Talking To The Enemy

Politicians and media – and by “media”, I mean the “traditional” media, the “objective/detached” media that most of us grew up assuming “the media” were – have a symbiotic relationship, at best.  Politicans need exposure; the media needs material.  The media’s mission is to get Democrats elected putative mission is to be a private check and balance on government – all government.

 But it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that “the media” have changed drastically, and rarely moreso than in the past decade.  From the rise of conservative talk radio and the Drudge Report through the explosion of alternative media that they both helped spawn (including this blog and the related talk show), the media’s world has changed as completely as that of any buggy-whip manufacturer circa 1900. 

Of course, any symbiotic relationship has its limits.  A shark will tolerate the remora fish that picks bits of crud out of its gills; it’d probably draw the line at a barracuda try to fill the gig.

With that in mind, I read with interest this piece in the Minnesoros “Independent”; Chris Steller is peeved about being 86ed from one of Senator Coleman’s press conferences:

U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman’s campaign staff ejected a Minnesota Independent reporter (that would be me) from a press conference at campaign headquarters this afternoon. I made it as far as the inside of a small press conference room at a drab office park in St. Paul where I was just about to settle into the chair that seemed least conveniently located to the exit when a staffer asked who I was with. When I said the Minnesota Independent, he said I’d have to leave. On the one hand, openness to “journalism” on the part of our politicians is a good thing.

On the other hand, when you lie down with the devil, one should not feign the vapors when people wonder “what’s that sulphur smell?”

Steller?  He feighs the vapors:

To my protest that MnIndy is a news outlet like others represented there, the staffer replied, “Right, and it’s funded by George Soros,” and he escorted me out. It’s the fourth time local independent media have been denied access to the senator’s media availability.

Except that the Minnesoros “Independent” is in no way “independent media”.  Leave aside the (accurate, but for our purposes irrelevant) Soros connection; when departing staffers emerge from the Kool-Aid hangover long enough to point out that the “news outlet” that employed them really was a shrill partisan shill – a paid employee of the opposition, in fact – is Coleman and his staff obliged to treat them with the sort of deference and respect that they traditionally pay the Strib, WCCO or MPR?

Bonus question for the Mindy staff (or those that remain):  how do you think I, a talk show host working for a media organization that is as partisan as yours, but at least honest about it, would get treated at a Keith Ellison press conference? 

(Hey, at least right-wing politicians return your calls.  As I showed last year, DFLers apparently consider themselves above that basic courtesy).

Lefties; why should Norm Coleman give access to a media outlet who is not only in the bag for the opposition, but utterly disingenuous about it?

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8 thoughts on “Talking To The Enemy

  1. It just shows how afraid a sitting senator is! Embarrassing, really!

    Remember how all up in a tizzy MikeDEceit got when he couldn’t get access to private Franken Fundraisers.

    Sen Coleman is a sitting Senator, and to deny a constituent access to anything that is available to other members of the press/public only shows he has something to hide and wants to sterilize it first. Sen. Shameless in action.

    If you ever applied the standards you place on the opposition, to your self and your own party, you wouldn’t have anything left to write about.

  2. Remember how all up in a tizzy MikeDEceit got when he couldn’t get access to private Franken Fundraisers.

    Exactly. The Mindy is just like Brodkorb, except that Michael is honest about his funding and backing.

    to deny a constituent access to anything that is available to other members of the press/public only shows he has something to hide and wants to sterilize it first.

    Not true – the Mindy isn’t a “constituent” so much as it is “a paid organ of his opposition” – but I’ll count that as a vote for “forcing Ellison, McCollum and Klobuchar to return Mitch’s calls”.

    Cool!

  3. Did MDE write this post, flash? No.

    Did Mitch complain about MDE’s lack of “access to private Franken Fundraisers”? I don’t remember it.

    Kicking a opposition funded hack out of a press conference equals “only shows he has something to hide” in flash-world? Not a surprise, but I don’t think it’s true.

    To me it seems more in line with “this conference is for the press, the press practices something called ‘journalism’, that obviously isn’t what you do, so out you go”.

    *shrug*

  4. “only shows he has something to hide”

    That’s right! That’s exactly why a presumption of guilt is raised whenever a criminal defendant refuses to testify!

    Oh…wait. Juries are forbidden from indulging such presumptions. I wonder why that is…

    Sorry, Flash. I tried.

  5. It’s been amusing, yet completely expected, watching MinnIndy’s SiteMeter stats tumble into the abyss following the election.

    Considering they get about as many visitors per day as my miserable little ThunderJournal, I’d expect them to be booted from press conferences based off that criteria alone. The remaining MinnIndy folks still think they’re a serious media arm. Then again, it’s always tough to admit you’ve been had.

  6. Flash says:

    “Sen Coleman is a sitting Senator, and to deny a constituent access to anything that is available to other members of the press/public only shows he has something to hide and wants to sterilize it first. Sen. Shameless in action.”

    So if Mitch asks Amy Klobuchar to do a radio interview and she declines that must be proof that she has something to hide?

  7. Flash,

    I posted a link to my “Who’s Afraid Of the Big Bad Media” series in the piece above.

    It was in response to the late Andy Birkey’s piece about Rep. Bachmann’s policy of not talking to liberal flakmedia; I fired off invites to both TC mayors, A-Klo, Franken, BettyMac, Ellison and some others. (To his credit, Rybak appeared).

    So – A-Klo, BettyMac, Keith X, Franken and Chris Coleman are hiding something because they didn’t respond?

    Bear in mind that the NARN and my blog are every bit as legitimate as the Mindy; we are more honest about our backing and funding (we have none); we are, in addition, more fair in our approach to interviews – as Molly Priesmeyer and Steve Perry noted, the Center for Independent Media is only interested in “gotchas”. While the NARN loves gotchas, it’s not our goal.

    NARN and SITD are, in short, more legitimate than the Mindy. And yet we got no responses!

    WHAT ARE THEY HIDING?

  8. You would think that by the second try, Soros would get the “No Pets Allowed” rule.

    I’m guessing that there is a lot of high fiving and laughter going on everytime one of those maroons gets shown the door….

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