What makes Liz Collin tick? To hear her tell it: "the truth."
As the former WCCO-TV reporter begins her new gig at right-wing website Alpha News, it seems ideology might be an additional motivating factor. Specifically, the pro-cop, lock-'em-up, dog-whistle-screaming type of red meat that Crime Watch Minneapolis reliably tosses to its large and frothing social media following.
For Collin's first Alpha News dispatch, viewers were treated to an "exclusive" ride-along with Ramsey County law enforcement to collect anecdotes about carjacking, a topic to which mainstream press outlets have already devoted considerable resources. While those stories relied heavily on data, Collin afforded an entire segment to the anonymous musings of the person behind Crime Watch. The "lax criminal justice system," the same one that boasts the world's highest incarceration rate, is to blame, according to the thug-loathing citizen journalist who recaps reports from local police scanners.
But Collin, who was shooed away from cop coverage at 'CCO after the station finally disclosed her marriage to former Minneapolis police union president Lt. Bob Kroll, wasn't done with Crime Watch. Alpha News fans had to wait one day for her second contribution to the site: a 36-minute one-on-one podcast interview with "Crime Watch," the bold truth-teller who wouldn't reveal their name or voice.
"Amazing," Collin remarks as Crime Watch details their "obsessive" listening to the police scanner. Collin eagerly talks up the size of Crime Watch's audience, which totals around 300,000 across Twitter and various Facebook pages. Finally unstifled by 'CCO, at one point Collin describes the criminal justice system with audible air quotes. The fully funded police departments that've failed to curb the recent uptick in crime? They didn't have time to analyze that, though Collin did praise Crime Watch's "critical service" and "great sense of humor."
"We're going feet-first into the wood chipper, and all that's left is the screaming," Crime Watch concludes on the current state of Minneapolis.
The kid-gloves handling of Crime Watch's identity this week is especially interesting considering how the account handled actual kids last week. Crime Watch pulled no punches while pummeling the Rhino Report, a newsletter produced by students at Alan Page Middle School in Minneapolis.
The offending article? “Protest Tips and Etiquette,” which informed students attending protests about their rights and shared ways to stay safe. One since-deleted screen grab included the full names of Rhino Report's grade-school contributors, whose other articles that week praised TV's The Book of Boba Fett and provided pointers to Minecraft players; the week's hot lunch menu is displayed at the bottom. Fox News piled on yesterday afternoon, as all things in the critical race theory orbit have whipped its viewers into hysteria.
Why did Collin grant repeated anonymity to a person who identified specific 6th graders they disagree with? We asked via email, but Collin is apparently not ready to share that truth.