MDE fires back at paid liberal bloggers

Last week the liberal blogosphere criticized operator Michael Brodkorb for being paid by the Senate campaign of Mark Kennedy ($4583 per month) and the House campaign of Michele Bachmann (a one-time amount of $5500)while continuing to promote their candidacies and his supposedly independent website. The issue at hand was the fuzzy line between paid political consultant and unpaid blogger. Yesterday, Brodkorb fired back with a post revealing that at least seven liberal bloggers are being paid $1500 a month for at least the next three months by a group known as the Center for Independent Media through its New Journalist Program. Although Brodkorb tried mightily to link the Center to a known Democratic group known as Media Matters, the most direct connection he could make was that the Center for Independent Media rents space from Media Matters.

Nevertheless, Brodkorb's greater point, that more than a few in the liberal media are themselves paid to blog, bears greater disclosure. (For the record, I and other City Pages staffers are generally expected to contribute to the City Pages blogs as part of earning our salaries.)

Most of the bloggers have responded to MDE's revelation. After acknowledging that he receives a $1500 monthly stipend, Matt Martin wrote, "The most important aspect of this is that I've never been told what I can and can't blog on." Martin is one-half of the Mn Publius site. Many of the bloggers cited by Brodkorb write for Minnesota Monitor, the blog I linked to ast week in reference to the payments Brodkorb received. Minnesota Monitor's Robin Marty had this to say about Brodkorb's post on paid liberal blogging: "Our code of ethics is the same code that is employed by the Society for Professional Journalists...When the Fellows for the [New Journalist] program were selected, it was mandatory that no one be hired who was currently paid by a party, campaign, or political organization, in order to avoid such obvious biases."

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