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Emmer chooses donor Tafoya for first one-on-one post-election interview

This might be slightly more interesting in the wake of the Keith Olbermann campaign-contribution flap, but WCCO Radio's Michele Tafoya scored the first post-election, one-on-one interview with the GOP gubernatorial hopeful Tom Emmer today at 4:35 p.m.

Tafoya gave $120 to Emmer's campaign this summer, and also solicited other WCCO employees to give.

Of course, politicians often pick friendlies for first interviews, and unlike MSNBC, WCCO Radio does not prohibit hosts from making political donations.

Still, with a recount looming and Emmer's willingness to go the distance the big question, Capitol correspondents have eagerly sought one-on-ones with the recently reclusive candidate. I'm guessing checkbook journalism might look a wee bit more tempting to some of them right now.

[Hat tip: Blois Olson.]

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Comments (7)

The difference here is not only does WCCO not prohibit hosts from making political contributions, but we're talking two different species here. While Keith Olbermann is considered a journalist, albeit a liberal talking head, Michelle Tafoya is NOT a journalist. She may be a radio talk show host and an interviewer for ESPN, but there is nothing in her background or current work that would qualify her to be considered a journalist.

Only one of the MANY reasons that WCCO has lost a lot of listeners. Oh, for the days of Don Shelby who not only didn't donate, he didn't even vote for fear of appearing biased. And he actually covered "NEWS" not just a bunch of petulant listeners' rants or the "beautiful people".

A whole 120 bucks? Wow, he comes cheap.

the wcco of old actually reported news with little bias and the radio personalities (cannon, roger erickson, et al) kept it light and polked fun at all. the lack of staff for hard news is disappointing and the few who are left are buried. it will be interesting to see what tom has to say on michelle's show and I think most folks get her slant. it is popcorn for the drive home or background noise. I hope tom emmer doesn't question the integrity of our voting system and lets the process finish before hurling any thrash talk. I believe he is big enough to admit Mark Dayton won and the system works.

I beg to differ, Sheila, about whether Tafaoya is a journalist.

The "CBS Minnesota" Web site says she has an honors degree in broadcast journalism from Cal Berkeley (not too shabby), describes her as a "seven-year veteran sideline reporter" with ESPN, and otherwise describes her experience as "host and reporter" and "sports anchor and reporter." Sounds like a journalist doing journalism to me.

And I don't think it can seriously be argued that hosting a radio show and conduting interviews isn't really journalism.

Shelby had the right approach about donating -- don't. Because if you do, it looks really bad when the person you donated to gives you the first interview.

Cheap indeed! Imagine what $2000 from TruckPAC, $2000 from the builders and contractors PAC, or $2000 from the hospital PAC would have bought.

Ronald Reagan was right. "It's been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first."

If you go to the MN campaign finance board website at http://www.cfbreport.state.mn.us, notice that every one of those PACs I listed goes by an acronym that is incomprehensible. In fact, it's dang near impossible to tell who MABC-PAC or MOHPA PAC or MSA-PAC is. They like it that way!

Tafoya's political slant is one reason I will not listen to her show. While I enjoy Don Shelby in small bites, I also pretty much avoided his radio show as well. It had a different slant. WCCO was the leader when it has personalities like Cannon or Boone & Erickson. I don't need sports folks like Tafoya or Barreiro or Dark Star or etc. to inform me about politics. They have given away that authority.

Another difference between Tafoya and Olbermann:

Tafoya was soliciting for contributions in the newsroom.

Olbermann did not; in fact, he made the choice not to mention his contributions on air prior to the election in order to avoid even the appearance of soliciting donations from viewers.

On the bright side, Tafoya (like Olbermann) made the contribution directly, under her own name. Some reporters and TV/Radio hosts funnel their political contributions through family members and anonymous PACs in order to hide them.