The Cabbage Patch campaign

I watched –without commenting — last week as the blogosphere around here went hyperspeed on the question of Michael Brodkorb’s funding. It seems like only yesterday I posted this little number.

But that was before it became “cool” to talk about who’s paying whom to write what. Figures. I’m always late to the cool party.

Anyway, the latest salvo in this blogosphere civil war is Brodkorb (at Minnesota Democrats Exposed) has turned the tables on the folks who wrote about him last week.

My disclaimer. I’m not paid to blog. Or maybe I am. I’m not sure. I do a lot of it on my own time and I don’t get paid extra to do it and I didn’t stop doing what I was getting paid for to do it. And as far as I know, the success of Polinaut did nothing to help me in this year’s performance review. But, then, again, nothing can help me there.

But it looks like you can make some decent bread doing this blogging stuff.

  • I am, it would seem, playing for the wrong team.

  • “But it looks like you can make some decent bread doing this blogging stuff…”

    No kidding. I gotta get me one of those gigs. I’m giving away all my product for free.

    One of MNPublius chaps claims his “content has never been influenced by the administrators of the program nor have I ever been instructed to post on a specific topic.”

    Well, heck, if that’s true, I’ll apply for that New Journalist Program. I’ll take Lefty money, and since they don’t care what I blog about, I’ll keep blogging on the side of Right. What a deal!

  • It’s time to make this a union shop, Jeff!

  • Interestingly, Brodkorb never commented.

    Bob, I don’t understand your confusion about your current blog. If MPR is paying for your bandwidth, it’s their blog. If you get paid by MPR, it’s pretty strange for you to say that you’re not paid to do this blog. Employer’s can’t assign homework that you don’t get paid for. If you were not salaried, you would, by law, get overtime pay for blogging any time your weekly hours exceeded 40.

    Seriously, talk to MPR’s lawyers about this. They understand this perfectly, even if you don’t, because MPR will be writing the check if anyone ever sues you for something you write here.

    You may not know, but it’s disingenous to be coy like this when all you have to do is call legal to get an answer.

    When we started up Twin Cities Babelogue at City Pages, their attorney vetted everything during the start up. Hell, we blogged for two weeks behind a firewall just to get the bugs out before going live (yes, they were that paranoid).

    For the most part I’ve enjoyed your blogging, but more and more you seem to think this is a personal project that does not reflect on MPR. If so, do call legal. It will be an eye-opening experience for you.

    And, if you’re the reporter Brodkorb is bragging about, you should be ashamed of yourself. If you don’t know why, ask Scheck and I’m sure he’ll tell you.

    It’s not the bloggers in town who should be mad at Brodkorb, it’s the journalists.

  • Bob Collins

    Mark, Mark, Mark! You have GOT to stop taking things so seriously, my friend.

    Also, I didn’t read anything about “a reporter” in Brodkorb’s stuff so I don’t know what you’re talking about but if Brodkorb wrote about something called a “reporter,” it sure wasn’t me. I’m not a reporter. I’m not even a journalist.

    I’m just the guy who whizzes things over people’s heads.(g) Which is not — for the record — to say I’m not capable of being ashamed of myself.

    I am. You know when? When I get sucked into the stupidity that surrounds 99% of political campaigns.

    Life’s too short to be mad at anybody — Brodkorb, journalists, whatever.

    Want something to be mad about? A guy walks into an Amish school in Pennsylvania and executes young girls.

    As near as I can tell, that’s the only thing that should get people worked up. Blogs? Politics. Journalism, who wins an election to go to Washington and pass resolutions congratulating some volleyball team? Worthless.

    Oh, and just for the record, yeah, I know. I work for MPR. This blog belongs to MPR. I blog for MPR. I’m paid to blog. But I’m pretty sure I’m not making $4,500 every three months doing it so I obviously not qualified to walk the same ground as professional bloggers.

    The blog that is mine is “Stirrings from the Empty Nest.” (

    But, I don’t write it as though I wish those with political viewpoints different than me would die, and leave me and my like-minded colleagues to run the world and state as God, him or herself, would prefer. So folks may not be interested in actually reading it.

    Mark, that’s a joke.

  • Meredith

    I couldn’t agree with Mark more. Kudos to Mark for pointing it out. Bob, your self righteousness that you are above both parties toppled with your assumed sense of humor is getting really old. Please turn the blog back over to Tom and Mike, and get over yourself.

