***
Update, 21 Oct 2012: After a conversation with MPR earlier today, the MPR story now reads:

Tommy Johnson, who blogs under his nickname “Two Putt Tommy,” said he has never hidden his identity on the Internet. Shelly Mategko, who blogs as Keewatin Rose, also does not hide her identity.

I appreciate MPR updating their story.

***

I saw the Minnesota Public Radio headline yesterday: “Dem. PR consultant created alternate identity to promote clients” by MPR Reporter Catherine Richert, who has carved a niche for herself as MPR’s “Fact Checker. Imagine my surprise, when I read this:

A call to the Barnes campaign was answered by Dybvig’s wife and Barnes campaign manager, McLoone. Asked if she thought her husband’s activities were unethical, McLoone said the situation isn’t unusual.

“What I know is that on blogs people always have their [blog] name, like Keewatin Rose or Two Putt Tommy, so it’s done all the time,” she said.

OK, what’s the title of Richert’s story again? “Dem. PR consultant created alternate identity to promote clients” (emphasis added).

What is my name doing in this story? I certainly don’t use an “alternate identity” – as evidenced by a screenshot of my Twitter page:

Oh, wait – McCloone said “(blog) name.” So, what’s it say here, on my bio page, here on MPP?

I don’t go by “Two Putt Tommy” to hide my identity; I use “TwoPuttTommy” to PROMOTE my identity; it’s my “brand.”

Liz McCloone tossing out my name in response to Richert’s question is a false equivalency – as is McCloone’s tossing out “Keewatin Rose.” Here’s a screen shot of Shelly Matego’s Twitter page:

As I understand it, Shelly’s father gave her that nickname back in the…. well, many years ago. No point pointing out Shelly’s youth!

Here is the point: McCloone used a false equivalency and the alleged MPR Fact Checker didn’t fact check the accuracy of McCloone’s claim.

So I called The Fact Checker – Richert – to ask my name be taken out of that story because it’s a false equivalency that isn’t true; therefore, it isn’t germane to the story.

Richert stated she was sticking to it, because “McCloone said it. If you have a problem with it, call McCloone.”

WHAT??!?

Followed up with an email:

Catherine,

Before I hit the publish button, I’d like to ask if you think it’d be fair to characterize your response as to why you included Liz McCloones’ quote in your story as: “Because she said it.”

Tommy Johnson

Followed up with another phone call; Richert is sticking to her story and won’t pull my name (which, I assume, means Richert won’t pull KeewatinRose’s either). The amazing thing about this? Richert has MET me. If anyone should know I don’t “hide” behind a “alternate identity” – it’s a reporter that’s met me.

Personally, the idea that a “Fact Checker” wouldn’t fact check a claim by the subject of a false identity story, and still stands by the story, turns this “reporter” into a “repeater.”

I’m giving MPR’s Fact Checker an “F” on this aspect of her story.

(cross posted at MnProgressiveProject.com; comments welcome there)

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