President Obama's campaign manager will be in Minnesota this week to raise money for the campaign and encourage get out the vote efforts.
Jim Messina will join DFL Congresswoman Betty McCollum and Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak for a town hall and "organizing discussion" at Macalester College in St. Paul on Wednesday at 1pm. He'll be holding a similar event with Rybak and DFL Congressman Keith Ellison at the University of Minnesota at 2:30 on the same day.
Messina is also in town to raise money. A Prairie Home Companion host Garrison Keillor is hosting a fundraiser at his home for Messina.
Keillor is an independent contractor for American Public Media, Minnesota Public Radio's parent company.
clarification-- Keillor's production company, Prairie Home Productions, produces A Prairie Home Companion, which is heard on MPR and other public radio stations across the country. The program is distributed by American Public Media, sister company to Minnesota Public Radio.
Messina is also hosting a higher dollar fundraising dinner at The Lexington restaurant in St. Paul on Wednesday night.
I'm curious what the code of ethics is for MPR. I seem to remember a similiar situation only a few months ago with another host, Lisa Simeone, who joined an OWS movement and was released from her duties at World of Opera. Mr. Keillor makes no bones about his disdain for Republicans, often using PHC as a vehicle for his jabs. This is concerning to say the very least.
I wasn't an NPR employee when I was fired from Soundprint (not an NPR show) and when NPR tried to get me fired from my gig hosting World of Opera (produced by WDAV) because of my political activities. Which activities were considerably less partisan than stumping for a presidential candidate.
I continue to host World of Opera — and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra series — both of which are carried on public radio stations. And I continue to write for Style magazine. None of them seem to be bothered by my scary political leanings.
I didn't report the news, didn't cover the Occupy movement, didn't work for NPR, and have, in fact, been politically active all my life. But my journalistic betters fell all over themselves telling me I had breached a code of ethics.
NPR and other networks pick and choose which employees they allow to “violate” their supposed code. Scott Simon has written several pro-war and other political op-eds for national publications while keeping his job as an NPR news host; Mara Liasson opines on Fox TV while continuing to be an NPR news reporter; Cokie Roberts collects tens of thousands of dollars in speaking fees from corporations yet still works for NPR.
And not only Garrison Keillor but also Tavis Smiley is allowed to promote political causes with no apparent problem for NPR, APM, PRI, or the hundreds of public radio stations around the country.
In short, all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.