Posted at 9:32 AM on November 3, 2009
by Tom Scheck
Minnesota State Sen. Dick Cohen of St. Paul has been named to President Obama's Committee on the Arts and Humanities. The organization works directly with the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
"I am deeply honored to have been selected to serve on the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities," said Sen. Cohen in a news release. "I hope that my work in Minnesota will be of benefit to the committee."
Sen. Cohen and the other newly-appointed members of the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities will be sworn in on Tuesday, Nov. 3.
Cohen is a well known fundraiser for Democratic candidates. He raised more than $200,000 for President Obama's campaign in 2008.
Do you think Cohen received this appointment because he raises or "bundled" $200,000 in contributions to the Obama campaign? Not that much by the way, by contemporary fundraising standards. That seems to be what you are insinuating in this story instead of reporting p[possible reasons Senator Dick Cohen might have earned an appointment due to his service to the State of Minnesota and his dedication to supporting arts and culture with innovative means.
This is cheap shot journalism. It sucks when you pout yourself forward as being so responsible and dedicated to quality journalism (especially at pledge time) and then see shoddy reporting like this. There is nothing wrong with mentioning Senator Cohen raised money for Obama but this is irresponsible for what you chose NOT to include in this story and just end it with a cheap shot. Don't pretend MPR is any better than the sleazy journalists that you are.
We're not insinuating anything and nor are we claiming we know why he was appointed. As for the your bundling comment, Cohen was the third highest fundraiser for Obama in Minnesota.
Is it criminal Mr. Scheck to raise money for political candidates? Seems like it is the American way.
I agree with Mr. Prince, this is poor journalism because you only report two things: Cohen's appointment and the fundraising. I see nothing here describing Dick Cohen's long track record in support of the arts and humanities in Minnesota or his authorship of the Legacy Amendment, just to cite a few examples. You selectively focus on just the fundraising and obviously do so with the purpose of cast the story in a certain light.
You don't know why he was appointed? Are you suppose to be covering the Minnesota Legislature and be a political reporter? If so, they better get someone over there with better powers of observation and an ability to do research.
The story needs a rewrite that either simply strikes the last paragraph or that adds a few more paragraphs introducing hard facts that support the implied inference that Sen. Cohen's fundraising activity played a role in his appointment to the committee.
Having followed Mr. Scheck's work for some time, I doubt there was an intent on his part to belittle Sen. Cohen's appointment but the story is sloppy and leads readers to an inaccurate conclusion.