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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

On Brodkorb, Kline, ABC & Other Bottom Feeders

Category: Minnesota Politics
Posted: 09/10/06 00:22, Edited: 09/10/06 00:39

by Dave Mindeman

Either main stream media has gotten awfully lazy or fact checking is simply too tedious to be bothered with. Truth and civility seem to be homeless.

Case in point: A Star Tribune commentary finally... I mean really, finally...figured out Michael Brodkorb, the blogger for Minnesota Democrats Exposed. Even though they all knew that he was a GOP operative once he "revealed himself, and even though he publicly acknowledged that he was a "paid" staff person with the Mark Kennedy campaign -- even knowing all those biases, the press (and I mean the Star Tribune and Pioneer Press being the most prominent) would actually use him as a "source" for their stories and praise him for his investigative "talent". Then, he gets special attention on Almanac, the public affairs show on TPT Channel Two, a PBS station. Wurzer and Eskala asked softball questions that seemed to almost violate their "no commercials" policy. And Brodkorb ate it all up.

But as is usually the case with "weasel" journalism -- passing yourself off as a journalist who doesn't use real facts will eventually make the stink from the sewer overcome the heavy dosing of cologne. His hatchet job on Keith Ellison has finally reached a level that even the main stream media's laziness can't buy anymore. His blatant distortion of the facts regarding Tim Walz in the first district would make Karl Rove beam with pride but is being refuted by the Rochester Post-Bulletin's real fact checking. Brodkorb simply cannot look at anything in an unbiased way -- and that should disqualify him from being anything other than an opiniated blogger with a narrowly focused, already convinced audience.....certainly not worthy of quotes by any self respecting reporter.

Case in point #2: Kevin Diaz, a McClatchy Washington reporter, who took the campaign flyers sent out by John Kline to attack Coleen Rowley, and made a story about each one of them.... quoting the flyer as if it was an "official" statement for the press. I sent him an e-mail which questioned the news worthiness of a story which used inuendo from an obviously biased source as the crux of a political story.... I particularly questioned his use of the word "infiltrate" regarding David Bailey. Here was his response:

"I used the word ?infiltrate? because that?s the charge Kline is making and I think it?s important for readers to know the severity of what Kline is alleging. Maybe it makes him look paranoid; maybe it makes Rowley look dastardly. In any case, it?s what his letter alleges. It?s not my job to soften it. (Though it is my job to convey the context of what each side said is supposed to have specifically transpired, which I think I did)."

You know, he's right about one thing -- its not his job to soften it and it is his job to give both sides.... but it IS also his job to decide if such a thing is really worthy of newspaper ink. It was a campaign flyer for Pete's sake.

Case in Point #3: ABC has succumbed to all of this in a much broader scale with the 9/11 "mini-series of distortion". It is quite relevant that the Reagan "docu-drama" got pulled when conservatives were displeased with the "less than pleasing portrait of the man".... although I am not sure anyone actually accused the producers of any real, factual errors. If there were any balance to the conservative message, they would be joining the left in protesting this even greater distortion by ABC. Despite the protests and despite facts portrayed being questioned by the real participants, ABC is going to push ahead with it, making "edits" along the way. It would seem that the corporate media has bought into the desperate need of conservatives to make 9/11 something they can "own". They are worried about how history will view the Bush administration's criminal aftermath of an American tragedy and so, the seeds of confusion must be planted now. What better way, than to make it a television event -- the medium that makes America believe only what is planted in front of their eyes. I would hope that the Scholastic Educational plan for this mini-series contains an extensive bibliography with more relevant factual checks.

When journalism doesn't do what the freedoms of this country allow and expect it to do:

Truth goes out the window....and civility is an unaffordable luxury.

comments (2) permalink
09/10/06 11:55
Often the story never is read beyond the headline...done in bigger font and bold. The star reporters are either too lazy or bias because too often in the case of Rowley and Ellison, the headline is straigt off of MDE. Printing the truth is different from posting spin.

I believe both papers have gossip column and without actual facts to back up articles, it becomes a 'he said'. 'she said' story more fitting in a gossip column. Any more the papers read more like the national star, and probably account for the falling readership.
09/10/06 06:44
David, thank you. Nothing more needs to be said. You covered it all. Please forward your post to the Strib and PioPress. They need to read the truth.

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