On the heals of the entirely outrageous, fear-mongering/security-state feeding reporting done by the local Times-Argus of Santa Clause’s gubernatorially-placed pie, I gave a mention to the laziness of coverage in the same paper regarding a new program in which the Central Vermont garbage collector’s will now be officially “trained” to keep an eye on things for the police (see post bellow).  Since quality journalism is clearly in the front of my thoughts right now (um, news to me, but maybe that means my own self-reflection has gone corporate!) I figure I’ll pass on the following statement from the RNC Welcoming Committee, on the heals of some more sensationalist, poorly-researched, “our lives are in grave danger from the most trivial of incidences” reporting that’s been happening of late in the St Paul, MN area:


Late last week, news media outlets throughout the Twin Cities metro area
covered a story about an allegedly “leaked” document concerning RNC
delegate transportation, provided to the public by the RNC Welcoming
Committee. It is an early version of a proposal for transporting thousands
of delegates to and from Downtown St. Paul’s Xcel Center, where the
Convention is to be held, and includes maps, photos, and descriptions of
potential bus formations. News reports portrayed the dissemination of
information as a breach of convention security, intermingling sparse facts
and fear-mongering hyperbole.

Asked to comment, Welcoming Committee spokesperson Jesse Helmsted said,
“That document was and is a public document, produced in response to a
Data Services Act request and accessible to anyone who asks for it.
Anyone, even self-proclaimed journalists, could have brought this document
to the attention of Twin Cities residents, as delegate transportation will
certainly inconvenience all of us who live here. That so-called reporters
would rather engage in fear-mongering and sensationalism than, say, tell
the truth, only speaks to the dangers of trusting corporate media.”

The document in question, a scanned PDF of a print-out of a PowerPoint
presentation called “GOP Express,” is one of many documents produced by
the City of St. Paul in a lawsuit brought against them by groups planning
an anti-war march for the first day of the Republican National Convention.
The Welcoming Committee, an anarchist organizing body preparing for RNC
protests, has positioned itself as a clearinghouse for convention-related
information, and provides any and all relevant material through its
website, http://www.NoRNC.org.

On Friday, July 5th, St. Paul Police dared the Welcoming Committee to use
the document. “Go ahead, plan off that,” said Pete Panos, St. Paul Police
spokesman. “That would be great for us.”

Helmsted responded, “Far out, Pete! We’ve been seeking endorsements of our
Call to Crash the Convention, but the backing of the St. Paul Police
Department is more than we’d dared to hope for. Now that we’ve got it, all
bets are off.”