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Friday, July 21, 2006

The Drama Queen Gets More Ink

Pat Lopez tells all at the Strib.

That's why he came down to Keegans last night.

So far, Brodkorb stands out on the blog scene in part because of his information-based approach and prolific posts.

He is hard-wired into the heart of state Republican politics, thanks to years spent toiling in its trenches.

He started as a researcher for the state Senate Republican caucus and later moved to the state party ,where he indulged in his secret passion: opposition research on DFLers.

He lost his job with a change of party leadership and went to work as a consultant for Weber Johnson Public Affairs. The Weber is Joe Weber, brother to former congressman Vin Weber, now a confidant of the Bush administration. The company's past clients include Pawlenty, Sen. Norm Coleman, Rep. John Kline and a host of corporate giants.

Brodkorb now juggles his Weber Johnson duties, the Kennedy campaign and his blog, often writing online material at 2 a.m.

His compulsive posting --four to five hours a day -- has produced some fallout in his personal life. In the fevered rush of the past few weeks, Brodkorb finally stretched the limits of his wife's patience. (His blog is, as most are, what could generously be called revenue-neutral.)

Sarah Brodkorb imposed 10 minutes of housework for every post. So between dispatches on the state's hottest political stories, Brodkorb has been folding laundry, scrubbing dishes and watering the lawn.

There have been other penalties. He got sued in January for claiming that Hubert (Buck) Humphrey approached DFL congressional candidate Coleen Rowley for work while he was still working for New School Communications. That case is ongoing.

Brodkorb says he is serious about his work, as most bloggers are, and he wants people to know that bloggers are pretty normal folk.

"We have families, lives, responsibilities," he said. "We're not just guys sitting in the basement in our underwear eating Hot Pockets and watching 'Xena (Warrior Princess).' We're making relevant contributions to the political conversation."

Sarah Brodkorb is a delightful person. She came down to Keegans with Michael.

The MN Publius kids were interviewed also.

It's a good article.

I am troubled by this:

Without the need for confirmation that hobbles traditional journalists, Brodkorb, Schlough, MNPublius founder Matt Martin and a handful of others have prompted mainstream reporters across the Twin Cities to check their sites regularly and to scramble to create their own.

I am not one who claims that blogs are replacing the mainstream media. I hold higher standards and expectations of reporting from newspapers than I do for stuff written on a blog. I don't have the resources to do the shoe leather reporting that good reporters do. I go to blogs for gossip and opinion. It's the same thing I used to do on the phone with other political people. The difference is blogs have broader reach.

The wrong way for reporters to react to blogs is to - in the interest of getting it first, to cut corners and be less concerned with fact checking and getting it right.