It may sound odd coming from a guy like me who has intensely enjoyed shooting the Minnesoros "Independent" (more on the scare quotes in a moment) for sport, but this is sad:
The post-election pruning begins in the local media. Minnesota Independent reporter Molly Priesmeyer was told today that her position and one other has been eliminated.
The other position is that of Andy Birkey, whose beat was covering "GLBT issues and the Religious Right." (Which for what its worth strikes me as similar to assigning David Duke to the African-American community affairs beat). What really stuck me though was a comment to one of the above-linked posts Priesmeyer left regarding the sackings:
The worst part is that they touted creating a sustainable news site, one that lasted well beyond the election and focused on local news and issues. Not only do I feel disappointed, I feel cheated.
I feel like we were hired to be nothing more than shills for their platform under the guise of a mission focused on creating journalism that was "independent" and for the "common good." If I had been told I was a shill for the Democrats, I never would've written for the site. I guess that's why the CIM told editors and writers that our job was to write about major issues, like the economy and housing, that were important to local readers.
Last December, on the matter of sock-puppetry in general and the Minnesoros "Independent" in particular, I wrote:
Of course they don't tell CIM fellows what to write. The sugar daddies funding the operation already know what will be written. I mean, if you get enough leftybloggers in one room, one thing you can bet they won't do is hammer out a compelling defense of of the flat tax. No, the import of the funding sources relate not so much to the editorial content, but to the blog's raison d'etre. And George Soros doesn't give a flying crap about "citizen journalism" in any sense that it would benefit the public at large. He wants liberals in power, and he wants them left alone. That's it.
Side note: a certain zombie-hating-Paul-Allen-adoring-left-of-center-yet-still-lovable frequent commenter took me to task for this observation. Specifically asking incredulously:
You are saying that political donations may have undue influence on a person?
Given Molly's story, I will preemptively accept his late acquiescence to my point.
We have taken a fair number of shots at Priesmeyer here. She deserved all of them. She didn't deserve this.
With all the slams we take to each other, from the good-natured to the vicious, we should draw the line at a person's well-being. We don't exalt in the loss of some other individual's livelihood. Whatever you may think of Sorosblogging (and if you've read KAR for any amount of time, you know we don't think much of it) that was her livelihood; and she was kicked to the curb in an unceremonious fashion because the propaganda needs of the left wing only require a skeleton crew for the next year or so. And they did so after enticing her in the door with promises of a long-term gig. This should serve as a cautionary tale to any future aspiring rent-a-bloggers. You can take these kind of jobs and claim that you're "independent" and that you can't be bought. Truth is, they already bought you, and you didn't even know it.
I would say that some folks over at the Center for Independent Media ought to be ashamed of themselves, but that would require them to have a capacity for shame. Past shots at Molly aside (we still stand by them), we KARnies wish her well and good luck at finding more - er... reputable employment.
XERXES UPDATE: As an infrequent KARntributor, I should note I divest from my fellow KARnies in one small regard. While it is, indeed, unfortunate Ms. Priesmeyer has been so unceremoniously (though completely predictably) kicked to the curb, it should be stated, for the record, only the most self-delusional of morons can't see what the MinnIndy is, and basically always has been. To stake a long-term career on that flash-in-the-pan "media" arm was, and continues to be, incredibly foolish.
LEARNEDFOOT DEMURES TO XERXES: Only slightly, though. The story here was the utter sliminess of CIM, not Priesmeyer's gullibility. They sold her a bill of goods, and she bought it partly because said goods were offered by fellow travelers. ("How could such enlightened progressives who are always looking out for the little guy possibly ever screw me?") She's not totally blameless for her fate, but that doesn't excuse CIM's quasi-predatory sleaziness. That's the central fact I'd like to keep out there as CIM still is a going concern.