Just as we imagined

The Fraters Libertas have lost their punching bag, but on his way out, Jim Boyd admits that the action behind the scenes at the Star & Sickle was pretty much as everyone to the right of Barbara Streisand had assumed:

If you’ve ever heard the Star Tribune called the Red Star, you can probably blame Jim Boyd, at least in part. As deputy editor of the paper’s editorial page, he’s one of a handful of editorial writers who plots out its official stance on issues from Iraq to a statewide smoking ban to political endorsements. This morning, Minnesota Monitor confirmed that Boyd will be taking a voluntary buyout and leaving the paper after nearly 27 years of service, and that the editorial page staff of 12.5 full-time positions will be trimmed by five….

McClatchy didn’t approve of the Star Tribune’s outspoken editorials, he [Boyd] said, mainly because they “hated any kind of nail sticking up” and felt the editorials were harming the company financially. So they instituted what editorial page staffers jokingly call the “codpiece” — the “conservative of the day.”

“They ordained that we would have a conservative of the day. I’ve got to tell you, you run out of good ones real quick,” he said. “You’ve got Steve Chapman, whom I really like, who’s a libertarian and a good guy. So you didn’t mind running him, but you kind of held your nose when you ran Mona Charon or Debra Saunders. I mean, good grief. Jonah Goldberg? Finally, we were able to get rid of that bugger.

The amusing thing is that I’ve been nationally syndicated twice, which is twice more than nearly every other Minnesota columnist including those at the Star Tribune. Of course, I never bothered submitting an op/ed column to the Red Star; since I grew up reading it, I knew there was a better chance that I’d be named heir to the British throne.

I did send a sample column into the Pioneer Press when there was a vacancy on the editorial page back when I was writing for them, but I wasn’t too surprised to be politely informed that “it just wasn’t what they were looking for”. As it happened, I had submitted a column that opposed the public financing of stadiums on the very week that they were running a series of front page stories explaining how desperately important it was for Minnesota taxpayers to fund Carl Pohlad’s hobby.

But the good old Pioneer Press did give me nearly half the editorial page once. Apparently, when the Unibomber’s manifesto came out, no one on the editorial board could make heads or tails of what he was talking about. Someone finally had the bright idea of turning it over to the strange guy with the mohawk who writes about games.