Brother, I suspect St. John’s University will be able to ride it out, but could a big institution look much worse than it does in Erin Carlyle’s City Pages story? The one about the Collegeville school caving in to conservative benefactors demanding it fire senior fellow/ex-Strib columnist Nick Coleman? Writes Carlyle: “In September, Len Busch, who has given $20,000 to the St. John’s theology department each of the last three years, authored a handwritten message [to the school] about Coleman. ‘As long as St. John’s has this man on the payroll, I will no longer give my money to St. John’s,’ Busch wrote. ‘I will not support lies and false statements and half truths about anyone.’ ”
Carlyle continues: “He hated [Coleman’s] December 5 column, which criticized 3M after company execs asked employees to send letters to Congress about health care reform. ‘You’ve got a company, if the company doesn’t exist, the workers don’t get a damn thing,’ Busch says. ‘They don’t have a job, they don’t have anything. This anti-corporation is terrible. They provide jobs. They provide everything. And someone takes their money and invests in them — but let’s badmouth the hell out of any corporation. Well, that’s stupid.’ [Not sure if this was what qualified as “lies.”] Busch was similarly offended by Coleman’s February columns, which criticized Gov. Tim Pawlenty for abandoning Minnesota to travel the country to further his presidential ambitions. ‘His tone is negative, negative, negative, negative.’ ” Obviously, someone was caught unaware that Nick Coleman comes with a point of view slightly different from your average general sales manager.
St. John’s bows to pressure and drops Nick Coleman
By Brian Lambert | Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2010