What is News?: One of former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty’s first hires in Iowa isn’t making the kind of headlines his boss would like to see. Ben Foster is a young guy, 24 years old. According to the police report (read it here in the Des Moines Register), he had a night of drinking and driving (he admitted to driving according to the report and then changed his story). The police report said Foster tried to get into an Ankeny family’s house, terrifying the family’s 15-year-old daughter. Foster may have been the lucky one here, since the father grabbed his gun and pointed it at Foster after listening to the daughter’s screams. Here’s WHO HD’s story talking to the family about what happened:
Perhaps, a long-winded way to my point…but here it is: when a temporary Iowan gets arrested in an embarrassing and potentially dangerous incident while he is working for a guy who wants to be president, how much of a news story is it? And should it affect Iowans’ opinion of the candidate, Tim Pawlenty? I would argue it is a news story. Sure, some of this is the nature of it with the Pawlenty connection. And you have someone who police say got hammered and then went looking for the house of a lawmaker, who already had an alcohol incident. But I think, all of that aside, a report that says a drunken man trying to get into a family’s home, because he is so drunk he doesn’t know whose house it is, terrorizing the family and then the dad points a gun at him? Yes, I think that’s news. I will say I don’t see how this incident should hurt Pawlenty’s image with Iowans. Perhaps, if Pawlenty ignored what happened, then it would be different But he suspended Foster for two weeks without pay. Pawlenty’s actions may have actually scored him a few points with some people in an incident that, otherwise, provides very little positive aspects.