Headlines 6/6/08: Two conventions, ethnic media, Franken’s Playboy flap

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HEADLINES

One weekend, two conventions
by Mary Turck, TC Daily Planet
The National Media Reform Conference in Minneapolis and the Minnesota State DFL Convention in Rochester share the news spotlight June 6-8. Video, blogs, articles, interviews—media reports of every kind will pour in, and we want to help you find the news you choose. Just click on this page, and you will find links to all of the coverage of both political and media events this weekend.

Ethnic media take up the mantle of public interest
by Kathlyn Stone, TC Daily Planet
America has been battling over press freedom ever since the Europeans landed. In fact, the British brought their struggle for press freedom with them. If you were alive in the 50s, 60s and 70s, you will remember that U.S. media was then revered worldwide for its history of challenging authority in the public interest.

The respect America once enjoyed overseas (despite a perception of brashness and naiveté) was due in large part to those who fought for freedom of the press and idealized the concept.

In many aspects, ethnic media in America have stepped into that role of societal liberator and public watchdog.

Franken the uniter? Playboy flap brings together political enemies
by Andy Birkey, Minnesota Monitor
It’s a rare moment in Minnesota politics: Planned Parenthood extends a thank you to Rep. Laura Brod, R-New Prague, and Sen. Betsy Wergin, R-Princeton, two legislators with an extremely anti-choice and anti-reproductive health record. But Al Franken’s 2000 essay in Playboy magazine has united the two factions who seem to agree that the article is problematic.

ISAIAH commits to North Side “repair job”
by Charles Hallman, Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
For various reasons, race relations in Minneapolis have been fractured for quite some time. Some believe they are forever broken, while many others prefer the band-aid approach, temporarily fixing a specific problem regarding race that only adheres until the next crisis occurs.

INSIDE THE DAILY PLANET

Music note: Old 97’s run smooth at First Ave
by Jay Gabler, TC Daily Planet
The Old 97’s are generally regarded as an alt-country band, but now that Rhett Miller has shed his Texas twang and the group’s sound has veered towards power pop, the countryest thing about the Old 97’s might be their bar-band dedication to slamming through a live set with as few pauses or energy lapses as possible.

Food and Restaurants

Local eatery Mesa Pizza to expand after closing of Dinkytown Barbers
by Alex Ebert, Minnesota Daily
After 87 years of snipping, buzzing and shaving, Dinkytown Barbers is finished with the hair business.

Racking up the food miles
by Cael Warren, Land Stewardship Project
The concept of “food miles” has spurred heated debate across the developed world, causing people to question the origins of the food that ends up on their tables. Despite how common the phrase is, many people never know more about food miles than what the phrase implies: miles traveled by food. What is behind this catch-phrase, and what does it mean for our food system and the environment?

A Tip on Thai: Bangkok Thai Deli
by Jeremy Iggers, Breaking Bread/The Rake
Finding good Thai food in the Twin Cities isn’t easy — the best I have found recently has been at True Thai on Franklin Ave. E. in Minneapolis. I have been very disappointed with what I have tasted at the Thai restaurants in Uptown, and though I have only sampled a few dishes at Otho and Kindee, and the re-opened Ruam Mit in downtown Saint Paul, none of them seemed to get it quite right. (My usual test is to order a hot and sour tom yum soup and a green curry, both complex and pungent dishes; too often, the green curry is bland and insipid, and the tom yum is out of balance, or missing some of the essential ingredients, such as straw mushrooms, or galangal or lemon grass.)

NEW IN VOICES

Wanted: The league of immigrant voters
by Edwin Okong’o, Mshale
It is the election year and here they go again – politicians – using the age-old “illegal alien” excuse to cover up their three-year fiestas and siestas in Washington, D.C.

LRT: On the wrong track down Washington Avenue
by Nancy Rose Pribyl, TC Daily Planet
As the President of the Stadium Village Commercial Association, it was with dismay that I read the June 1 Voices article, Keeping the “U” on track. I am confused by most of the piece and initially thought perhaps it was intended to be satirical.

NEW IN BLOGS

The Clinton campaign as Shakespearean Tragedy
by Demi Miller, Minnesota Progressive Caucus
As I’ve been following this campaign it has struck me that so much of how these events unfold is not in our complete control. Concepts that the writers of Greek Tragedy understood – the role of Fate, the power of pride and hubris, the blindness that ambition can sometimes create in us, the capriciousness of the timing of crucial events – all can influence outcomes in unpredictable ways.