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AAN Editorial: Novstrup Sharia Claim, Anti-Immigrant Falsehoods Bring Shame on Aberdeen

Oh, that darned liberal media!

The Aberdeen American News weighs in on Rep. Al Novstrup’s unapologetic peddling of false rumor about Sharia Law in Dearborn, Michigan. After reviewing Rep. Novstrup’s interview with Zoe Chace on last weekend’s This American Life, the Aberdeen editorial board says Rep. Novstrup’s Sharia claim, like much of the material presented in the Ron Branstner Klan meeting at which Novstrup was interviewed, brings shame on our fair city:

It’s fake. It’s as fake as so many Branstner PowerPoint slides.

But it has fooled enough people — even longtime, elected officials such as Novstrup — who are looking for reasons, even fake ones, to be outraged.

Aberdeen does not come off well for the national audience. We sound small, scared and uninformed.

That is not the Aberdeen or South Dakota most of us know.

As we have noted in this space before, the conversation about refugee resettlement is important to have. But it has to come from a place of fact, not fear.

The next time the national media visits Aberdeen, let’s be ready to share a story of learning and growing, of informed, intelligent citizens.

That would be worth tuning in for [editorial, “On Refugees, Aberdeen Fails in National Spotlight,” Aberdeen American News, 2016.11.02].

Thank you, editors, for speaking the truth. Now, how about getting Rep. Novstrup on the record with his retraction and apology for spreading false information?


  1. mike from iowa 2016-11-02

    Will AAN be dismissed as a liberal rag?

  2. Porter Lansing 2016-11-02

    Aberdeen News is mostly on target … all the same
    1. Being viewed as “small” is an asset not a hindrance. It’s what comes after that first glance that sets a small place apart. Becoming a balanced city with people, things and culture that are praiseworthy is golden, no matter your size.
    2. Those being observed here aren’t “scared”. They’re “anxious”. Fear is when something bad is happening. Fear is something that SoDakotans deal with skillfully. Fear is when there’s a tornado coming or your crops are being hailed on and you’re underinsured or it’s a blizzard and your livestock is in peril. SoDak’ers aren’t afraid of fear. Anxiety, however is when you imagine something might happen and the consequenses are far more intense. Anxious brains run wild with envisioned thoughts of horrible events and yourself being nearly helpless to react. This is where the con-man steps in. These flames of anxiety are easily fanned into near panic and action; any action; even giving money or votes to a self-proclaimed Messiah seems fitting.
    3. Sounding uninformed is merely a call for research and a small city that mines into it’s anxiety and discovers the vein of good, inherent in all people is no small city at all.

  3. grudznick 2016-11-02

    Mr. Lansing, you and I could really make a lot of common friends at the Campbell Street Cafe. Say Saturday, at 7am? The room is reserved ’till 9. So bring some of your road dogs. Mr. C knows the routine.

  4. Porter Lansing 2016-11-02

    Good one, Nick. I’ll let ‘ya know. ??

  5. grudznick 2016-11-02

    You can’t leave that state of Colorado, can you, Mr. Lansing. Or they slap you in jail for your blood contents. Darned shame. Do they have blogs there in Colorado?

  6. Porter Lansing 2016-11-03

    Nick, when it’s late and you’ve been boozing you need an interlock device on your computer. Are you accusing me of being a drug user? My Protestant church calls that false witness and it’s a sin. How about your’s?

  7. Nick Nemec 2016-11-03

    Who’s Nick?

  8. Porter Lansing 2016-11-03

    Mr. Nemec … You get to share your first name with the person calling himself or herself Grudznick.

  9. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-11-03

    Housekeeping: No, no, no—don’t saddle Nick Nemec with that curse. Let’s stick with “Grudz” for grudznick and “Nick” for Nick.

  10. Porter Lansing 2016-11-03

    … good one, Cory

  11. Roger Cornelius 2016-11-03

    I know where the Campbell Street Café is, but I do not know the ‘routine’.

  12. Porter Lansing 2016-11-03

    I think maybe he means “poutine” which is French fries and cheese curds topped with gravy.

  13. David Newquist 2016-11-03

    Novstrup’s dead-on wrongness and insidious patronizing of Zoe Chase destroy his motto “Reasonable and Respectful.” Foolery seems to be an intellectual trait in the family.

  14. Porter Lansing 2016-11-03

    Did someone say “carnival huckster”?

Comments are closed.