Spare the Rod, Spoil the Newspaper

I made a mistake the other day and accidentally tuned in to KTLK and whatever right-wing boob they have on during the late morning. With a little checking after I got back to the office, I found his name is Dan Conry, and he has, like so many of his ilk, the IQ and eloquence of a doorknob…or of Katherine Kersten, whichever is higher.

For he was haranguing about Kersten’s column of Monday, in which she asserted (surprise) that the government was out to take your kids and brainwash them.

The impetus for these two nitwits with access to the media was the recent hearing before the state Supreme Court of the case of Gerard Fraser.

Here’s the case in a nutshell: Gerard, 12 years old and 195 pounds (for some reason the Strib thought his weight was relevant) is the son of Shawn and Natalie Fraser, who are described as “devout Christians.” Gerard was (surprise) rebelling against his parents’ devout Christian discipline. Shawn and Natalie tried to communicate with Gerard grounding him and withholding privileges. They even went so far as to paste Bible quotes on the refrigerator. When this didn’t work, the devout Christians did what any devout Christians who are steeped in Deuteronomy would do, they paddled Gerard—36 blows with a wooden paddle.

Subsequently, Gerard ran away. He was picked up by police as he was walking along the road. He told the police his parents were hitting him. Surprisingly, police (as they are required to do when there is an allegation of child abuse) turned it over to Hennepin County, who removed Shawn and his brother from his parents’ home while they investigated.

Somehow, none of these details made it into Kersten’s column. Of course, if there had been any explanation of how Gerard came to the county’s attention, it might have undermined the impression Kersten was trying to leave–that Big Brother was watching and waiting for any excuse to swoop in and snatch your kids.

Anyway, as Kersten then wrote, the Frasers sued the county to get the kids back, and were “finally vindicated” when the state Appeals Court (which is packed with Pawlenty appointees) returned Gerard to his devoutly Christian parents. Gerard, by the way, is now shipped off to a devoutly Christian boarding school in Utah. According to Kersten, the tuition at this school is $50,000, which is more than Harvard. The Frasers raised the money by refinancing their house.

I can only hope the Frasers can’t make the payments when their full interest rate kicks in and they end up homeless, just like Jesus. I wouldn’t mind the same fate for the Strib editors who uncritically let Kersten inflame the rabble with this drivel, and don’t even demand that she include the very basic question of how this kid came to the attention of the authorities in the first place.






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