I’ve written critically about CBS Minnesota WCCO TV political anchor/reporter Esme Murphay critically over the years. I see her as a pillar of Minnesota’s liberal establishment and an obvious DFL partisan on her weekly Sunday morning gabfest. I have written about her many times over the years, as in “Omar meets the press” (2020, treating Ilhan Omar with kid gloves) and “For Esme, with love and squalor” (2014, fawning over Keith Ellison), to take just two examples.

Broadcasting from the Minnesota State Fair this past Sunday, Esme hosted Republican gubernatorial candidate Dr. Scott Jensen. Incumbent DFL Governor Tim Walz is avoiding Jensen to the maximum extent possible. He doesn’t want to defend his record and apparently doesn’t think he has to. As Scott made a point about Walz’s concession to a single debate late in October after early voting will have begun, the live feed from the fair cut out, the screen went black, and the station went to a Walz attack ad on Jensen (video below). This is absolutely classic.

Both off-air, as Esme ascertained what had happened, and back on-air, when the feed was reestablished, Esme pleaded that the glitch was beyond her control, explained what had happened, and apologized to Jensen and to viewers. Esme talked about it again here on air in a follow-up segment on Monday.

When some viewers complained about the treatment of Dr. Jensen, News Talk 830 WCCO’s Jason DeRusha wanted viewers to know that it wasn’t intentional. He contended that “pouncing” on the mistake is “pretty cynical” (tweet below). What we have here, however, is something worse than a technical glitch. What we have here is a perfect metaphor for Esme’s coverage of politics in Minnesota — as I suspect Jason DeRusha knows.

Quotable quote (Esme Murphy on the follow-up segment): “The placement of the Jensen ad was highly unfortunate but it was not deliberate.”

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