While KSTP-TV started out its editorial September 7 with a disclaimer, it didn’t end up with one.
“It is rare when KSTP decides to take an editorial position,” began anchor Jessica Miles, but that’s exactly what the station did today in praising law enforcement for its job in policing the Republican National Convention and related protests. Undisclosed is that the opinion, attributed to the station’s owner, comes from one Stanley Hubbard, the state’s biggest Republican donor and a personal contributor to the Republican convention.
According to Miles, KSTP staffers who witnessed police working the RNC said they were “calm and professional and measured when faced with protesters”; she added that that they were “well trained and prepared to do a tough job.” The editorial concludes:
So it is the opinion of the owners of KSTP that we owe a debt of gratitude to all the police officers on duty during the Republican National Convention. Congratulations and thank you to the men and women in uniform.
Like anchor Cyndy Brucato, past communications director for Republicans Gov. Arne Carlson and Sen. Norm Coleman, Hubbard has deep ties to the GOP. How deep? With his wife Karen, he has donated $163,500 to candidates and causes this election cycle alone — more than any other Minnesotan — with the vast majority of it, $130,200, going to Republicans. Plus he kicked in “fundraising talents” and “an undisclosed amount of money” for the Republican National Convention, according to the Pioneer Press. On top of that, he lent the use of his 125-foot yacht during the RNC.
“I hope they make good use of it,” he told the paper, which added that it came with ground rules: “No smoking and no unfriendly shoes.”
The “good use” was apparently an invitation-only soiree dubbed the “Coleman for Senate Donor Appreciation Cruise.”
It’s unclear if KSTP journalists were detained or arrested at the RNC, but prior to the festivities, police reportedly shoved a KSTP photographer who was trying to shoot a sit-in by protesters who’d planned a conention march.
Update: David Brauer at MinnPost covers this too, reporting that no KSTP journalists were detained by police during the RNC and that Hubbard Broadcasting, Inc., was a sponsor of the RNC Host Committee.