The big news in the alt-media world in the Twin Cities last week was the MinnPost’s profile of Michael Brodkorb.
Michael has been rhetorical catnip for both sides of the aisle for the past decade or so. When he was “Minnesota Democrats Exposed”, especially in his pseudonymous phase before 2006, he was the Minnesota left’s Public Enemy #1.
And his role in the scandal that whipsawed the GOP’s majority in the Senate a few years back made him non grata in a lot of GOP circles.
I’m not one of the conservatives that tossed Michael under the bus; I’ve considered him a friend ever since I first met him – when he revealed on my show back in ’06 that he was MDE. I’m not going to say that I agree with all his choices, but I’m not the one to cast the first stone. I’m also not on board with his approach to politics these days – but that’s something I’ll tackle issue by issue.
And I have some questions over a lot of what he says in the MinnPost profile. Which would make for an interesting conversation, on or off the air.
But to me, the interesting part of the MinnPost profile isn’t so much the unpacking of the past couple years of Brodkorb’s life; it doesn’t cover all that much new ground.
No – the interesting part for me is lines like…:
“Republicans couldn’t distance themselves fast enough. It was a vicious mix of schadenfreude and shunning.”
“You understand the tactic [of scorched-earth, take-no-prisoners PR]? Now you see it as having become counterproductive?
“Do you advise Republicans that [an aggressive, ideological approach to the media] only marginalizes them among general voters?”
“The “fringe of the fringe” of course is great fodder for the media. Every experienced reporter knows they’re fringe people saying fringe things”
“Well, the obvious irony is that for a lot of people around here they look at you and see the guy who kind of invented the partisan bomb-thrower game”
And especially this one:
“But the tone and traffic you generated with [your writing] certainly helped … in establishing your bona fides within the party and achieving the post you held with the Senate”
The writer, of course, is Brian Lambert.
Now, Lambert’s not a bad guy. But while I laud his sudden commitment to civility and reason, it’s hard to separate the Lambo in this piece from the Brian Lambert who was throwing partisan rhetorical rocks and garbage at conservatives years before it became the fashion. Literally – my first encounter with Lambert was on December 18, 1985 – my first day as a screener at KSTP. And Lambo was sitting in for Geoff Charles. And he was not an iota less disdainful of and condescending to conservatives then than he was in his years at the Pioneer Press (when the “tone and traffic he generated with his writing helped establish his bona fides” for a job with then-Senator Mark Dayton), his turn as the liberal id of the old “Janecek and Lambert” show, and pretty much everything he’s ever written at the Twin Cities Reader, the Rake, MinnPost, and whatever I’ve forgotten in between.
And I’m thinking his solicitousness toward Brodkorb is going to be a new corollary to Berg’s 11th Law (“The conservative liberals “respect” for their “conservative principles” will the the one that has the least chance of ever getting elected”); perhaps “the Republican that Democrats don’t pelt with rocks and garbage is the one that does their throwing for them”.