The other day, I read Andy Birkey’s piece in the MNMon about Rep. Michele Bachmann’s preference for appearing on conservative and Christian media outlets. I responded by inviting a group of liberal politicians – Senator Klobuchar, candidate Franken, Reps. Ellison and McCollum, mayor Rybak and
Joel Kramer Dane Smith – to appear either on the NARN or, via email interview, in this blog.
Some commenters responded “do you honestly think you’re in the same league as MPR or WCCO?” And to be honest, there were two answers to that question.
When it comes to the quality of the interviews – a level of incisive civility and an aim toward getting actual content from an interview, as opposed to plate-throwing or button-pushing – Ed and I are as good as anyone out there.
But the commenters’ question, and that answer, really miss the point. Each of these politicans represents (or, in Franken’s case, wants to represent) people of all political and social stripes. Keith Ellison and Betty McCollum – like Rep. Bachmann – represent districts where large, significant minorities disagree with them, and have tough questions for them. The questions deserve answers. And if a representative won’t face people who have civilly-placed but incisive questions, then can it be fairly said they’re even trying to represent everyone?
So if it’s fair to try to take a whack at Rep. Bachmann for ducking out on an unfriendly, biased media (and let’s do be honest, here; after a couple of decades of Morgan Grams and Alan Fine hatchet-jobbery, it’s a fair cop), then it is certainly fair to wonder why Minnesota’s other elected officials won’t return to the favor (to a media outlet that opposes them, but has, unlike the Strib and Almanac and WCCO, a reputation for fairness and civility and sticking to the facts).
Oh, yeah – so far, I’ve heard back from only one of my invitees. Since arrangements are still underway, I won’t let it slip just yet, but let’s just say this person is not an elected official.
As to the rest? Well, I’ll give it a week.