Setzer plays a Gretsch. (Not a Strat).

          • Zachary

            A narrow pass in the watr. Like the Strat of Magllin.

          • Jeff C.

            It is another name for a stray cat. It is also what you say when you yell at a stray cat. “Scrat you scrat! Now go on. Git!”

            (For the record I typed this before reading Gary’s reply. Really.)

          • Gary F

            Daisy Red Rider, Daisy Red Rider,

  • KariBemidji

    Thank you Bob, MPR and fellow Newscut folks for this lovely little corner of internet. Happy Holidays!

  • A shopping trip to the Maul?

    Godspeed, Bob…

    • Jeff C.

      Maul. I like it. I’m stealing it!

  • As an aside – It appears the links for story #9 and #10 are broken.

  • Barbara Dodge

    Thank you Bob. Your column is the one I *always* read to the very bottom, penguins or no. Have fun people-watching. Happy Solstice.

    • jon

      I’ll admit it.. .I scrolls straight to the bottom.

      When I found that I was being rewarded with penguins I felt guilt and went back and read the article.

  • MikeB

    Enjoy your sociology/anthropology field trip today.

    This site is my must read of the day, several times a day. What I find here I do not find anywhere else, hence the 40 daily clicks on this bookmarked site.

    Thanks for your work and devotion to NewsCut. There’ll be a big hole when it’s gone. Hopefully a long, long, long time from now

    • Rob

      From your keyboard to God’s/Krishna’s/Buddah’s/Coatlicue’s/Danu’s/Baal’s/Allah’s ears.

  • Zachary

    Just out of morbid curiosity, but do you have the statistics for the least popular?

  • Jeff C.

    “this is the annual shopping trip for my wife and I to the Mall of America”

    Shouldn’t that be “my wife and me”?

    • wjc

      Really? Correcting grammar now? get in the holiday spirit of happiness and overlooking grammatical and spelling misteaks.

      • Rob

        Misteak is a species of wood, isn’t it?

        • wjc

          No, a cut of meat that you shouldn’t eat.

          • Gary F

            That’s what fillet of penguin is called.

          • wjc


    • You can always spot the Macalester grad in the comments sections. :*)

    • Rob

      Says you. : )

  • Jay Sieling

    Just shopping? I think the day could be spent on the fourth floor:

  • Noelle

    Bob, thanks for all that you do. NewsCut and Updraft are the two primary reasons I have kept my sustaining membership with MPR going over the last several years. Happy Holidays!

  • Carol S.

    Newscut is one of my first stops in the morning, before I start my work. Thanks for another great year and your hard work. I will really miss it when you retire. You aren’t, by chance, grooming a successor? (Please!?)

  • asiljoy

    Just piling on to say I love Newscut! Thank you for all the extra effort you put into making this a great space.

  • Joe

    Thanks Bob.

  • joetron2030

    Thanks for another year of throught-provoking posts and comments.

  • Will

    Thanks for dealing with all the comments Bob, while I may not always agree with you I do appreciate your articles and conversations they spark.

  • Sara

    Bob, you are a national treasure. NewsCut is my ONLY daily go-to. Happy Mall of America people watching day!

  • Jeff

    Well my favorite was about the guy who didn’t know much about building things but taught himself how to build and fly an airplane, flew it around and helped others, but ultimately had to give it up.

    • Rob

      Dang, I missed that one…

  • Rob

    Can’t imagine the day when I head for News Cut and it’s not there anymore. And Bob, I hope you find a way to get a medical waiver so you can try out one of Cirrus’ new personal jets…

    • Rob

      Waiting for a picture of a 5 lb bar of good chocolate. : )

    • rallysocks

      I’ve heard you can purchase a 2 lb. Rice Krispies bar at Menards.

      Here’s to everyone’s Holiday Season to be exactly what you need 🙂

  • Anna

    I think we should have a party after New Year’s for all the regulars here on NewsCut although I’m a relative newcomer. I for one would like to put faces with the people I chat with on a daily basis.

    Don’t know where we would host that. We could all chip in for food and drink. Make it a potluck of sorts. We also could split the cost of renting a location unless someone has a big commons area at their condo association.

    If you think this is a bad idea, feel free to throw as many rotten tomatoes as you see fit.

    And I agree with Sara and many others. Newscut is a daily must read for me.

  • chlost

    Love this place. Enjoy your work, Bob, but I also enjoy the regulars who comment here. The conversations are interesting and I feel as though I have come to know the personalities of many of them as well. If we were all to meet at a Bob Collins/Newscut reception someday, I think I would have very little trouble putting names to faces.
    Looking forward to a report from the trenches of holiday shopping at the Mall. I have done almost all online shopping this year. I have not missed the crowds and craziness of shopping the “brick and mortar” locations.

  • Jim G

    Enjoy your day shopping. I heard this week that you shouldn’t sweat buying your spouse the perfect gift…just buy them something they want and like. Go figure. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from this Minnesotan living in Oregon.

  • Bonnie

    Thanks. Enjoy your holidays.

  • mnboy67

    I always enjoy the on point comments and even most of the not on point ones. I too enjoy and appreciate a daily dose of Newscut and if I’m lucky a bit of back and forth with Looch! Bob, great work as always and have a wonderful holiday season!

  • Jay T. Berken

    Thank you Bob for your thoughtful posts and, most importantly, your application on governing the flow of the comments. I learn much from this community.

    Happy Holidays and all the best into the New Year.