Minnesota Public Radio sent us one of the weirdest legal threats we've ever received (and they won't explain it)

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/11/18/i-am-a-lawer.html

On October 1, Minnesota Public Radio’s Cody Nelson published a really important story about student debt; on October 4, I summarized the article and linked to it here, crediting Nelson and MPR.

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Rocky Rothrock? That’s not a real name. They’re just pulling your leg and seeing if they can get you to quote it.

May have well as signed it Dash Riprock or I. C. Wiener - I can’t believe you fell for it. :grin:

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I’m pretty sure that he’s a lithoid Viking. “The Basalt Berserker”, they call him.

A bit less mobile than the usual sort, since longships aren’t really up to the task of carrying loads that aren’t even close to neutrally bouyant; but nearly unstoppable in battle and a heart of stone.

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Minnesota Public Radio- where all the PR hacks are responsive, all the lawyers are highly qualified and all the threats are above-board.

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Minnesota nice.

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They’ve got a lot of time on their hands now that Garrison Keillor is retired.

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Sounds like Rocky Rothrock was passing by the break room the other day when he overheard an MPR payroll administrator ask “What the heck does a ‘senior paralegal’ do, anyhow?”

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Rocky Rothrock is not only a real name but it’s very American name and after a quick internet search you see that multiple people have it. See Kevin Bridges and the party at Chad Hogan’s place and how he met a real Chad Hogan and went to a party.

I hope the MPR rethinks its threat and drops it instead of doubling down.

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Your irony meter may need an adjustment.

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Multiple people with the last name Rothrock get nicknamed “Rocky” anyway.

It makes it even weirder that the paralegal sends legal threats without using his legal name.

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“I had been listening to music on Minnesota Public Radio for years. Then I became a member. Now, I have the privilege of corresponding and chatting with listeners from our region and around the world. Each day I get to speak with MPR listeners who share my passion for music of all types - what a wonderful job!”

(I hope it’s okay that I quoted this.)

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“Listener Services Associate” no less.

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If it’s the name he goes by, it’s his legal name. It would only be a “non-legal” name in specific situations like this if it’s proven somehow to be an attempt to obscure his identity, not confirm it.

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I just want to see him run up the Art Museum Steps.

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image

I suppose you think it’s easy to find work after you retire from a lucrative martial arts action movie career? Cynthia Rothrock trained her whole life to be aggressive, can we blame her if she’s a little overzealous in her new profession?

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In Minnesota, we are extreme public radio philes. MPR isn’t just a institution, it’s a major component to our democracy here, helping us stay informed by way of one of the states most lauded newsrooms.

It’s also the source of much nationally produced programming and one of the BEST modern music stations (as well as a classical one). It has one of the few statewide public radio networks that covers better than 90% of Minnesota.

Which is why shit like this makes me absolutely LIVID. They should know better than petty bullshit than this. As a supporter and member, I’ll be making my dissatisfaction known to them.

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Perhaps MPR has been sabotaged from within, sort of like what happened when some pro-forced birth advocates were hired on at the Susan B. Komen Foundation and almost brought it down.

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Something like that would be my Occam’s Razor guess. An inexperienced and inadequately trained paralegal did something foolish on his own without checking and now station management is just trying to ignore it and hope Cory goes away so they don’t have to cashier Rocky Rothrock. Hopefully Rothrock has been instructed not to repeat the error.

Even so, it’s not prudent to completely ignore legal threats, even spurious threats, and Cory is doing the smart thing documenting it just in case it does turn out that MPR has gone rogue.

It will be interesting to see what happens next. Will MPR continue to ignore Cory’s inquiries? Will MPR file a SLAPP suit and spend listener-support money taking a fellow journalist to court for a frivolous suit they’d clearly lose? Minnesota appears to have a relatively weak anti-SLAPP law, but it does have one, so they may even be on the hook for the defense’s legal fees. Or worst of all, will they double-down and make Trumpian-level spurious legal threats of libel?

Ordinarily I love watching legally-inept trolls’ arrogant ignorance backfire, but it would be a genuine tragedy if a great public journalistic institution chose to drag its credibility and solvency through the dirt like that.

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