  • Bob Collins

    Meredith, you may have noticed — or maybe not — they just redesigned the page, so that the writer of each post is displayed under each heading at the top of the ost instead of at the end.

    So now, if someone likes what I write wants to read it, they can read it. If someone thinks reading my stuff is like eating raw squid, they can skip right to the next one without reading it.

    It’s sort of like a restaurant. if you don’t like an entree, you don’t insist the restaurant take it off the menu. You just order something else.

    I’m a bag of potato chips. Tom’s a fresh vegetable. You’ve chosen well.

  • Yup, the Drama Queen loves it, he’s the center of attention again. I do NOT get paid to blog.

    I wouldn’t have such fun with blogging if I did get paid – because if I got paid for it, there’d be some expectations to make it sound a bit more professional, and therefore bland.

  • You’re A-OK in my book, Bob.

    (Just don’t look at what else is in my book.)

  • Ag


    I got your humor, but understand Mark’s reluctance to assume you were trying to be funny. It is mainly because your joke hit too close to agreeing with the “line” MDE is trying to pass off on everyone. Trying to say that working for MPR and blog about politics is the same thing as working for Mark Kennedy and blogging about politics is just not accurate and everyone knows that. The Center for Independent Media is an independent media group who is funding Fellows to learn how to be citizen journalists, they are more analogous to MPR than any other professional group in this story. Just because MDE and his buddies don’t understand the meaning of words like “Fellows” (or “Accomplished for that matter), does not make it okay for them to try and say that what Mr Brodkorb does for Mark Kennedy is the same thing as what the CIM does with their Fellows.

    Keep up the humor, it is needed in political commentary, but just be careful when some of this is very serious to some folks. The Center for Independent Media is not running for US Senate, neither is MPR (Fox News, ABC, NBC, you get my point), the fellows are getting a stipend for their work, as you are being paid. Mark Kennedy is paying Mr Brodkorb, quite a bit of money, to blog, and Mr Kennedy IS running for US Senate. The difference is huge, and what they write about and how it should be trusted is just as huge.

    Oh, and no one pays me anything to blog, all my political activity is volunteer

  • Understood, but if I understand Brodkorb’s point, his question isn’t so much who’s paying Minnesota Monitor, it’s who’s paying the Center for Independent Media to pay Minnesota Monitor.

    On the larger issue, I think we may be seeing the end of the era of citizen journalist, not long after it started.

    There’s nothing BASICALLY wrong with being paid to write, but as my note last February — I think it was February — pointed out… there is a “transparency” in citizen journalism that is at the core of the very excitement surrounding it.

    I’d hate to see that disappear. I really liked the concept.

    I think there’s danger that it will fall prey to every other medium ever invented.

  • There is that danger with anything new – money will corrupt it; new media will suffer the same pitfalls as old media.

    I’m not worried. Citizen journalism is just getting warmed up and we’re learning lessons as we blog. This whole disclosure frenzy is very healthy and shows that transparency is indeed something highly valued in new media.

    We’re seeing a new class of citizen journalists that fall between amateur and professional. If they were cameras, I’d call them “prosumer.” 🙂 Again, I see this continuum as a healthy development.

    And, there will always be a legion of scrappy, unpaid, independent bloggers nipping at the heels of anyone getting paid to blog.

  • Bob, I honestly never understood that you are not a reporter or journalist of some kind.

    Wow. That really changes everything. This means you get to play by my rules, except that I have no steenkeeng rules — but then again I’m self-employed and you’re not.

    I’m going to have to IM Marjorie Kelly about this….

  • Bob Collins

    We’re all “self” employed, Mark. (g)

    Seriously, however, I make my living IN journalism. I write. I look at news. I tell people what’s going on. The mantle of “journalist” or ‘reporter” has been co-opted.

    I tell folks in our I.t. department, (they write the guts of apps like Select A Candiate), that thehy’re journalists too.

    In many ways, citizen journalism isn’t a new kind of journalism, it’s a return to the roots of journalism.

    We’re all “reporters.” We’re all “journalists.”

    We’re just not all getting a wad of cash to do it, and some of us don’t have 1st Amendment protection to use whatever words we wish.

    But that’s another thread.