Gov. Dayton Goes AWOL For A Month. Minnesota Media Don’t Notice.

Never let it be said that Minnesota media aren’t lazy nor have become dependent on being spoon fed information for their so-called “reporting.” This unpleasant truth about our “truth tellers” was made appallingly clear when local media realized, late in the game, that Gov. Dayton had been hospitalized for a month following back surgery at Mayo.

They reported, of course, on his return to the Governor’s mansion in Saint Paul, saying his stay at Mayo was “unexpectedly long.” Media only noticed after the fact, something they didn’t report on. Then again, when do media point out their own shortcomings?

The Star Tribune gaslighted its readers when it tweeted “In failing to disclose until recently the full reason for a nearly 6-week hospital stay, the Dayton administration took the governor’s bent toward privacy too far. It’s a lapse we hope future governors will remember and resolve not to repeat.” It then linked to its own high horse editorial lecturing Dayton about an excess of privacy, concluding with a stern finger wagging that future governors shouldn’t engage in the same conduct.

Well thanks for that, brave Daniel Pearls. Where was the discussion about how you and other Minnesota media failed in what you repeatedly tell us is your indispensable job: holding power to account and the government to transparency? We’re lectured all the time that without our media we could scarcely draw a breath, let alone live in a democracy.

What happened is simple and simply embarrassing. Media received press releases from the Governor’s office that said Dayton was meeting with commissioners and staff throughout the day and they left it at that. No one possessed the slightest curiosity as to why he hadn’t been seen in public nor did it down on any of these fierce truth tellers to ask amongst themselves if they’d seen him in private. Indeed, did they know of anyone who had seen him in private?

This vanishing act happened because of Minnesota media laziness and incuriosity. Unfortunately, it’s all of a piece with their news coverage, their product, which is nothing more than political propaganda trussed up as journalism.

This is the last media bias column for Alpha News’ weekly media bias contest and the utter cluelessness of the media in this instance somehow makes it a perfect note on which to end. Alpha News thanks its readers who have sent in submissions for consideration but the contest was meant to be of limited duration and not an ongoing permanent feature. I’ll continue to write my Sunday opinion column and there may be occasional pieces midweek about media bias as circumstances warrant.

Thanks again for your support and participation.

Photo credit: Pioneer Press

John Gilmore

John Gilmore is an author, freelance writer & former opinion columnist for Alpha News. He blogs at & is @Shabbosgoy on Twitter