The Real Tragedy Of #pointergate

Last week, KSTP Minneapolis ran a story on their website about Mayor Betsy Hodges and her get out the vote involvement in North Minneapolis. They weren’t congratulating her. Rather, they received a tip about a photograph taken at the scene of the canvasing. In it, Hodges and a community member (who also happened to be a convicted felon) are smiling and pointing at each other. KSTP and their source, a retired Minneapolis police officer, deemed the gesture to be a gang sign.

The picture that launched a million tweets.

To most reasonable people, Hodges and the man were simply pointing. This is made clear when viewing a video taken at the scene. Thus, KSTP’s story was strongly reacted to–as an irresponsible piece of investigative journalism at best and a deliberate smear and appeal to race-based fear at worst. On Twitter and Facebook, the tag #pointergate went viral with people mocking, insulting, and shaking their heads at KSTP, while showing support for Hodges.

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