Over the past month, I’ve written three times about Don Allen, and why I don’t think the Minneapolis Public Schools should be spending $15,000 with him for video production services related to marketing the public school system to North Minneapolis residents.
In previous posts, I’ve focused on the fact that he’s published a blog post where he accused a North Minneapolis community member and activist of paying a prostitute to defecate on a house for a photo – also known as Poopgate. He went as far as claiming that this was a racial issue (supposedly exploiting a black woman). This, in spite of the fact that the picture in question wasn’t taken by the blogger Don Allen has accused of this entirely false claim.
At this point, it seems pretty clear that Don Allen is willing to make up libelous comments about North Minneapolis community members, and won’t even take them down when called out on his ridiculousness.
Now, here’s another angle. Check out this video Don Allen created in 2009 about West Broadway Ave in North Minneapolis. Keep in mind that this is the guy that the Minneapolis Public Schools has contracted with to create videos marketing public schools in North Minneapolis:
In that video, Don Allen:
1. Claims that North Minneapolis is entirely run down. (not true). In fact, I ran past the spot where Don Allen was standing a week ago. The building used to host the Bean Scene, which moved down the block. The Obama campaign used the venue. And now it’s home to a new restaurant:
That restaurant went in after Don cut the video, but there was already work being done on the Capri Theater (across the street from where Don was standing), a new home for KMOJ (also across the street from where Don Allen was standing), and many other projects on West Broadway that he had to ignore in order to make his absolute statement about the situation on West Broadway.
2. Calls Minnesota Public Radio a “dumbass” for attempting to report on what’s going on on West Broadway. (Idiotic PR move)
3. Claims that “nothing” brings people to West Broadway. (While some people won’t go to North, that’s an exaggeration.) The Capri Theater is one example of what brings people there. A Groupon for Merwin’s brought me there. Friends working at Coloplast brings others there. And, I often hit the West Broadway Taco Bell after running in the neighborhood.
Three months after Don Allen recorded his video, Minneapolis City Council Member Don Samuels recorded a 2 part video (the sound quality is kind of rough, but you’ll get the point) where he describes all of the development taking place on West Broadway starting at the Mississippi River, where Coloplast built their new North American headquarters, and heads west from there to across the street from where Don Allen stood.
4. Claims that MPR has not reported in North Minneapolis. (not true)
5. After all that, he states that the area needs some publicity and positive imagery, contradicting what he just spent two minutes doing. (Did he listen to himself?)
6. Then claims that MPR doesn’t report on the black community. (not true)
While I agree with Don’s take that Car Talk is a waste of MPR’s valuable airtime, the rest of his commentary makes me wonder why the heck the Minneapolis Public Schools would think Don Allen would be an appropriate person to contract with for marketing services.