A couple of weeks ago, we were talking in this space about the weird news judgement of Matt Drudge -- "America's assignment editor" --and Rush Limbaugh, whose assignment at that time for America's news editors was to take the story of a beating on a school bus in racially integrated Belleville, Ill., and not only make it into the biggest thing going on in the entire nation that afternoon, but then to tie it all back to what Limbaugh helpfully called "Obama's America."
At the time, I feared that this was just the beginning, and I was right. The Next New Thing in DrudgeLimbaughLand is to find violent crimes in America's third-largest city, Chicago, and weave them seamlessly into President Obama's push to bring the 2016 Olympics Games there. In their world of association games, this week's big stories in the unofficial capital of "Obama's America" include a violent youth murder captured on videotape and now today, in the top item of what can charitably called Drudge's "Olympic coverage," is "CHICAGOLAND...Another boy critically beaten; "Blood all over the street."
I thought it was interesting, however, that today's "Obama urban violence crisis" article isn't the lead story on Drudge; instead it's a piece touting Minnesota's Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty as the man who could save America in 2012 from what the military coup wing of the GOP now calls "the Obama problem."
I'm not convinced. In order to get an idea of what type of culture the governor of Minnesota might bring to the nation's capital, I went to the Web site of the state's largest newspaper, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, to see what life is like there. I was shocked by what I found. This is today's lead story in Land of 10,000 Lakes: "Third man arrested in Brooklyn Park beating."
A third suspect has been arrested in last week's beating and robbery of two black men in Brooklyn Park, which authorities have characterized as a hate crime.
The 23-year-old Brooklyn Center man was arrested at 9:15 p.m. Wednesday near his home in connection with the late-night Sept. 23 beatings.
Authorities say racial slurs were shouted as three men beat, robbed and stripped the clothing from 18-year-old Derrick Thomas, who is autistic, then roughed up Johnney Robinson, 40, four blocks away before they were interrupted by police.
To me, it's just a horrible crime, another symbol of how hard it is to reach that post-racial America, and my heart and my prayers go to Thomas and Robinson and their families. But that's me. If I walked a mile in Matt Drudge's shoes, I guess I'd have a better understanding of what Tim Pawlenty's America is really like, a world of hate crimes and savage beatings of an autistic kid. I'd think that these people in Minnesota are all savages. Did they think they get could get away with it because there's finally a guy named "Tim" in the governor's mansion. Imagine how Tim Pawlenty's values could destroy America as we know it in 2013.
I just emailed the Brooklyn Park beating story as a tip to firstname.lastname@example.org. I'm looking forward to seeing it paired together with the article about Palwenty's 2012 presidential bid. I think that would be only fair, don't you?