Jon Tevlin – who replaced Nick Coleman on columnists row at the Strib a long time ago, and you’d have a hard time telling the difference unless you notice the incremental drop in entitled arrogance – is getting out of the column business:
In the past couple of years, however, I’ve gotten worn down by the weekly screeds and wishes that I lead a short, uncomfortable life. I began to dread the 3 a.m. calls and anonymous notes. After many weekends got ruined by hostile chatter on social media, my wife, Ellen, wisely suggested I either kill my column or Twitter. I survived the past few years, in fact, by removing social media from my phone.
I fear we are becoming a mean, arrogant country. In fact, at 6 a.m. the day after voters elected a bigoted, narcissistic megalomaniac,
(Yes, I did check to see if he was in that paragraph was intended as satire. Apparnetly not. Ed)
I wrote to my financial planner the following words: “I feel like I’ve wasted 30 years of my life. Get me out of here.”
Mr. Tevlin – if you have to ask, you probably did. Sorry to say.
Paying attention to Twitter is a rookie flub, of course; the day when Twitter’s nonexistent business model finally sinks it will be a great one for public discourse.
But that leaves a vacancy on Columnists Row . Who’ll fill it?
On the one hand, who cares? It’s the Strib.
On the other?
Well, Bob Collins at MPR writes:
Ideally, the Strib would hang out a “white men need not apply” shingle since the newspaper’s lineup of voices is almost exclusively male, white, and comfortable.
Bob – perhaps because he’s white and male, but I suspect more because he’s part of a media outlet that is pretty much demographically identical tot he Strib – misses a key point.
The Strib’s columnist stable (outside of Kersten, whose status at the Strib is always nebulous anyway) reminds me of Alan Dershowitz’s assessment of the Harvard Law School faculty: “You think “diversity” is someone with different colored skin, or in a skirt, who thinks exactly the same as you”. (The same could be said of MPR, by the way).
What difference would it make if the Strib hired a non-white non-male (let’s call ’em NWNMs, just for the fun of it) if their writing was indistinguishable from the DFL flaks with bylines that make up the rest of the staff? Would hiring a black woman whose point of view is indistinguishable from Lori Sturdevant or Nick Coleman (or Keri Miller) really be that big a change, much less improvement?
In print, if someone’s entire perspective on the world is that of a Prius-driving, Whole Foods-shopping, “Al Franken shouldn’t have resigned!”-ing, DFL upsucking, Saint Olaf/Macalester/U of MN Journo program-degree-holding, Kenwood or Crocus Hill-dwelling, mad-about-Bernie-but-still-Hillary-voting intellectual love child of Lori Sturdevant and Nick Coleman, does their skin color or reproductive plumbing really make that big a difference in the newspaper’s output?
Other than in the “virtue-signaling ticket-punching” kind of way, I mean?
Mark my words: after much sturm und drang, the Strib will pick someone in a skirt, and/or with fashionably dark skin, whose perspective is no different from that of Jon Tevlin, Nick Coleman, Lori Sturdevant, Keri Miller or Kim Ode for that matter.
 Hypothetically, anyway. The Strib could just decide to save the money.