New York Times Eulogizes The Demise Of “Team North Dakota”

The New York Times has published a drippy, long-winded goodbye to “Team North Dakota” who are described therein as “best friends and Democrats” who “are the stuff of so much political lore in their home state, it can be hard to separate the tall tales from reality.”

It actually gets worse from there, if you can imagine. I wasn’t going to post on this article, because I didn’t think it was particularly news worthy, but people have been emailing it to me all day. One comment from a reader:

Funny, the Times didn’t find space to mention that Pomeroy and Dorgan are gone because they sidled up to Pelosi, Reid and the destructive policies of the radical Left.

Have you ever seen the Times write a fluff piece like this when a Republican got ridden out of office on a rail?

The answer to that last question is “Of course not.” The Times mourns Democrat losses and celebrates Republican losses.

But media bias aside, the real story of the demise of “Team North Dakota” is the rise of new media. Grover Norquist pointed out in an article I highlighted yesterday that, “One factor that has allowed a state like North Dakota, which voted 63 percent for Bush in 2004, to repeatedly elect two hard-left senators in Conrad and Byron Dorgan is that they voted together and together explained their votes to a non-challenging North Dakota press.”

The North Dakota press continues to be non-challenging, but unlike days gone by most North Dakotans have an access to a much broader spectrum of media. In the past it was pretty much the newspapers and broadcast television. Talk radio has had an impact, but the real game changer has been the internet. No longer are the state’s newspaper editors and television producers, with their lapdog bias for the status quo, the gatekeepers for most of the information North Dakotans get.

For “Team North Dakota,” which long led a double-life as independent-minded moderates in North Dakota and orthodox liberals in Washington DC, that has been devastating.

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • Mountainmouth

    Good riddance

  • Camsaure

    Their “political lore” as stated in the article must have been refering to the tall tales that the three idiots tell on their brief visits to North Dakota.

  • Bizzley45

    We need to do the same thing with the rest of the GOP “business as usual” guys here in ND. The GOP here is the lesser of two evils, but that’s where my loyalty ends. I found it quite telling how the GOP here tried to align itself with the Tea Party. I would like to point out that I was thrilled when “The Flag” went on the air and we had some conservative thought being put out over the air waves again. As time went on however, I also noticed that Mr. Hennen was a willing participant in trying to point the Tea Party followers toward GOP rally’s after attending a Tea Party in Fargo. I had attended the GOP convention up in Grand Forks a couple of weeks earlier. These were NOT Tea Party candidates. I saw for myself that the establishment North Dakota politicians snickered at the idea of a Palin run and scoffed at the Tea Party. I had come to respect Mr. Hennen, but I couldn’t help but think he was trying to help the GOP handle us “Tea Party” goers. I understand wanting to run with the winners, I also understand free enterprise, he had every right to do paid spots for the GOP, but I think his character suffered for it. I mean Mr. Hennen no disrespect, but I do question some of his motives in the past six months. (I don’t know why he went off the air, or why he thought bumping Hannity would go unnoticed, I quit listening by then) We need to clean out the garbage on the state level with a big broom. They all need to go, a tax and spend Republican is no better than a tax and spend Demacrat. The recent story about taxation of the oil industry should tell us something. We have a spending problem, not a tax problem. One Billion surplus?! Do we want our elected leaders to run the oil companies out of our state? Our former governor doubled the annual budget, he was fortunate to be presiding over a booming economy, what If the tax dollars stop coming in? He was not my choice to send to DC, but again, he was the lesser of two evils.

    • ready4anything

      I agree with most of what you said but Hennen was not to blame for leaving the air when he did and would have liked to remain in his morning slot. Those decisions were made by the other owners of the station from what I’ve heard. Any way, Rush and Levin are the ones I learn the most from.

      Keep up the pressure on the big spenders, we need to rid our representation of those types at all levels or our country is doomed.

    • Goon

      There are some issues with the GOP in ND but they are the lesser of two evils, The Pelosi Puppy Pomeroy, Combover Dorgan and Kent Country Wide CON-Rad have done a lot of damage to the USA with their recent votes and yet the media in this state canonizes them…

  • Cal Schaible

    Norquist assumes there will be a noticeable difference on fiscal issues between Hoeven and Conrad. I hope he is right. Hoeven’s early support for earmarks has me worried. Earmarks corrupt the budgeting process and so far that does not seem to bother Hoeven. I know he needs to get flood diversion money for North Dakota but that project should have the merit to stand on its own. He will sit on the Appropriations Committee – let’s hope he works for a more honest and transparent budget process rather than resorting to earmarks as Byron “Loved by the Media and Opposed the Balanced Budget Amendment” Dorgan did.

  • fredlave

    Pomeroy lost my vote when he voted for Obamacare. In fact, I always voted for his opponents over the years but those were pity votes. This time, I was out for his scalp. Let’s hope that Berg and Hoeven are of a different stripe than “Team North Dakota’s” liberals. Team ND always reminded me a routine Red Skelton did in his movie “A Southern Yankee”. He marched between the Union and Confederate lines to the cheers of both sides. He was dressed in a uniform and carrying a flag that was Union on one side and Confederate on the other. Eventually, he was found out. Just like our own Team ND. It now appears that Kent Conrad has given up any pretense and now openly in the liberal camp. I just hope Republicans nominate someone to run against Conrad who will be acceptable to the majority of North Dakotans, not some far out character who gets nominated to prove a point of idealogical purity.

    • Cal Schaible

      I am confused fredlave. You seem to be saying you didn’t like DCP because they wore both “Union and Confederate” uniforms – no one could tell who they really were. Yet you seem to be worrying that North Dakotan might nominate some “far out character.” Most of the popular politicians “Hoeven, Dorgan, Conrad, Stenejhem . . . seem to be of the “Union and Confederate” type. Do you want to continue with this type of politician? I am not sure I know what you mean by “far out character.” Do you have some examples? I am unclear what you mean. Seems to me a principled statesman who puts his ideas ahead of his career and not a “finger in the air” politician is what we need.

  • jimmypop

    if they loved their state so……… can they leave it……..even before they try to come back and live here for a day?

    this story really does tell a GREAT story…….one that the gop needs to use in two years….these three fit in FAR, FAR better where they REALLY have lived than they ever fit in north dakota.

  • Jett

    The Bismarck Tribune editors put on the kneepads to service Earl again with another glowing editorial. Pomeranian said he’s going to live in DC and come back to ND on weekends? Just go away!

  • Phubaiphil

    You live in a state where 40% of the revenue is federal money. The guys brought home the bacon and you got fat. Now you’re going to lose some weight.

    Same with the rest of the state’s financial succcess. It’s attributable to the oil and coal taxes championed by Dorgan and Conrad in the 70s and 80s. It’s what sets ND apart from SD and Minnesota.

    We have money because of what they did. Remember, Republicans passed a nickle a ton coal severance tax……

    You sound like a bitter bunch of old ladies.