It’s not journalism, but it does raise questions about its relative absence in the Minnesota Attorney General’s election and in the national media covering the DNC. Deputy chair Keith Ellison faces two allegations of domestic violence over the last thirteen years, and yet few national outlets seem curious enough to press Ellison for answers on either. Laura Loomer, who describes herself as a “former Project Veritas operative” on her Twitter profile, tracked down Ellison at a campaign event and demanded answers from him while waving a police report in front of his face.
Ellison refused to answer or acknowledge at all:
Loomer repeatedly describes herself as a journalist to those around Ellison, but in this case she’s clearly an activist. She’s not only asking questions, Loomer’s also answering them and making declarations like “I don’t want an attorney general who beats and abuses women!” (Granted, one might consider that a rather low bar to clear for any AG slot, but here we in Minnesota are.) There’s nothing wrong with activism and protests at campaign events, and Loomer’s very good at being an “operative” for those purposes, but it’s not “journalism.”
However, Loomer’s efforts here should prompt this question about journalism: Where are the actual journalists? Apart from a recent effort by the New York Times, no one seems interested in sending out reporters — with or without cameras — to push the second-highest-ranking official of the Democratic Party into answering the allegations of domestic violence from Karen Monahan, or from the 2005 police report filed by Amy Alexander. Nor are they pushing the DNC or the Minnesota DFL party (our version of the Democrats) to answer questions about the supposed investigations both are allegedly conducting into Monahan’s allegations and the earlier incident with Alexander.
If this was a Republican candidate, the Star Tribune and other local media would hardly have hesitated to show up with cameras at campaign events to demand answers. If it was the deputy chair of the RNC facing domestic-violence allegations, every Republican candidate across the country would be facing those questions and cameras, too — let alone longtime connections to anti-Semites like Louis Farrakhan. Thus far, with a few exceptions, the “actual journalists” appear to be following the Iowahawk/Jim Treacher definition of journalism … covering a story with a pillow until it stops moving.
If real journalists were doing their jobs, Laura Loomer wouldn’t get much attention for this activism. As it is, however, she’s the closest thing we’ve seen to actual journalism on the Ellison story, absent a couple of lonely exceptions.