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Who won? You won.

Posted at 7:48 AM on March 11, 2007 by Bob Collins (1 Comments)

I don't write Polinaut anymore, but since the role of bloggers and the need for transparency in journalism were two of my constant themes, I'll jump into Friday's decision that rejected Blois Olson's suit against Michael Brodkorb, owner and writer of Minnesota Democrats Exposed. What's the MFL connection? Brodkorb has a team in the MFL (although I'm not sure he's actively managing it).

The Strib this morning suggested that the ruling means bloggers have the same responsibility as journalists. I, obviously, don't agree. Otherwise a blogger who worked for the campaign of then Rep. Mark Kennedy, couldn't blog since a "real journalist" wouldn't do that. And that was, of course, no part of the court's decision.

What the court said, basically, is that public figures are fair game. That has little to do with "journalism," that sacrosanct activity that "journalists" (i.e. "big media employees") should be allowed to engage in. Rather, the decision is aimed at public figures and rather than extending protections to journalists, it removes them from public figures.

Brodkorb has, appropriately, been applauding the ruling and insisting he "won," and in the grand scheme of things, he did.

And he didn't. Few remember that it was Olson's suit that unmasked Brodkorb in the first place. Until then, MDE was a fascinating blog written by an anonymous writer. Only after Olson filed his suit, did Michael uncloak and reveal that he was, in fact, directly connected to the Minnesota Republican Party and several of its prominent candidates.

Knowing that, is a good thing. Providing that transparency is something bloggers excel at, and which their journalist-cousins are slowly coming to understand.


Comments (1)


Nice take on it, Bob.

Am no fan of MDE, nor of the blogger's ethics or instincts, but I found this post to be nicely even-handed and thoughtful.

Thanks.

Posted by Wes Volkenant | March 11, 2007 11:30 PM