Readers Write: (July 13): Jesse Ventura, Glen Taylor, Joseph Stiglitz, D.J. Tice

  • Updated: July 11, 2014 - 6:05 PM

Perhaps what goes around will come around for the former governor.

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Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura during the first day of jury selection in a defamation lawsuit.

Photo: Elizabeth Flores • Star Tribune,

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Given Jesse Ventura’s past media histrionics, it is hard to take his current defamation lawsuit too seriously (“Test could be Ventura’s toughest,” July 6). But at the risk of angering our former governor, I would like readers to recall published accounts of Ventura’s considerable efforts to defame (with malice) the journalists who followed him as governor.

A particular incident in an elementary school comes to mind, when the governor quizzed students about who the other visitors in the room were.

When he gave them an answer, he broke the cardinal rule of elementary school: no name-calling. But anger prevailed — he clearly defamed the attending journalists, calling them “jackals.” The governor clearly demonstrated malice because he was continuing the well-publicized name-calling campaign, and did so this day in front of small children, thoughtless to his position as governor of Minnesota.

The journalists have not sued, but they received the same treatment that Ventura has claimed in court he suffered. Hopefully, Ventura’s court case will be sprinkled with a little bit of personal karma.

Steve Watson, Minneapolis

GLEN TAYLOR

What future for paper under its new owner?

After reading Glen Taylor’s July 6 column (“Why I bought the Star Tribune and what I see for its future”), I am not sure that much will change in the Star Tribune.

Unlike Taylor’s many detractors, I applaud his accomplishments. However, at this time in the history of these United States, many successful people feel compelled to apologize. President Obama reinforced this attitude by implying that the accomplishments of successful people were due to the government.

Too many times in the history of nations, the successful establishment of a government has become bogged down over time by endless institution of rules and regulations that were designed to make things better and only served to bind the spirit of the body politic.

In these United States, the freedom of speech and the press is our most important defense against endless, and often imprudent and counterproductive, rules and regulations. Does Mr. Taylor understand this, and if he does, will the Star Tribune be more vigilant? That remains to be seen.

Keith Wilkening, Bloomington

• • •

About 34 years ago, I shared a podium with Taylor at Madelia High School. We were both invited to speak on issues that rural schools faced. Madelia was out of the legislative district we were campaigning for, yet we both attended.

Glen’s concern for Southern Minnesota and for Minnesota as a whole was evident then. We were from different parties, and many of our views at the time were divergent. I came to respect his understanding of issues and his willingness to listen. Glen changed his views as he processed new facts and information. I firmly believe that his purchase of the Star Tribune will be good for Minnesotans regardless of their individual political persuasions.

That is important to me. My father, Richard Swart (now deceased), worked as a printer for the paper for 43½ years. I grew up with the paper and the ideas it presented. It was like family. So I have been concerned for its welfare and health. The purchase by Glen Taylor means that the Star Tribune it will again have Minnesota roots. That matters. So does the financial independence he brings. This type of action may save print journalism, if the action is followed nationwide. National corporations have failed the newspaper industry. Think small, and the papers may just rebound. Thanks, Glen.

Robert A. Swart, Mankato

 

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