#Pointergate Papers: emails from KSTP reporter Jay Kolls reveal further recklessness toward Navell Gordon

Emails between KSTP-TV reporter Jay Kolls and Minneapolis mayoral communications director Kate Brickman, which were requested by NOC staff and released by the mayor's office, reveal further evidence of slander against Navell Gordon, the man posing with Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges in a photo which spawned "#Pointergate." KSTP claimed the two were flashing gang signs in the picture.

In the emails, Kolls refers to Navell Gordon as a “known gang member,” flashing “signs of the Stick Up Boys,” and goes so far as to accuse him as being “a suspect in last weekend’s shooting in Brooklyn Center.” His emails refer to Gordon as a “known bad guy, real bad guy.”

You can view Kolls' emails to the mayor's office in advance of the November 6 story here and his latest email with allegations from November 19 here.

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NOC urges KSTP sponsors to follow UCare's lead, pull ads over #pointergate

Neighborhoods Organizing for Change urges KSTP sponsors to follow UCare's lead in pulling ads from KSTP after the station's racially charged #pointergate story alleged Mayor Betsy Hodges flashed gang signs with NOC organizer Navell Gordon.
"Although people throughout the Twin Cities and the U.S. quickly saw the #pointergate story for the racist, sensationalist non-story it was, KSTP and Stan Hubbard refuse to apologize and continue to double down on their inexcusably irresponsible reporting," said Anthony Newby, executive director of Neighborhoods Organizing for Change. "We applaud UCare for taking a strong stance against this divisive race-baiting by canceling their contract with KSTP, rightly acknowledging that this story harms the entire community, including their customers. If KSTP refuses to apologize, we believe that they should be held accountable financially. KSTP's reckless reporting is dangerous to communities of color and detrimental to our work to end racial disparities in the Twin Cities. We call on other members of the business community who advertise with KSTP to follow UCare's lead and take a stand against racist and shoddy journalism."
KSTP has received widespread criticism for the #pointergate story, including from the Society of Professional Journalists, which has repeatedly said the story violated standards of ethics in journalism. In a Wednesday press release, SPJ reiterated "The SPJ Code of Ethics says, as journalists, we should acknowledge mistakes and correct them promptly and prominently. This story was deeply flawed, and KSTP and [reporter Jay] Kolls need to acknowledge that."
UCare is the second KSTP sponsor to address the #pointergate story with its advertising dollars. Schuler Shoes announced on November 12 via Twitter that they had suspended ads with KSTP and would now stop them altogether, saying, "Our decision to suspend ads w/KSTP was made PRIOR to #pointergate story. However, we do not support any type of racism or discrimination." UCare is the first sponsor to pull ads as a direct consequence of #pointergate.

NOC statement on KSTP's defense of universally mocked #pointergate story

After a week of insisting that #pointergate was not about Navell Gordon or NOC but rather about the Mayor’s judgment in being seen supposedly flashing gang signs, KSTP changed their tune tonight, and ran a story focused entirely on Gordon that told us what we already know: that Navell Gordon is a young man who has made mistakes. Despite widespread criticism, including strong censure from the Society of Professional Journalists Ethics Committee, KSTP tonight tripled down on its sensationalist reporting by snooping around the social media accounts of young black men. And the best that they could conclude from their snooping is that Mr. Gordon is still not in a gang, but does enjoy rap music. 

Neighborhoods Organizing for Change will not be deterred in our work to build organizing capacity in low income communities and communities of color. We will continue to work with men and women who have made mistakes and who are trying to make their lives right, and we will continue to urge community and elected leaders to join us in that effort.



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