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Minneapolis Shakes Down Journalists 

Plus frivolous GOP bills, Dight's down, and a viral icehouse in today's Flyover.

Is this photo evidence?
Chad Davis via Flickr

Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily midday digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.

Mpls vs. Freedom of the Press

The Charlie Kirks of the world would like you to believe the First Amendment’s greatest threat lurks in gender studies classes across this vast, dumb nation. The real threat, as non-dumbasses know, comes from the state. That’s what makes news of the Minneapolis City Attorney’s office—headed up by the anti-union creep from these infamous Target videos—serving subpoenas to the homes of Twin Cities journalists so disconcerting. The city is demanding that certain reporters from the Star Tribune, Minnesota Reformer, and Fox 9 hand over “photos, videos, recordings, emails, and texts” related to the rioting, protesting, and reporter-cop interacting that followed the 2020 police murder of George Floyd, independent journalist Tony Webster reports. The subpoenas are tied to a lawsuit photojournalist Linda Tirado filed against the city after police munitions blinded her in one eye, Webster explains, though their scope is not limited to that incident; the reporters in question are also being ordered to attend depositions later this month. Expect the involved newsrooms to lawyer up and push back on behalf of their journalists. 

MN Senate GOP Kills Time, Riles Base with Doomed Bills

It’s an election year, and that means the Republican majority in the Senate is whipping up the faithful with a bunch of looney bills that would never get through the DFL House and that Walz wouldn’t sign if they did. As Peter Callaghan pointed out at MinnPost last week, the goal here is often to force a legislator to make a “bad vote” to gather attack-ad fodder. Imagine an image of Minneapolis in flames on YouTube, with shadowy miscreants in the streets, and a deep voice intoning “As violent crime skyrockets in Minnesota [DFL OPPONENT] voted AGAINST holding lenient prosecutors accountable for refusing to press charges against DANGEROUS criminals.” The bill in question? It would require county attorneys to bring a case whenever there’s probable cause, rather than exercising discretion as they do now.

On the other hand, something that could be called the Protect Scott Jensen Act grants discretion to the state medical practice board, allowing them to decline to investigate a complaint against a physician for social media comments—for instance, sharing COVID misinfo. Yet another bill would retroactively cancel rent control measures passed by Minneapolis and St. Paul voters last November. It’s a tricky game, deciding who gets to exercise discretion and who doesn’t, but the Senate GOP is happy to play it.

Fixing the Dight Blight

Did you know Minneapolis once had a street named for the founder of the Minnesota Eugenics Society? Until yesterday, Dight Avenue—named after Charles Dight, a eugenicist who wrote fan mail to Hitler—ran for several blocks parallel to Hiawatha Avenue in the city’s Howe neighborhood. No longer! Now, the street is named for John Cheatham, a former slave who eventually became Minneapolis’s first Black fire captain. “The worst street sign in Minneapolis just got replaced by the best street sign in Minneapolis,” the Strib’s Jennifer Brooks wrote, acknowledging that while renaming a smallish, tucked-away street might not seem like a big deal to some folks, it was a huge deal to the congregation of St. James AME, a historic Black church with a parking lot facing the street. Also like… probably for the greater good to not name streets after Nazis. They feel emboldened enough as it is.

“That’s a Lot of Fucking Water. Holy Fuck!”

Not the kind of thing you want to hear when you’re driving over a lake, but that’s the main takeaway from this viral video featuring a truck pulling an icehouse to land. Don’t freak out too much: Although the camera footage looks alarming, the water is actually just melted snow, and at the time the lake was still frozen by at least three feet. “Driving through water like this is always nerve-racking but happens almost every year about this time,” fishing guide Eric Best, who posted the video to Facebook, tells Bring Me the News. The moment was captured from the passenger seat as he and a buddy attempted to pull the structure off of the Lake of the Woods, which is up north by the Canadian border. Icehouses are allowed to be on that lake through the end of the month.