When Vikings V.P. of public affairs and stadium development Lester Bagley appeared on PFT Live earlier this week, he suggested at one point that the Minneapolis Star Tribune would like to see the proposed Arden Hills site for a new stadium fail, so that the venue will be built in Minneapolis.
“The Star Tribune has had a steady diet of articles, editorials hammering us because I think they would prefer us to be in Minneapolis,” Bagley said. “So, they’ve been supportive of Vikings stadium solutions until we selected Ramsey County as our partner.”
Sensitive to the perception that the Star Tribune is choosing sides in a question that, if not answered with a new stadium in Minnesota, could result in the Vikings leaving the state, Star Tribune editor Nancy Barnes has written a column defending the paper’s role in reporting on the facts and in articulating opinions.
Complicating matters for the Star Tribune is the fact that one of the proposed sites would entail purchasing land currently owned by the Star Tribune, a fact that arguably should be disclosed at the top or the bottom — or both — of every article and column written by the paper.
We haven’t been inspecting items from the Star Tribune for evidence of bias, but the fact that an entire Sunday column has been devoted to the issue suggests that someone other than Bagley has noticed a slant in the coverage. And we’re not sure that an article that amounts to saying “take our word for it” in 898 more words than that will persuade Bagley or others to conclude otherwise.