Gregory Uses Lefty Columnist Coleman to Blast Bachmann

The NBC/MSNBC family of networks has been getting maximum mileage out of Chris Matthews's interview of Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) last week.  Matthews himself has been recycling clips ever since. This morning, David Gregory narrated a Today show segment about the interview and its aftermath.  The only journalist whose views Gregory aired were those of Nick Coleman, columnist at the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
NICK COLEMAN: I think Michele Bachmann unfortunately is one of those politicians who doesn't understand the boundaries of common sense and sometimes common decency.
View video here.

I wasn't familiar with Coleman, but smelled a rat.  And sure enough, a quick trip to Wikipedia confirms that he is a hyper-partisan Democrat.  Excerpts from his bio:
  • In a column writing career that has spanned 25 years, Coleman predominately attacks Republicans.
  • A staunch Democrat himself, Coleman has used his columns to castigate state Republicans for their view of government and taxation.
  • Former host of local show on Air America affiliate in Twin Cities.
  • He has engaged in rhetorical feuds with local Twin Cities writers and bloggers, and others who publicly critique his work. In 2004, Coleman criticized the role of local [conservative] Power Line bloggers in the Dan Rather / Killian documents controversy.
  • Coleman is the eldest child of the late Nicholas D. (Nick) Coleman, a DFL majority leader of the Minnesota State Senate from 1973-81. He is also the oldest brother and godfather of Chris Coleman, current mayor of St. Paul, Minnesota, and stepson of Deborah Howell, ombudsman for the Washington Post.

So whom did Gregory have us hear from to balance Coleman's comments?  Why no one, of course.  Note also that Coleman was identified only as a columnist, with no indication of his liberal leanings.  If Today had aired the comments of a columnist as far right as Coleman is left, what are the odds NBC wouldn't have identified him as "conservative"?

UPDATE: Coleman's Notion of Boundaries of Common Decency

For a man so concerned with observing the "boundaries of common decency," odd that Coleman would have written this in the course of his feud with Power Line.

"Powerline is the biggest link in a daisy chain of right-wing blogs."

Daisy chain [warning: vulgar]?  A bit indecent, no Nick?

Another example of Coleman's idea of common sense and decency:

With the advent of global warming, Minnesota can no longer count on brutally cold weather to keep out the riffraff.

We need high taxes for that. 

Update II: Coleman Tried to Exploit Bridge Collapse

The folks at Power Line have let me know that, among other peccadilloes, within hours of the last year's Minneapolis bridge collapse, Nick "Boundaries of Decency" Coleman was on TV trying to make political hay of the tragedy, singling out Gov. Tim Pawlenty by name.  Power Line's John Hinderaker wrote about it here.  The link to the Coleman item in John's column no longer works [researching this article, I've noticed that the Star Tribune doesn't keep its stuff online very long], but you can read excerpts and watch Coleman on CNN here, if you wish.

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.