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August 26, 2005

Exposed

The flapdoodle over the identity - or purported identity - of Minnesota Democrat Exposer prompted me to try to go to the source.

That's right - the first-ever, exlusive interview with the elusive MDE.

Naturally, it was an email interview - MDE is famously reticent about revealing the faintest iota of personal information.


1. So what CAN you tell us about you? Nothing.

2. Why the secret identity? Anonymity is very powerful. I decided when I started my blog that I wanted people to attack my message and not the messenger. By keeping my identity secret, it allows me to focus on my message without any concern about attacks on me, the messenger. The only restriction I placed on myself is that I would not post lies and silly rumors. I did not want to use my anonymity as a license to launch false attacks on Democrats. Lies can be dismissed, but the truth is very stubborn.

3. To what means have fans - or non-fans - gone to try to figure your identity out? Fake interview requests, fake invitations to ďprivateĒ meetings to talk about an exclusive story. People have asked me to call them to talk about a tip they received. I am sure some of these request were sincere, but I know some were a trap. AM 1500 spent an hour one day asking for me to call in for an interview. I just canít do it.

4. Your anonymity seems to goad some of your detractors. Tell me about the feedback you get from Minnesota Democrats. I have received more compliments that criticisms. The best complaint was "did you know that every time someone in Mexico flushes the toilet, a blog like this one ends up in America?" I have had threats of violence, lawsuits, and getting my house burned down. I donít take it very seriously.

5. What's been the highlight of your blogging career so far? Itís all the money I make! Seriously, the highlights of my short blogging career are when people read my blog and comment. This interview is also a highlight. This is the first interview I have granted and it is because I respect your work. When I first visited ďShot in the DarkĒ I thought, ďholy s***Ē, this is great.

6. Lowlight? Typos. I went through a streak were I kept posting the wrong date when I sourced an article. I think it was my good friend Minnesota Lefty Liberal who kept pointing out my mistakes.

7. Do you ever see yourself coming out of the cold? No, I will never publicly admit who I am. The decision to remain anonymous has its pluses and minuses. I have already explained the pluses. The minuses are I can never take credit for my work. I canít accept interview requests from television and radio stations. I canít talk with other bloggers or go to social events and say ďI am M.D.E!Ē I miss that interaction. Mitch, I would like to call you and ask for advice, but I canít. I would enjoy going to the Thursday night trivia contests at Keeganís Irish Pub, but I just canít. I know my blog will never gain the acceptance of established bloggers because I of my anonymity. I wish they could ignore my anonymity and focus on my work product. Maybe someday I will earn their respect.

8. Have you ever gotten any response from some of those who have been the targets of your posts? Anything juicy? Yes. This was a recent response ďGo f*** yourselves, right wing fascist c****ucker GOP s**t eaters.Ē I donít know if you will post that, but itís real.

9. What is the hardest part of being anonymous when digging for the kind of dirt you get? I'd imagine that it has to cause some inconveniences at the very least. The toughest part is getting people to trust me as a source. I am asking them to identify themselves, but I am still anonymous.

I have been working on one source for three months. It wasn't until they
started seeing newspapers using my blog as a source did they agree to
provide me with information.

10. You do a cooperative blog, MN Left and Right with "Trillin", of MNLeftyLiberal. What brought that on, and why? MN Lefty Liberal and I have has some very public fights and we agreed to run a blog together to try and provide a balanced debate. I havenít done a good job of keeping up my end of the bargain, but I will. MN Lefty Liberal is a very good blog. Itís too good sometimes.

11. Describe the social circle in your own (highly classified) life. Any MN Democrats? I donít hang out with Democrats. My social life is me sitting in front of my computer eating a Hot Pocket. [Merry Christmas, Laura Billings - Ed.]

12. What's your motivation? You've staked out a pretty narrow niche, but a very aggressive one. When I started blogging I was aware of my limitations. I couldnít produce a quality blog if I focused on politics in general. I needed a specific target and a specific mission. Minnesota Democrats are such easy targets. Look at my recent success of exposing their story editing. The Minnesota DFL was editing stories about Kennedyís campaign editing stories. How dumb can you be? Did they not think I and others would be watching their website? I have caught the DFL with their pants numerous times and I will catch them again.

13. Describe the Minnesota DFL in 20 words or less. The DFL is like an old-car. It still runs, but it has dents, the paint doesnít match and it needs a major tune-up.

