Don Allen’s ON POINT! Radio: Misinformation + Racist Attacks

Don Allen of Poopgate Fame’s web based talk show is a fascinating thing to listen to. While one can listen live to the narrowcast, it’s much better as a podcast so you can pause and rewind when you hear stuff that makes your head hurt.

For example, here is a 3 minute segment that contains at least eight interesting nuggets:

Click here to listen. This segment starts at 35:00 into their Feb 26th show.

Here is what I hear in this 3 minute segment from their 90 minute show:

1. Ron Edwards makes an unsubstantiated claim that the social security numbers on computers stolen from City, Inc “are being sold on the streets”.

2. Don Allen claims that “Minnpost sometimes scratches the StarTribune’s back”. I wonder if David Brauer knows that that’s what he’s doing when he writes his media pieces?

3. Don Allen makes a racist statement about the Dakota people by dismissing reporting on the decline of their language as irrelevant. Don starts by quoting a David Brauer piece on Minnpost about the work Mitchell has done, then editorializes:

exploring the decline of fluent Dakota speakers in the state. (Whatever that means.)

Whatever that means, Don? The story by David Brauer (Update: A clarification: Brauer points out in the comments here that this mention within his story was a citation of a Strib press release.) that you were quoting from links to Corey Mitchell’s story. Why are you choosing to be a willfully ignorant racist when you could at least be an informed racist? If you were informed, maybe you’d be a tad less racist?

4. Don Allen then makes a racist statement where he claims that Corey Mitchell isn’t black enough for Don Allen’s taste by saying “he [Mitchell] really has no sense of a black conscience.” Personally, I wasn’t aware that a person’s conscience had pigment. Apparently it does in Don Allen’s world, and pigment matters to Don Allen. This wasn’t the first time Don Allen (who is black) attacked Corey Mitchell (who is also black) over Mitchell’s black behavior. The most recent time that I’m aware of was when Allen said:

“Corey Mitchell, with experience, you’ll learn never to attack another black man in Minneapolis again.”

Apparently, in Don Allen’s world, black reporters should judge people by the color of their skin rather than the content of their character.

5. Don Allen then attacks Corey Mitchell for not having lived in the Twin Cities for as long as Don:

He has no history here. And, if you don’t know where you’ve been, you’re not going to know where you’re going.

While there is certainly something to be said for institutional knowledge, it doesn’t take a lifetime to determine that the Minneapolis Public Schools made a downright strange decision when they chose to contract with Don Allen for marketing services. Corey Mitchell, being a journalist, may have done what journalists do: Receive tips. Follow up. Contact sources. Write a story. For example, Corey Mitchell contacted Don Allen for his story about Don Allen’s contract with the MPS and quoted Don in the article.

6. Don Allen then diverts to point out that the MPS may be wasting money on people beyond him. I find that believable, but it doesn’t justify the MPS / Don Allen contract.

7. Ron Edwards then claims that the story suggested there was corruption involved in the contract Don Allen received. That’s not what I took away from the StarTribune story. What I read was that the MPS wasn’t being corrupt but stupid by contracting with someone who has attacked the school district in the past, and had serious factual errors in the work samples he provided to the district.

8. Ron Edwards and Don Allen then banter about how awesome Don’s work for the Minneapolis Public Schools is. They’re referring to the same work that led to a story in the StarTribune about how shoddy the work is.

All that in just 3 minutes. This is why I have to listen to it as a podcast. That many “wait, what?” moments in a live stream is just too much for me to handle.

6 thoughts on “Don Allen’s ON POINT! Radio: Misinformation + Racist Attacks”

  1. It’s sure not the first time since word of his contract broke (on my blog) that Don Allen has raised the issue of MPS wasting money beyond whatever they wasted–or will waste–on his dubious contract.

    Heck of a promoter of MPS, huh?

    It’s one thing to bite the hand that feeds you. But it’s quite an odd thing when the bitten hand doesn’t seem to even REACT. Does MPS not NOTICE the guy they are paying $15,000 (or will pay) is actually giving them NEGATIVE publicity? I mean, what’s the deal? Does Don think if he is critical they will pay him MORE?

    I don’t see where the story suggested there was corruption. Interesting how Ron can read the same story and take THAT away from it. Is he HINTING there is corruption? Corruption Don could write about?

    IMO, if there was any HINT or IMPLICATION in the story, (“Critic of schools now paid to promote them”) it was more like, “Judge for yourself, reader, doesn’t this smell like a shakedown?”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pk-W_i7Z59I

  2. Ed – while I didn’t hear the Don Allen segment in question (sorry, not a regular listener), I’d just note the “Dakota” reference came from the Strib’s press release, which I attached at the bottom of my post. (I like including the releases so readers can see the same docs I do; as you noted I otherwise link to Mitchell’s stories so readers can see for themselves.)

    As for Allen’s opinion about MinnPost, as I well know, there’s no license required to be a media critic. It should be noted the Strib’s previous publisher refused to speak to me for several years (he actually hung up on my the very first time we talked). While I’m not afraid to write about positive news over there, whatever water is being carried is in an extremely leaky bucket.

  3. Thanks David. I’ve clarified that in the post.

    Even if you hadn’t linked to it, the story can be found in a few seconds by searching Google for, say, “startribune dakota language“. Don’s comment seems racist to me, and also hypocritical, since Don would surely flip out if someone do flagrantly dismissed reporting on the plight of African Americans in North Minneapolis.

  4. Maybe Don thinks those Native Americans have some casino money to pay him and if he criticizes them, they will throw a little of it his way to shut him up.

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