The first thought I had after reading this article is that the St. Cloud Times isn’t interested in in-depth reporting. Instead, I’m left with the impression that the article is more about gossip than about in-depth reporting.

I base that statement on the opening paragraph of the article, which says “A banner posted in the dark of night two days before Christmas may mark the emergence of a new player in Central Minnesota’s refugee conflict.” Later in the article, Natalie Ringsmuth is quoted as saying “Their real goal is to get it spread around social media. Does it mean that there is (an Identity Evropa group) here, or they’re just trying to start one here? We don’t know. But it does seem like an escalation move.”

The article doesn’t say whether there’s a local chapter of Identity Evropa in St. Cloud or Central Minnesota. In the comments section of the online article, Don Casey said “Mission accomplished. Stunts like this are designed to attract attention — and the Times provides it in spades. A story 745 words long (700+ is the Associated Press standard for ‘”very top global stories of the day”). The story includes information on the goals of Identity Evropa — even information on how to join ( open to men and women of all ages … application on website … members allowed to register with an alias). The banner hangers (probably 2-3 non–locals) couldn’t have hoped for more.”

Actually, there’s another explanation that’s possible. Imagine if you’re organizing a group that promotes a welcoming community. Planting a provocative poster on a bridge might help with fundraising for an organization like Unite Cloud. I’m not accusing them of doing this. I’m just suggesting that, based on the Times’ reporting, it’s a possibility.

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