Luke Francl at New Patriotis joining in the local leftyblog and columnist obsession regarding Powerline.
No, it's not "Why do these guys kick so much ass, and how can we do some of that ourselves".
It's "When does Scott Johnson blog?", with a little dose of "How does that First Amendment thing work, anyway?"
TCF is removing advertising from another publication: the City Pages.Althought I don't bank at TCF, and never have, I'm more and more tempted to put some money there every day.
CP published a followup to their earlier story about the Nick Coleman/Powerline feud called TCFU. In response, TCF pulled advertising from the weekly: "Given the extremely mean and dispiriting articles that your paper is printing about TCF (latest article titled "TCFU"), we are not going to advertise with your paper."The checklist is fairly simple:
Damn, it's getting to be quite the thing. What do I have to do to get added to the TCF "enemies list"?
Let's allow that there might be a political undertone to it; we'll come back to that.
The main reason is, the Strib and the City Pages are just plain bad business for TCF. If I were a TCF shareholder, and knew that they were spending advertising dollars at newspapers that were actively trying to attack the bank I partly own, I'd be pissed.
It's in the next part that Francl steps in it:
As we noted here, parts of Coleman's anti-Powerline rant were totally accurate, like that Scott Johnson blogs at work. Johnson refuses to comment, but the evidence at this point is incontestable.Incontestable.
And completely, utterly, absolutely, depressingly irrelevant. Francl notes a local leftyblogger (and apparent OCD sufferer) who compiled a table breaking down all of Scott Johnson's post times over the past three years, noting that abouta fifth were during "work hours", and asks:
Why, then, does Bill Cooper deny this? Mike Mosedale writes, "When contacted by City Pages, Cooper said he had checked into the matter of Johnson's blogging routine and found that the Big Trunk--Johnson's blogging nom de guerre--'didn't do any of this at work.'" Riiight."Riiight"?
Hard to argue with logic like this.
Francl - and Mosedale, whose City Pages article last week was hatchety enough to make Nick Coleman actually look good - seem to have difficulty with one key concept: Scott Johnson - a friend of mine, after this past few years - works a helluvva lot more than forty hours a week. His performance is measured and evaluated by TCF's legal status; as a Vice President and General Counsel, he's responsible for making sure that the bank navigates a complex regulatory and business environment with as few legal problems as possible.
So for the benefit of all you leftybloggers and City Pages "reporters", let's do this little quiz. Keep track of your answers:
Question `: What do you think TCF President Bill Cooper is most likely to consider when evaluating his Vice President and Chief Legal Counsel's performance?If you're reading the New Patriot post, you might be asking yourself, "where's the logical conclusion? What are they driving at here?
Question 2: What do you think the duties of the Vice President and Chief Legal Counsel at TCF involve?
- Keystrokes per Hour
- Time spent "punched in" at the mechanical clock in the break room
- Amount of money lost to lawsuits and other, legally-avoidable costs?
Question 3: What do you suppose Scott Johnson's work day is like?
- Quickly and courteously answering the phone and answering customer legal questions
- Maintaining a production of at least 20 briefs per hour.
- Developing, implementing and leading the legal strategy that allows one of Minnesota's biggest corporations to operate in a complex regulatory and legal environment, and supervising the legal department and its ongoing, highly complex litigation
Scoring: Each "1" answer is one point, each "2" is 2 points, etc.
- In around 9:10AM, out for a smoke break at 9:40, another at 11:00, out to the skyway for lunch and some shopping at 12 sharp, back at 1:15, smoke break at 2:30, another at 4, and out at 4:45
- In at 8:30, out at 5, off to the lake at 4PM every Friday.
- In early, out late, taking home work, working on weekends - with the odd break for the occasional blog post.
If you got:
- 8+ Points: The turnip truck is far in the past.
- 5-7 points: Less blogging. More reading.
- 3-4 points: You work at "One Potato Two", but if you keep working on your screeds about the labor theory of value and you're positive the City Pages will publish your article on your friends' electronica website.
Well, in this next paragraph comes the payoff:
The over-reaction comes from Bill Cooper and TCF. Businesses can use their advertising might however they choose. But they shouldn't expect to be regarded neutrally when they throw their weight around politically.OK, I lied. There was no logical conclusion.
What is the piece about? Is Scott Johnson a slacker? Pffft.
Is Bill Cooper "overreacting?" Neither Mosedale's hatchet job nor Francl's post explain why, if so; if I'm running a business and the media outlet I support with my ad dollar actively attacks my business, I'm pulling my dollar so fast that the vaccuum the sudden vacancy creates will cause eardrums to pop. They have no prima facie right to my advertising dollar.
Is TCF's action political? Only if "not wanting to be actively attacked by our advertising outlet" is inherently political.
New Patriot and City Pages management - let's try a little experiment. Take out a blogad on Shot In The Dark. Then, I will tell my readers to stop reading you and to never patronize your advertisers. How will you react?
Try it. Operators are standing by.Posted by Mitch at January 28, 2005 01:37 AM | TrackBack