Late Friday, I received an email tip: Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson had fired spokesperson Brian Bergson because he couldn’t weaken a negative Minnesota Monthly piece on her.
Capping her flack for not alchemically turning bad news good would be a particularly vivid confirmation of the chatter.
That said, I’ve actually never met or spoken to Swanson, and certainly wasn’t willing to just go on my acquaintances’ biases. Her office was closed when I called, so I left a message at Bergson’s house seeking confirmation, figuring I could publish something Monday.
But on Sunday, I read the same tip, practically word-for-word, in a GOP blog, Drew Emmer’s Wright County Republican:
Good thing I waited. Turns out the tip is bull.
The AG’s office called me Monday morning, insisting Bergson had left on such good terms Swanson will be at his wedding party this weekend.
Bergson (who’d been deer hunting over the weekend) then called to explain he’d been in the public sector his whole life, but with a new wife and hopefully a family, he wanted some private sector coin.
He’s starting at the St. Paul PR firm Goff & Howard Dec. 1, a deal that had been in the works for about a month. I called a friend to double-check for possible spin, and was told the timeline checked out.
And Emmer apparently, if passively, agrees. He’s killed the link to his original blog item without explicitly correcting the record on his site.
[Update: Emmer has now posted a retraction, replete with apology and attorney’s letter]
By the way, Minnesota Monthly editor Andrew Putz says he does have a Swanson profile scheduled for January, which will be thoroughly and fairly reported. If nothing else, I hope this weekend’s bad info sells a few more copies of the magazine’s researched info.