To: Dennis Lien, St. Paul Pioneer Press
From: Mitch Berg
Re: Fact Checking in your 10/9 piece
Mitch Berg here. Not sure if you’re new in the market because, like an awful lot of people to the right of Amy Klobuchar, I don’t actually read the daily newspapers in this town. I know I’ve seen your name in the paper, but I don’t recall if you’re an old PiPress hand or not.
I’d like to hope so, since your piece on Thursday incorporated a lot of rookie, or rookie-esque, flubs.
Your piece covers the “Dump Bachmann” blog, run by Eva Young. The reason I wonder if you’re a newbie is, of course, “The Dump” got near-saturation coverage before the 2006 election, back when lots of reporters – whether well-meaning or gullible – treated “The Dump” as a legitimate news source.
It’d seem you and the PiPress have fallen into the same trap – whether through wishful thinking or merely digging for anything to throw at the conservative rep and lightning rod in the Sixth.
The reasons matter not – the same First Amendment that applies to me (until the Obamessiah repeals it) covers you.
But there’s some fact-checking to be done, here:
There’s a lengthy discourse on whether Bachmann will attend a debate.
“Discourse” requires two sides, Mr. Lien. The word you’re looking for is “echo chamber”.
From its debut in 2004, the site, dumpbachmann.blogspot.com, has been home to a hyperactive collection of people who find Bachmann oddly compelling.
Whatever your piece’s other faults, Mr. Lien, I’ll give you style points; “hyperactive collection of people who find somone oddly compelling” is the most artful way to describe “bunch of obsessed stalkers” I’ve ever read. Kudos!
But please see to this bit here…:
Young said she spends an hour or two every evening updating the blog. Minneapolis cartoonist Ken Avidor handles the video items.
Let’s cut the crap, Mr. Lien. It’s Ken Weiner. “Avidor” is a pseudonym he adopts to try to dignify his dork-fingered oeuvre. But don’t worry about names, since whenever he wants a different identity, he just takes one. Without bothering to tell anyone. You can call him Avidor, you can call him Weiner, you can call him Al Goldstein’s kicktoy, you can call him the only “cartoonist” in the Twin Cities less accomplished than Swiftee…
…but those of us who know him best just call him “the Lord of the Sock Puppets”.
“What I bring to the blog is not only documentation and video, but a little bit of humor,” Avidor said.
Yep! Funny stuff, like the picture of Michele Bachmann in a Nazi outfit!
(Although to be fair, perhaps that was what you were referring to when you wrote about The Dump’s “provocative, in-your-face bits of rhetoric”
And quoting Karl Bremer – a man whom Yellow Hacks have disowned for giving them a bad name – is kinda a self-limiting move, Dennis.
At any rate, please see to this, OK?
That is all.
(PS to Eva: “Acknowleding and responding” to something is not the same as “having a cow”. Or to put it another way; I’m laughing at you).
(And, of course, Lien).