Cue Captain Renault

The big news in the alt-media world in the Twin Cities last week was the MinnPost’s profile of Michael Brodkorb.

Michael has been rhetorical catnip for both sides of the aisle for the past decade or so.  When he was “Minnesota Democrats Exposed”, especially in his pseudonymous phase before 2006, he was the Minnesota left’s Public Enemy #1.

And his role in the scandal that whipsawed the GOP’s majority in the Senate a few years back made him non grata in a lot of GOP circles.

I’m not one of the conservatives that tossed Michael under the bus; I’ve considered him a friend ever since I first met him – when he revealed on my show back in ’06 that he was MDE.  I’m not going to say that I agree with all his choices, but I’m not the one to cast the first stone.  I’m also not on board with his approach to politics these days – but that’s something I’ll tackle issue by issue.

And I have some questions over a lot of what he says in the MinnPost profile.   Which would make for an interesting conversation, on or off the air.

But to me, the interesting part of the MinnPost profile isn’t so much the unpacking of the past couple years of Brodkorb’s life; it doesn’t cover all that much new ground.

No – the interesting part for me is lines like…:

“Republicans couldn’t distance themselves fast enough. It was a vicious mix of schadenfreude and shunning.”

“You understand the tactic [of scorched-earth, take-no-prisoners PR]? Now you see it as having become counter­productive?

“Do you advise Republicans that [an aggressive, ideological approach to the media] only marginalizes them among general voters?”

“The “fringe of the fringe” of course is great fodder for the media. Every experienced reporter knows they’re fringe people saying fringe things”

“Well, the obvious irony is that for a lot of people around here they look at you and see the guy who kind of invented the partisan bomb-­thrower game”

And especially this one:

“But the tone and traffic you generated with [your writing] certainly helped … in establishing your bona fides within the party and achieving the post you held with the Senate”

The writer, of course, is Brian Lambert.

Now, Lambert’s not a bad guy.  But while I laud his sudden commitment to civility and reason, it’s hard to separate the Lambo in this piece from the Brian Lambert who was throwing partisan rhetorical rocks and garbage at conservatives years before it became the fashion.  Literally – my first encounter with Lambert was on December 18, 1985 – my first day as a screener at KSTP.  And Lambo was sitting in for Geoff Charles.  And he was not an iota less disdainful of and condescending to conservatives then than he was in his years at the Pioneer Press (when the “tone and traffic he generated with his writing helped establish his bona fides” for a job with then-Senator Mark Dayton), his turn as the liberal id of the old “Janecek and Lambert” show, and pretty much everything he’s ever written at the Twin Cities Reader, the Rake, MinnPost, and whatever I’ve forgotten in between.

And I’m thinking his solicitousness toward Brodkorb is going to be a new corollary to Berg’s 11th Law (“The conservative liberals “respect” for their “conservative principles” will the the one that has the least chance of ever getting elected”); perhaps “the Republican that Democrats don’t pelt with rocks and garbage is the one that does their throwing for them”.

12 thoughts on “Cue Captain Renault

  1. Brodkorb is an immoral pig. If he had any integrity he’d have skulked out of the state with his tail between his legs.

  2. It takes a certain kind of person to piss off both your friends and your enemies. That that kind of person often gets into politics is telling.

  3. “Has Brodkorb become Arne Carlson . . . a “good” Republican?”

    Anecdotal evidence – like, “writing for the Strib without the newsroom going on a hunger strike” – say ” could be…”

  4. I don’t know Brodkorb. I take it as a positive that people I like and respect speak well of him and consider him a friend. Having said that, it sure looks like he’s on a path to become a less hirsute David Brock. A career as an apostate Republican can be pretty lucrative, as Brock, Garry Wills and Michael Lind have demonstrated.

  5. after that little dust up a couple years ago the boy has bills to pay (lawyers cost money see: Jarndyce v Jarndyce) – no surprise he works for the Strib as a “tame” Republican

  6. I appreciate that Mitch considers him a friend (it’s hard to end a nine year relationship especially one forged under better circumstances) and I agree that Lambert is probably as bad or worse from what I’ve read and heard from him over the years. But IMO Brodkorb has never been a force for good in Minnesota politics any more than David Brock or James Carville were at the national level. He was basically someone who liked to throw mud and even when he was supposedly on “our side,” he probably did as much harm as good. It’s not surprising that he followed Brock’s path and turned on the ones who he used to support and it’s equally telling that the only Republicans who serve as his sources are the ones who seem out to do as much harm to the MNGOP as possible.

  7. Joe, Creepy Gleason crawled out from under his pile of rotting trashbags, feces and dead cats to defend Brodkorb….what do you make of that?

    I think Brodkorb has found himself a home sweet home with leftist scumbags, and they are welcome to him.

  8. Grievances and grudges, such a waste of energy. Is that what the nuns taught you in school Tom?

  9. Pingback: LIVE AT FIVE: 04.28.15 : The Other McCain

  10. When I saw the headline
    ‘I’m done with partisan politics’: a Q&A with Michael Brodkorb
    My first thought was “because neither Party will hire you? You’ve burned those bridges.”

    I’ve never liked Brodkorb. I’ve just always had a bad feeling about the man, his character and what he’d be willing to do. I did appreciate what he could do, I just never wanted him doing it as an official of the RPM or an employee of the GOP Caucus.
    Before his “Fall,” I wanted to see him at the head of a conservative version of ABM (though preferably less intertwined with the GOP Party). He would’ve been good at that.
    Unfortunately, since his termination by the Senate Caucus, the majority of what I’ve seen from him has been attacks directed at the GOP. It comes across as the man seeking vengeance against those that spurned him, with absolutely no acceptance for his own massive mistakes leading up to that.

  11. Yeah, considering the fact that you rely on others to provide comments for you to plagiarize, I understand how wasted energy offends you Emery.

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