Eric Black and his “Black Ink” blog are picking up and moving over to MinnPost.com – but not without leaving an answer we’ve been looking for for a very long time – something I asked him (in his interview on the NARN last March, when he left the Strib), as well as every other Minnesota Monitor staffer with whom I ever came in contact (emphasis added):
I’ve always meant to write piece titled “Who Pays Me?” Never got around to it. But if I had, I would have said that I was working under a contract with the Center for Independent Media (CIM), a Wasington-based non-profit, which is the parent organization of the Monitor and three other similar state-based sites. And I would have said that the silly attack meme of some conservative bloggers that the Monitor was staffed by George Soros sock puppets was nonsense.
“Nonsense” – meaning there was no truth to the claim that George Soros backed the Center for Independent Media (which, at the risk of repeating myself, started life in offices sublet from Soros’ attack-PR firm Media Matters for America). Right?
Because that’s what “nonsense” and “silly attack meme” mean. Right?
Soros’ foundation is one of several that contribute to the CIM so I guess I have some Soros money in my checking account,
Er…OK. So the “silly” “nonsense” claim was actually true, then?
And do you think that if, say, Powerline or Ed Morrissey or I got so much as a nickel of money from Halliburton, or Richard Mellon Scaife or Rupert Murdoch, that the crack staffs of the MinnPost or Minnesota Monitor or or the Daily Mold would let it pass?
but I was never asked, pressured or even encouraged to promote any particular point of view and the same goes for the Monitor’s other writers.
Sounds good, right?
Joe “Learned Foot” Tucci of Kool Aid Report, who drew my attention to the piece, notes a hole in that idea big enough to drive the entire MinnPost office through:
Say your house has a mouse infestation. And further assume that you are an old-timey sort that doesn’t believe in exterminators or mouse traps. So instead, you buy a cat.
Do you have to tell a cat to go hunt the mice?
Of course not.
I always get a kick out of commenters who accuse me of “parroting GOP talking points”. There is no C-list blogger in the Twin Cities who is farther off the Republican party’s official radar than I am. I don’t get invites to the press conferences. I get press releases only intermittently, and usually from campaigns – rarely if ever from the party proper.
And yet I’m a conservative, almost-always Republican blogger. Not because I’m on a payroll, but because I believe in the ideals of the GOP and the Conservative movement. Nobody pays me to do it (outside the odd advertiser) – I do it because it’s what I believe.
So if some
right-leaning sugardaddy group of right leaning sugardaddies wanted to come to town and pay a bunch of bloggers to generate propaganda, I have a six-year-deep clip file to put in front of them.
Every member of the Minnesota Monitor was recruited because they are a reliable, left-leaning voice. They are paid their “stipends” (at one point, $1,500 a month – unheard of for most E-list bloggers) because they will deliver what is expected of them. The notion that any of them are going to go maverick and turn into low-tax, pro-defense, law-and-order conservatives on the Monitor‘s dime is absurd. Eric Black retains some plausible deniability, here, but I think he’s made his actual sympathies pretty clear (as is his right!) since he left the Strib; one suspects, for example, that had Doug Tice left the Strib, the Monitor/CIM would not have have come calling. Conservative bloggers need not have applied to the Center for Independent Media.
And it bears mentioning here in a non-parenthetical paragraph that this is the very first time anywhere in the year and change history of MinniMoni that anyone connected with that website has admitted as much. Why?
“Why”, indeed, on a couple of levels.
For over a year, MinMon’s management and staff reacted in every possible way to questions about the CIM’s backing – every way save one. They obfuscated. They misdirected. They changed the subject. They threw out cutesy tangents and scampered away. Their supporters denied any Soros connection, ever more vehemently. And yet it was true all along (not that there was any doubt or mystery to the question).
And why does Black admit it (couched in an attack on the “silly” but true “attack” meme) as he’s cleaning out his desk?
UPDATE: Welcome Cap’n Ed’s readers, and any Instapundit readers that’ve leaked through this far into the story!
I’d like to direct you to Learned Foot, who was on this several hours before I was, and in three years of blogging hasn’t had an Instalanche (remember them?); a Ed-a-lanche and a secondary Instalanche can’t be a bad way to roll into the holidays, though.