‘Miracle’ of Twin Cities gets more national notice

Though it was incomplete and not entirely factual, last month’s story in The Atlantic declaring Minneapolis “a miracle” is doing wonders for the Twin Cities’ image.

Based on reporter Derek Alexander’s story, PBS NewsHour sent co-anchor Judy Woodruff to the area to provide more exposure. Her story aired this evening, largely repeating Alexander’s story but at least noting there’s more to the Twin Cities than Minneapolis.

The focus was on the fiscal disparities law, which sends money from rich areas to poorer ones. It also said people are more likely to start their own companies here.

The original Atlantic story was criticized because no mention was made of the fact Minneapolis is largely an economically segregated community.

Woodruff says she came here to find out whether Alexander’s story is fact.

But it offered little new, interviewing the same people Alexander did, and adding boosters like Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman.

The story said the area doesn’t concentrate affordable housing in the cities, an assertion that will come as a surprise to many affordable housing advocates.

To her credit, Woodruff didn’t sugar coat things as The Atlantic had, pointing out the “American Dream” is out of reach to a large group of people.

She pointed out that in matters of race, the Twin Cities isn’t necessarily as special as Alexander’s original assessment suggested, although it could be.

But, for the most part, the segment seemed more millennial marketing than reality. It could have used a moment with Adonaea Chatman, the woman profiled by MPR’s Sasha Aslanian a few months ago. She makes $8 an hour and can’t find affordable housing.