- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 8, 2016

The Star Tribune has apologized and pulled a column that criticized a Minneapolis news anchor’s outfit while she reported on the murder of 11-year-old Jacob Wetterling.

A Star Tribune columnist who goes by “C.J.” initially asked Jana Shortal, an anchor for KARE 11 news, via Twitter if she regretted wearing skinny jeans during Tuesday’s broadcast.

Ms. Shortal fired back, writing that her only “wish” was for Jacob’s family.

C.J. doubled down on the bizarre attack against Ms. Shortal with a now-deleted column for the Star Tribune, obtained by Poynter.org.

“Being hip in skintight pants while discussing this story was unseemly, perhaps disrespectful,” she wrote. “Many TV types keep a spare set of clothes around the station just in case what they are wearing isn’t appropriate for what they end up covering. Maybe Shortal doesn’t.”

Ms. Shortal responded to the piece with a Facebook post Wednesday, calling C.J. a “bully” with a keyboard. “Shame on you,” she wrote.

The Star Tribune has removed C.J.’s piece and posted an apology in its place.

“We briefly posted a column that criticized KARE’s Jana Shortal for her appearance while reporting on the Jacob Wetterling story,” the statement read. “The piece was inappropriate, insensitive and did not meet the standards of the Star Tribune. We have apologized to Ms. Shortal and her station. And we apologize to you.”

Ms. Shortal wrote in a subsequent Facebook post that she accepted the Star Tribune’s apology, but she called on the paper to end C.J.’s column.

“[O]ur newspaper of record employs a woman who has for decades cashed a paycheck by bullying others,” she wrote Thursday. “The Star Tribune is sorry. But that woman is not. She continued with this line against me from 11:30 AM yesterday — until well into the night on her social media feed. The solution here is to end her column. Give her a ‘re-assignment’ so she can keep her job if you so choose…but take away her bully pulpit.

“[T]his isn’t about me,” she wrote. “It is about the blatant disrespect of the Wetterling family and our greater community.”

Danny Heinrich, of Minnesota, ended a nearly 30-year mystery Tuesday after he admitted in court that he abducted, sexually abused and then killed Jacob Wetterling in 1989.

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