Rosie’s ally accuses Loren Martell of being vitriolic

From a letter in today’s Duluth Reader by one of the paid staff that works with Rosie Loeffler-Kemp’s husband in the Public Employees Union, AFSCME:

I respectfully request that Loren Martell recuse himself from editorial or staff positions while he conducts his campaign. While I have always appreciated the sophisticated level of political discourse that the Reader offers, particularly in regards to its endorsements. I have as long despaired of the level of insight Mr. Martell provides in his columns. Recognizing that in the current culture of journalism his brand of is often used to incite inflammatory response and rather than dialogue, I understand the Reader’s need to publish Mr. Martell, less than insightful rhetoric. I do believe that the discourse in our local elections requires far more reflection and complexity than Mr. Martel has provided. I think the integrity of our elections relies on the integrity of our media and that the Reader has by and large bucked the trend that has led to the national trend most recently exhibited on Fox paraded as a Republican Party debate. But in my opinion the Reader is in danger of becoming a part of the circus and indeed negligible in the local discourse on politics if Mr. Martel is allowed to continue to be a regular contributor, particularly while running for office. If Mr. Martel is going to be allowed to continue his regular column while running I respectfully request that the Reader recruit a voice to balance his vitriol.

Theresa O’Halloran-Johnson,
Duluth, Minnesota

The definition of vitriol is harsh, nasty criticism. I defy the author of the following letter to the Reader to provide a sample of any vitriol in Loren’s commentary. The most telling materiel in Loren’s columns comes in context from the mouths of the people he is describing. They are uttered at public meetings and can be verified by watching them on youtube. Loren listens to recordings over and over until he gets the quotes exactly right.

There is no doubt that there is an edge to Loren’s writing but it pales compared to the people he is shining a light on. They put Mr. Martell in handcuffs, literally, and then got the Duluth News Tribune to headline stories for a year calling Art Johnston a racist. Rosie herself went on local television last year to tell Duluth “The investigation was brought forward because of Art Johnston’s violent abusive and harassing and threatening behaviors.” Such bile goes far beyond mere vitriol and vitriol goes too far in describing Loren Martell’s insightful reporting.

Had the author merely complained that a candidate for public office was getting a freebie column after filing I would have been sympathetic.

Note: the poor sentence construction is either the work of the author or the Reader. It is not mine.

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