Columnist Under Fire for Criticizing Anchor for ‘Skinny Jeans’ During Report About Missing Boy

By Kevin Eck 

A Minneapolis media writer is under fire for questioning what KARE anchor Jana Shortal was wearing during a report about recent developments in the Jacob Wetterling case on Tuesday.

Wetterling disappeared in October 1989. Last week his killer led police to the child’s remains and on Tuesday his killer confessed to abducting, molesting and killing Wetterling, putting an end to questions about what happened to the 11-year-old boy.


Saying “somebody at KARE 11 didn’t do Jana Shortal any favors with that wide camera shot” and “she looked great from the waist up in a polka-dot shirt and cool blazer, but the skinny jeans did not work” Minneapolis Star Tribune columnist C.J. took so much flak for what she wrote, the Star-Tribune pulled the piece.

The Star Tribune also issued an apology on Facebook.

Facebook friends,
Today we briefly posted a column that criticized KARE’s Jana Shortal for her appearance while reporting on the Jacob Wetterling story. 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.
-Star Tribune editors

“You made it about my pants,” Shortal wrote in part about C.J. on her Facebook page. “You. You, whose name I will never write again. You. You with the column I will not link to. You. The bully with the keyboard who took this night, this story, and made into gossip about my pants. Shame on you.”

Shortal later said the controversy isn’t about her, “It is about the blatant disrespect of the Wetterling family and our greater community.”

But C.J. didn’t seem to care:

Here’s a screen shot from Minneapolis Public Radio of the column in question:

Here’s what the Star Tribune sent out on Twitter:

Viewer reaction:

Jim Lokay, who works at WTTG in Washington, D.C. weighed in:

Shortal took the high road:

[Minnesota Public Radio]