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Party with Purpose, Plans: MN GOP Debuts Whining State Flag Merch

Plus a reporter's 'Fall of Minneapolis' takedown, Shannen Doherty blames 'Mallrats,' and high school ghosts in today's Flyover news roundup.



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

Cash-Strapped Party Attempts Grievance Apparel

It's no secret the Minnesota Republican Party is broke. Recent filings with the Federal Election Commission show the party has $53.81 in the bank, plus over $335,000 in debt. That financial bottoming-out, combined with a historically L-taking previous legislative session, might inspire a soul-searching self-audit, one that arrives at... I don't know, some populist new direction that emphasizes the material needs of working-class voters? Or MN GOP could quadruple down on FB meme-level grievance politics, which (surprise!) appears to be the continued route.

That's materializing via yesterday's "Save the Flag" declaration from Party Chair David Hann. "The DFL quest to erase our history is repugnant and should be rejected," Hann, a serious political thinker, said in a press release. Added Deputy Chairwoman Donna Bergstrom, a Native tribal member: "It is exhausting to see Native Americans once again bearing the brunt of the short-sighted eradication of our shared history." (She's talking about the old design that has been described as a "cluttered genocidal mess.")

But we're burying the lede here! The real story is the accompanying selection of classy, fashion-forward new T-shirts rocking phrases like: "REMEMBER MINNESOTA #CANTTOUCHTHIS," "ERASING HISTORY NEVER ENDS WELL," and, critically, "DON'T PC OUR FLAG!" Look, with apologies to the vexillological community, I'm no fan of the new flag's lifeless, minimalist design. At the same time, as an adult, I have the combined intellectual and self-awareness horsepower to file this (purely aesthetic!) state government development under: "Welp, who gives a shit." Then again, salvaging MN GOP from its current ruinous and idea-less pit is above my pay grade.

MN Reformer Watched The Fall of Minneapolis So You Don't Have To

We recruited a former classmate of Liz Collin to review the Alpha News host's debut book, They’re Lying: The Media, the Left, and the Death of George Floyd, back in 2022. (It didn't fare well.) Minnesota Reformer just deployed staffer Deena Winter, a reporter who covered the trial over George Floyd's murder, to review Collin's first-ever documentary, The Fall of Minneapolis. (It, too, doesn't receive high critical marks.)

Winter notes that Collin, who strikes a Serious Investigative Reporter posture throughout the doc, (mostly) retrofits the extensively reported work of her reviled mainstream peers to prop up her (mostly) ideologically motivated arguments. None of the six-figure workers’ comp settlements received by multiple cop sources are revealed, and the disclosure that Collin's husband is ex-Minneapolis Police Federation President Bob Kroll, a key player throughout this saga, absolutely never comes up. Per the Reformer, there were apparently no invitations extended to the film's enemies—mainly journalists and DFL politicians—while surplus time is devoted to trashing Floyd's character. Court testimony and autopsy findings are shamelessly cherry-picked, Winter writes, and law enforcement officers are portrayed as helpless victims of anarchy. Not mentioned?

[Cops] went on joyrides, fired rubber bullets at protesters (see Jaleel Stallings); an officer, who went on to run an actual banana stand, was caught on video by a journalist macing protesters for no discernible reason; lots of cops in riot gear teargassed crowds. They shot protestors like Soren Stevenson with a rubber bullet and blinded him in one eye. They maced a journalist from Vice News in the face. They fired rubber bullets at journalists, including Reformer reporter Max Nesterak and Star Tribune reporter Andy Mannix.

Winter acknowledges that Fall of Minneapolis does provide rare insight into the police mindset, including an exclusive phone conversation with Floyd's convicted murderer, former MPD officer Derek Chauvin. Still, she argues, the strongest critiques of the doc come from what it omits, never countering sob-story cop anecdotes with reports, like the one issued last year by the DOJ, that found their department engaged in illegal, abusive, and racist practices for decades.

Did MN-Filmed Mallrats Kill Shannen Doherty's Career? Or Was It All That Other Stuff?

Did the cult-loved 1995 Kevin Smith movie Mallrats, which was filmed at the Eden Prairie Center Mall, kill the career of Shannen Doherty? To hear the actress, now 52, tell it Sunday via her Let's Be Clear podcast—yes! “[Mallrats] died,” says Doherty, who had previously stared in Heathers and Beverly Hills, 90210. “So did my film career. That was it... People literally thought that I was carrying the movie so therefore it was a box office failure it was completely on me.” Smith, her pod guest/friend, agrees with that assessment, stating, "She’s right, man. It’s like, if this works, here goes the movie career. And it really did not. Boy, I apologize for that." Or, and just stick with us here, could Doherty's notoriously combative and dysfunctional attitude during the '90s, combined with her industry-countering embrace of right-wing politics, have something to do with her diminished career opportunities? Impossible to say. Either way, both Doherty and Smith say they're open to a long-rumored Mallrats sequel.

G-G-G-G-G-G-Ghost Story!

Alright, this Flyover installment is running long and I've got interviews to transcribe. So, we'll simply leave you with a new report, "Southwest’s Strange Singing Specter," from student newspaper The Navigator. In it, copy editor Henry Nafziger reveals that an "unarmed," funny, smelly, and noisy ghost has long haunted the choir room of Minneapolis's Southwest High School. “[The ghost] was here well before I got here," confirms Bryan Fisher, the school's choir director. "I know the ghost exists." Writes Nafziger: "Most singers confirmed they believe in and feel this choral phantom. Most students have had at least several experiences." (Emphasis ours.) Well now you gotta read more... 

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