14. Do you read any liberal or DFL-leaning blogs? I am a big fan of liberal blogs. Aside from MN Lefty Liberal, MN GOP Watch is a great blog. I think its run by a high school kid. I am in awe of the work they do, especially Patrickís. When I was in high school I couldnít tie my shoes, but this guy sticks a thorn in the side of Minnesota Republicans on a daily basis. You have to respect that. North Star Politics is tough on my blog, but I read it 6 times a day. Itís run by a full-time student. I canít imagine what the work product would be if this person was able to blog full-time. I hope he/she is becoming a doctor so they stay in school for a long time. A new blog I have been reading is Minnesota Blue. Itís run by a 15 YEAR-OLD KID! I hope his parents are proud of him because he is good. When I was 15, I couldnít ride a bike and learning to tie my shoes was a long-term goal. A new blog that is a pain in the ass is DFL Governor .

15. Being an anonymous blogger with such a fine focus seems like a pretty self-limiting niche. Do you see yourself carrying on MDE in, say, five years? Where do you go from here? I canít imagine shutting down Minnesota Democrats Exposed. My short-term goal is to earn the respect of mainstream media outlets and other bloggers so they republish my posts. Since I wonít reveal my identity, my blogís acceptance is limited.

16. What would be your dream headline? ďMINNESOTA DEMOCRATS EXPOSED NIGHT AT ALARYíSĒ

17. Anything you want to tell Mike Hatch? If Mike Hatch knew how much I know about him, he wouldnít run for governor. He has no idea whatís coming.

18. Anything you want to tell Matt Entenza? I seek permission from Matt Entenza so I could ask his wife for a loan. I would like to add some features to Minnesota Democrats Exposed.

19. So when you've exposed enough Minnesota Democrats, what do you think they're going to do? Clean up their act, or what? In a perfect world, where does MDE's work lead us to? The Minnesota DFL is not shutting down. There will always be Democrats in Minnesota. In my perfect world, Minnesota Democrats will still do stupid things that provide the material for my blog.

20. What blogs do you read? Aside from big boys from the Northern Alliance, Kennedy v. The Machine , The First Ring, Residual Forces, and Republican Minnesota are my daily reads. Their writing is at a level I hope to be at someday.

Posted by Mitch at August 26, 2005 07:36 AM | TrackBack
Comments

Great job, congrats, Mitch.

The mechanics of this thing bug me. How can a source, who is identified in a story, be relied on not to cave in and reveal the identity of the person publishing his information?

I'm not complaining about the one-sidedness, mind you, just trying to figure out how it could work for more than, say, 1 week.

Posted by: Brian Jones at August 26, 2005 12:26 PM

Meh. I suspect MDE is probably Odin Soli.

Posted by: Ryan at August 26, 2005 02:16 PM

HA!! He doesn't read SD63!? More proof!!

Posted by: Gary M. Miller at August 26, 2005 02:46 PM

MDE sounds like Jerry? Hmmm?

Posted by: Rob at August 26, 2005 03:13 PM

Pathetic Mitch. No follow up questions. Shawn Towle has responded....

http://lloydletta.blogspot.com/2005/08/shawn-towle-vs-mde-mitch-bergs.html

Posted by: Eva Young at August 26, 2005 09:21 PM

He reads SD63... or should I say he proof-reads SD63 everytime before he clicks the "publish" button.

Posted by: SD63 at August 26, 2005 09:25 PM

Eva, it is more & more obvious to me how little cognitive ability you actually do have. Re-read the interview and see if you are still unable to discover why there were no follow up questions.

(Hint: This was an interview where the questions were sent to MDE and then the answers sent to Mitch.)

Posted by: Tony Garcia at August 26, 2005 09:35 PM

That's the nature of email, Tony - if there was a question that wasn't answered sufficiently, Mitch could have asked a followup. Email often goes back and forth, back and forth - just like a conversation.

That's my experience.

Posted by: Eva Young at August 27, 2005 12:34 AM

Yes, we've all learned to trust your "experience".

Posted by: Kevin at August 27, 2005 02:03 PM

Eva is a stupid Bitch

Posted by: Guy Incogneato at August 27, 2005 07:06 PM

Oh Igcognito the guy, if you are going to just insult, then why not be more creative about it?

I've interviewed MDE - and asked a few follow up questions. It is possible to do by email Tony.

http://lloydletta.blogspot.com/2005/08/mde-interview-id-like-to-thank.html

Posted by: Eva Young at August 28, 2005 02:29 PM

My guess is MDE = Michael Brodkorb:

http://lloydletta.blogspot.com/2005/09/welcome-kool-aid-report-readers.html

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