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I'd like to know if Minnick really thinks bloggers are the scum of the earth or it was just this particular blogger.


i'd guess it was probably the way this particular blogger approached him, but running? that's really bizarre.


That was a hilarious video, and some of those politicians spoke as politicians...even the one that said emphatically that Obama was a citizen had to get in his digs as if on a campaign speech.


Dang. Forgot to say something about Minnick...that was a bit bizarre, his running.

I'm so confused by him.

I've seen him up close and personal and he's very inspiring when he speaks. But his voting record just seems a little less inspirational, and is more conservative than his speeches. I wish he would speak to the dichotomy, he has to know we are out here and unhappy, so far.

John Foster

When the guy jumped out with a video camera, Walt assumed he was one of the many 'tracker' types who pretend to be part of some pseudo news organization while harassing people on The Hill. (And as far as bloggers go, remember that Walt is married to one.)

We know some of you are unhappy. I have offered before to do a blogger conference call and got but one taker. Would be happy to set something up again.

By the way, as is made clear in Rocky's post but not clear here on MGR, Walt was already hustling to get to an important markup in the House Financial Services Committee when this guy jumped out. He and the cameraman harassed Walt for several minutes before Walt snapped at them.

It's not unheard of for Walt to double-time it from building to building in order to cram as many things into the day as possible.


Whatever the reason, John, it was bizarre. Stark made clear from the beginning which blogs he was writing for... Huffington Post and FireDogLake aren't some "tracker type, pseudo news organizations." It's also clear from the video that Walt was walking at a brisk pace but didn't break into a trot until Stark began asking questions--and not hard ones; name and district seem to be pretty straight-forward.

I do appreciate that you've got a difficult job and don't envy you one bit.

Jill Kuraitis

Eeehhh....can't agree. Without talking about his politics, just the running thing - the blogger hadn't done his homework and didn't have a clue who Walt was. Ambushing someone at a run and waving a microphone saying, essentially, who the hell are you and what do you think about this (trivial) issue? and then being stupid enough to talk about what good shape Minnick seemed to be in "for someone your age" when Walt ran a marathon just last year --- the blogger was STUPID. That particular blogger did not deserve attention, period. This isn't about bloggers and whether or not we/they should be taken seriously. It's just about that one stupid guy.


The guy never even asked Minnick the question he was asking the other congressmen...he simply asked for his name and district!


I know you're good friends with Walt, Jill, but you have to admit that if Bill Sali had done that we'd all be laughing like hell. We're not laughing now. He could have simply made it a non-issue by giving his name, district and saying, "No, the birther issue is silly." He could have done all of that at his initial brisk pace or even at the trot he broke into later. Running made him look ridiculous.


Did Stark even have the chance to ask him about the birther issue? Seems to me Walt was running for completely different reasons without even knowing the question--progressive blogs much have been wanting to know about progressive causes, right? Hell, if I were Walt I'd be running from that, too. He's not helping us one bit on health care. Or any other Democratic cause that he supposedly was going to vote with the party on when it truly counted...

Jill Kuraitis

MG, Sali would have been funny because he'd look so funny running!
Now that I have to approach politicians and others to get answers to my questions for stories, I've learned what I believe is acceptable and unacceptable, and what others in this media market do, too. To ambush someone - anyone - should only be done when it is a truly important issue, and/or the person being ambushed has been unreachable and possibly hiding something. If a guy with a microphone started running at you like that in, say, a supermarket parking lot, you'd feel assaulted. I can only guess that's the reaction Walt had, especially because in D.C. you get a lot of those guys.


Feeding the lunatic fringe with legislation that reiterates citizenship requirements that are already in the Constitution seems to be an important issue to me. They need quashed, not allowed to continue this insane discussion. Regardless of the birthers, the fact that Minnick knew the camera crew was there while he spent all that time looking at pens says to me he was either hiding or avoiding. I don't think Walt started running just for the hell of it or to get to a vote or because he felt ambushed. I think he started running because he was afraid of the question (which Stark never even got to ask).


Come on Jill, that's a ridiculous comparison; I'm not representing a district in Congress and the supermarket isn't where I do business. Walt does and should expect that people would be asking him questions. I don't know that I want my representative running at the first sight of someone with a camera and a question as easy as what's your name and what district do you represent. Stark announced who he was writing for right up front. Huffington Post and FireDogLake shouldn't scare a Democrat... even a BlueDog.


I'm not understanding Walt's reluctance to say who he was.

[Without talking about his politics, just the running thing - the blogger hadn't done his homework and didn't have a clue who Walt was.]

So the blogger is stupid because Walt & family are friends of yours or because he asked Walt his name? He called him Congressman - what makes you think he didn't know who he was? I'm amazed at the number of Representatives I know just from watching CSPAN, not to mention most of those in the Senate.


thepoliticalgame said: "They need quashed, not allowed to continue this insane discussion."

How do you suggest we do this? Should Congress make a law abridging their freedom of speech on this issue? I say let the Birthers talk; it marginalizes them the same way the 9/11 Truthers are marginalized.

(More on topic, I wouldn't mind seeing Walt personally mock and belittle the Birthers in our midst. He's not going to get their votes anyway.)


If he keeps talking about socialized medicine he might just win over the birthers.


I was initially disturbed by Walt's role in the video. I'm not a fan of this tactic noting that its one that Bill O'Reilly has demonstrated the extent to which it can be utilized unethically. But the question here is a simple one, getting congressmen on record on the birther non-issue. The fact that the blogger didn't even know who Minnick was undermined his credibility and brings into question his motives. But the necessity of this tactic is undermined by the unanimous vote by House members on the resolution on Hawaii's fiftieth anniversary as a state, acknowledging that state as Obama's place of birth.

My main beef with Walt on the video pertained mainly to the visceral way he lit into the blogger. Acknowledging the irony, that struck me as unprofessional for a congressman to talk that way when he confesses ignorance as to the subject matter of the ambush.

As far as the running, Walt wasn't the only one. It seems to be a trained response for freshman on how to deal with this tactic.

I'm with Bubbles on the issue. Sure this in no way should be legitimized by serious treatment, but I don't see it getting any of that. Given the trad med's propensity for being distracted by shiny irrelevant objects, this could be far worse.


So, Sis, you're saying that every blogger should know all 435 members of the House by sight (with their name and district)? Let's see plus the 6 members who don't vote and then the 100 senators? That's a lot of people to remember and this particular blogger set out to talk to Republican congressmen, how was he to know he needed to pass a lineup of 435+ people on camera?

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