I’d like to take a moment to talk a little more about the Senate Media Credentialing rules discussion from yesterday.
First – thanks to the working group, who did the vast majority of the work. The group included (as noted elsewhere) David Brauer of the MinnPost, Michael Brodkorb (the Executive Assistant to the Majority Caucus, Rules Committee Executive Director Cullen Sheehan, Minority caucus communications director Beau Berentson and Senate Sergeant-At-Arms Sven Lindquist.
Now, here’s the important take-away; if the full Senate passes the change (it’s supposed to come up on the floor on Thursday), the Minnesota Senate will have the most transparent, open and non-partisan media process of any state government body in the United States. Literally – there are a few legislatures that are in the same ballpark (Montana springs to mind) but there are none better.
And for that, I have to give my kudos to Michael Brodkorb – who in addition to being a mover and shaker in the MNGOP and the Majority caucus is a former blogging powerhouse, my former Northern Alliance colleague, and my friend. He was the driving force behind the working group, which in effect makes him the prime mover behind the reforms. The reforms themselves do nothing to benefit the MNGOP majority for which he works; as such, they could be fairly termed “statesmanlike” of the governing majority (and yes, it is a fact that the DFL members of the Rules committee supported the changes as well). A good idea is a good idea, no partisan label needed.
Which made it interesting to flip through the comments in David Brauer’s original post on the proposal and the working group. Brodkorb derangement syndrome is a real, serious issue among Minnesota’s comment-section keyboard warriors.
Brodkorb isn’t the only target, naturally; Mark Gisleson, who to my knowledge has ever had a positive affect on anything, ever, wrote:
Don’t do it. If you do, you’re acknowledging that you are the equivalent of Mitch Berg, and that’s a libelous assertion because Mitch is a partisan blogger and radio host who will never cut a liberal an even break, whereas your work is objective, and not driven by liberal politics.
Gisleson is, to be tactful, raving and utterly un-based in fact; I was there to make sure the entire alternative media, left, right and utterly unaligned, could get access and be treated as “journalists” and reporters, with the same rights (and responsibilities) as the “real” ones. I was there every bit as much to represent the likes of left-wing media like “The Uptake” and Minnesota “Progressive” Project as I was for True North and Minnesota Democrats Exposed and, for that matter, Shot In The Dark.
Not to push a “conservative” agenda. Period. And Brauer, although he was added as “the token lefty”, was equally party-blind in his approach to the proceedings.
(And lefties should be a lot more careful about terms like “libel”; if being associated with me defames David Brauer, it would only be among people who are so deranged with partisan paranoia that the other key part of a libel charge, “damage to the victim’s reputation”, is pretty much a moot, if not negated, point. Just my opinion, of course).
But enough of that. The real message is that, if the Senate passes the bill (and from what I hear, even the DFLers who’ve been asked have approved), then the mission, to provide a better, more open, non-partisan means of access to our lawmakers to the New, Alternative media – left, right or none of the above – and eliminate the old system that subjected the new media to the partisan whims of the sitting majority – is accomplished.
And that’s all that really matters.