By now, we're used to watching Gov. Jesse Ventura paint with a broad brush when he feels the need to criticize someone or some institution. He uses hyperbole freely for a snazzy sound bite and then lets his surrogates clarify, explain and sometimes backpedal on the governor's comments.
The news media is a favorite target of Ventura and while we're certainly fair game for his criticism, it's disappointing when he misstates the facts.
Last Friday, during his weekly radio broadcast, Ventura inferred that the media would refuse to report news that indicated the public's anti-stadium sentiment.
"I challenge the media to report that tonight," he said when no hands were raised in his audience in response to his request for a show of support for a tax increase to build a stadium.
We know this, of course, because it was duly noted in an Associated Press report.
The governor continued on this topic, contending that newspapers, television and radio benefit financially from professional sports.
"The news media is very much in favor of fighting for a stadium," he said.
While The Brainerd Dispatch staff includes many sports fans and the paper has reported the triumphs and tribulations of Minnesota pro sports for the past 40-some years, we certainly can't say that pro sports has directly made our business more profitable.
Contrary to the governor's assertion, The Brainerd Dispatch and certain other outstate papers have not editorially supported substantial public subsidies for pro sports stadiums. Instead, this newspaper has called for Major League Baseball to get its financial house in order so small market teams have a chance to compete with the New York Yankees of the World.
The media rarely speak with one voice. Gov. Ventura should read outstate papers more carefully and he'd discover that the Minneapolis and St. Paul papers don't always speak for us.
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