"New Patriot" is a local lefty group blog (although of the group of ten listed writers, usually only three or four ever post anything).
Today, one of the group's more capable writers, Luke Francl, comes out in support of defamation, hatchet-jobbery, and irresponsible journalism.
We know who the left's friends are!
Let's go back in history a bit; last month, Nick Coleman wrote a snide, cowardly poison-pen congratulation to Powerline on being named Time's "Blog of the Year", in which he harped endlessly on Scott "the Big Trunk" Johnson's job as Vice President of Twin Cities Federal Bank. It included a lot of sort of high-impact journalism we've all come to expect from Coleman (smirky remarks about the Powerguys' genitalia, natch), all of which led up to the following:
2) "We keep it very much separate from our day jobs," said Hinderaker, meaning the boys don't blog at work.Never mind that a) the post about Dayton was neither despicable nor untrue, and b) if Scott Johnson is a bank vice president, it's a fair bet that he earns his keep.
But they do. Johnson recently had time at his bank job to post a despicable item sliming Sen. Mark Dayton. If I had the money they think I do, I'd put it all in TCF. Then I'd pull it out.
The column, naturally, prompted a (tiny) number of the lumpen drones who for whatever reason value Coleman's opinion to withdraw their money and write nastygrams to Twin Cities Federal.
The bank's president, Bill Cooper - a self-made tycoon who makes Horatio Alger look like John Kerry, who is a former chair of the state GOP - got word not only of the small molehill of discontent, but of the breadth and depth of Nick Coleman's defamation (including this little number: "...does Powerline or its mighty righty allies take money from political parties, campaigns or well-heeled benefactors who hope to affect Minnesota's politics from behind the scenes? We don't know, and they don't have to say, a demonstrably false statement). Coleman no doubt figured his little jibe was supposed to harm Johnson's position at the bank. It backfired: Cooper pulled all TCF advertising - over $200,000 worth - from the Strib.
Enter Luke Francl:
Due to a series of circumstances involving U of M licensing deals and general laziness, I have a TCF Bank account. Even after I learned TCF employees are Minnesota's largest donor to the Republican Party, I kept it. I think it's time to switch. [What a fine plan! I think I'll withhold money from organizations that give the most money to the DFL...oops, wait, they're all tax-supported! ]And Bill Cooper is a man of character, and Nick Coleman is a hack.
In an absolutely bizarre move, the CEO of TCF is pulling all advertising from the Star Tribune (reputed to cost the paper $250,000) due to the ongoing Nick Coleman/Power Line feud (Chris posted some thoughts on this last week). Scott "Big Trunk" Johnson is a VP at TCF.
The most interesting thing to come out of this whole flap is the realization, uncovered via Powerline's pursuit of a retraction of Coleman's false and defamatory statements, that nobody at the Strib actually seems to edit or fact-check Coleman's columns! For all of his bloviation about the mechanisms of responsibility built into the newspaper system, Coleman is actually less accountable than a good blogger. In the world of the mainstream media, money talks, comments walk. You can write letters to the editor to the Strib until you're blue in the face; unlike a good blog, none of them will ever have an iota of effect. With the mainstream media, you need to have money, lots of it, in the system to have your voice heard. Bill Cooper does.
So finally, blessedly, a mainstream media outlet is suffering some consequences for the irresponsibility of one of its stable of dim-witted hacks.
So, Luke Francl and your New Pat pals; is that the system you want to perpetuate? A system where only big money gets heard? The current system, the one that props up the likes of Coleman? The one you're colluding with right now, out of some Pavlovian reaction to the presence of acronyms like "GOP" and "VP" in the story?
I thought you guys were supposed to be the anti-big-money iconoclasts?Posted by Mitch at January 13, 2005 06:59 AM | TrackBack