Three weeks, two big wins.
About a month after issuing my challenge to a slew of local DFL candidates and politicians, in response to Andy Birkey’s piece about Rep. Bachmann’s refusal to do non-conservative/non-Christian media, the score is:
- Stuart Smalley: Bupkes.
- A-Klo: Nada
- Rep. Ellison: Zippo
- Betty Mac: Pfffft.
- Dave Thune: While not specifically part of my original challenge, I did ask Thune several times to come on the air for some questions about his “puking Republicans” slur. We’ve not heard the last of that one, yet.
Of course, two weeks ago Ed and I had a great time talking with Growth and Justice’s Dane Smith – and last Saturday, I had the privilege of interviewing Minneapolis mayor R.T. Rybak. As much as I disagree with Rybak on policy grounds (and the disagreements are very, very many), it was one of those interviews where half an hour just isn’t enough time. The Mayor offered to come back and talk some more, and I fully intend to take him up on it.
I need to emphasize – I haven’t even heard a single word back from any of the other five liberal politicians; not even the courtesy of a “Thanks for the invite, but he/she is busy” as a polite dodge, to say nothing of an “we only do friendly mainstream and liberal media”.
I’ve had a few comments and emails about this effort; the gist of them has been “you can’t possibly think you’re on the same level as WCCO-TV or MPR or the Strib. The Patriot and the NARN are just niche media. You have neither the mainstream status nor the credibility of any of the news outlets that Bachmann refuses to talk to”.
My reply is twofold:
- Duh. Of course the NARN is conservative niche media. Part of the point is that while the Patriot and the NARN do broadcast to a niche, our niche is quite large among Twin Cities conservatives – who are taxpayers and constituents of all of these politicians. They deserve to get their questions heard by their representatives as much as any MPR listener does. Dave Thune or Keith Ellison, for example, represent cities that usually vote 30-40% Republican; once they are actually in office, their job is to represent them, just as they do those who voted for them. Not to do so – not to answer to them, purely on ideological grounds – is puerile, vindictive, and deeply unstatesmanly. Also, as we’ve seen, typical.
- As to credibilty – the NARN has never pulled a stunt like the Morgan Grams defamation against Rod Grams. We’ve never left out key elements of the story in order to slime the opponent of a candidate we favor. We’ve never abused whatever power our podium gives us to destroy a political opponent. Judged by the standard of our actual record in interviewing our opponents and representing what they say, we are in fact more credible than WCCO or the Strib (to say nothing of kept boys and girls like the Minnesota Monitor, whom I will call “journalist” when they call me “Admiral”), and a vastly better risk for liberal politicians than the mainstream media is for the likes of conservatives like Reps. Bachmann and Kline.
My next project: get Thune to talk about his “puking Republicans” slur. And then get ready to have T-shirts distributed for election time.