Anne Bretts, the story of a dyspeptic reporter

Today Anne Bretts offered up her great idea for saving the Duluth School District.  I wouldn't have minded her column except that she called me "disingenuous." That's a journalistic euphemism for political deception or, to be more blunt, lying.

Anne and I had bumped into each other a week earlier at Barnes and Noble and bantered back and forth about the plight of the School District.  Then she ran her column past me a week ago only she was going to give it to the Ripsaw not the News Tribune.  She sent her column to me for my comment. She didn't call me "disingenuous" in the column. She didn't even mention my name. Through our subsequent emails it became apparent that my defense of the present School Board against Brad Bennett set her off. I also think she was ticked off because I didn't take her conveyer belt high school plan seriously enough.  I didn't keep my first email regarding her original column but I can show you the email I sent her after she trashed me. 
My Reply:


Gee Anne,

Don't tell me that the school board members of the early Nineties were right when they said you were just a sourpuss reporter. If I'd known I'd have to fall all over myself telling you what a great proposal you'd pulled out of your magic hat I might have been a little less flip when I commented on your proposed column. I obviously read to much into the hip things you said about yourself in your tag line -- you know what I mean -- about how you couldn't be fired because you would sabotage your employer's computers. I got the impression you really did have a sense of humor. I should have known better. Instead, I said lots of nice things about your idea then concluded by saying it was too visionary to be practical. Oops! That just prompted you to call me "disingenuous" in the Tribune. Yup. That's me. Just another slippery, insincere politician. Guess that teaches me.

Think about it, Anne. I propose sending all the East students from an inferior site to a superior site. They all stay together. They keep the same teachers. In a few years they own the school. How is it disingenuous of me to suggest something as sensible at that? Just because its hard to imagine East parents easily giving up the cache of having a student attend East? Anne, East parents may be smarter than you give them credit for.

Well, Anne, if I'm disingenuous for suggesting something sensible what must you be to suggest something as unconventional as a conveyer belt for kids that takes them grade by grade to different schools? If you weren't being disingenuous (and I think you were quite serious) then perhaps you were simply unmoored from political reality. That's something you've always ascribed to me. How ironic.