Sunday, May 20, 2012

At Long Last, David Haynes, Have You No Sense Of Decency?

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, despite promising that they would never endorse a candidate in a recall, came out with their endorsement for the recall.  Seeing as they are the epitome of corporate media, it is no surprise that they endorsed the corporate choice of Scott Walker.  Even though it's no surprise, it's still disappointing and only confirms that MJS has become nothing more than the propagandists one finds at MacIver or Wisconsin Reporter.

Of course, this endorsement, should come as no surprise by the same paper that endorsed Joseph McCarthy and still embrace his philosophy and tactics to this day.

Sadly, the disappointment I feel for MJS does not stop at their disingenuous endorsement.

It is the fact that they flat out lie in order to support their endorsement.

First, they falsely claim that the recall is a one-issue affair, stemming from the attack on workers rights.  While that might have been the initial outrage, it is far from being the only one.  With their assertion that it is only about Act 10, they have disrespected women, children, the unemployed, the elderly, the poor, the disabled and the millions of other Wisconsinites, who have felt misery because of Walker's maleficent ideology.  And this doesn't even go on to discuss the damage done to the judicial process, the rule of law, the environment, or integrity and transparency in government.

Their endorsement then really goes for the bizarre when they say that, while Walker went to far with Act 10, they agree that he should have spent more time justifying it.

Excuse me, but what?!  He didn't even mention he was going to do Act 10.  And yes, he admitted this fact, under oath, before a congressional committee.

The lies continue when they blame the downturn in jobs on the fact that Walker "overpromised" the number and on the protests.  They say that the "yearlong tantrum" was harmful.  Again, they minimize the people of Wisconsin, including their own readers, who stood up against those that would strip them of their rights.

They also claim that Walker's policies aren't to blame for the job loss, saying it's not been long enough.  Herr
Environmental spread less effluence on those fields than the editorial board does with this line.  It takes about three to six weeks for policies to kick in, less for parts of the budget, which were felt immediately.  For them to ignore this fact is the height of intellectual dishonesty.

They then use a couple of paragraphs with Walker's false talking points, such as balancing the budget (Walker admitted he didn't) and not raising taxes (he did, especially on the poorest of the poor).  These lies have been repeated so often, people pay them as much attention and believe them as much as a toothpaste company claiming four out of five dentists say their product is best.

But then comes the part of their endorsement that really chafes my arse:
Democrats claim the recall election is about far more than Act 10. The most serious of the charges on their bill of particulars is the ongoing John Doe investigation being conducted by the Milwaukee County district attorney's office. The investigation, which has been going on for nearly two years, has looked into a variety of activities during the time Walker was county executive. Prosecutors have charged three ex-Walker aides and two others; more charges may be coming. Walker has set up a legal-defense fund.

But the governor has insisted that he is not a target of the investigation and that he is cooperating. While the investigation surely is troubling, no evidence revealed so far implicates Walker. Overzealous political associates sometimes get in trouble. The John Doe probe doesn't justify a vote against the governor.
They know damn well better than that!

First of all, we know that Walker has met with the Walkergate investigators within the past two weeks.  I've also heard that he has met with the U.S. Attorney in the past two weeks as well.

And what is this malarkey about "overzealous political associates?"  They didn't even provide that much cover for Richard M. Nixon.  They also overlook the fact that Tim Russell and Walker have been very close friends for decades.  You can describe their relationship in many ways, but political associates would be about as inaccurate and dishonest as possible.

Secondly, he is no longer cooperating.  In fact, he's taken a whole different tone, going from his lies of cooperation to being openly defensive.  Actually, we also know that the establishment of the legal defense fund is basically an admission that he and his henchmen are under investigation.

But the biggest lie at all that they tell is that there is "no evidence revealed that implicates Walker."  May I present Evidence #1?

This email was sent from Walker's campaign email account to Tim Russell's address.  It was sent three months after Russell left the county executive's office to become the Director of Housing in a whole separate building a mile away.  As the gentle reader can plainly see, it clearly shows that Walker not only knew of the illegal campaigning, he was in charge of it and ordered it stopped when Darlene Wink was outed.

Also note that Walker's concern wasn't that anything illegal was going on in his office.  His sole concern was that it reflected badly on his campaign.  This only reinforces the argument that Walker not only knew about the campaigning, but was directing it.

Now, I respect the First Amendment Right of Free Speech and Freedom of the Press as much as anyone and probably more than most.  I have no problems with the editorial board stating their opinion.

But they can't have their own facts.  For them to hold forth these easily belied falsehoods as truisms is an insult to their readers and an open rejection of any sort of journalistic integrity.

And seeing how David Haynes is the chair of the editorial board, I hold him personally accountable.

If Haynes wants to stand with Walker, so be it. But does he feel strongly enough to fall with Walker too?  When Walker is indicted, and he will be, will Haynes offer a public apology and resign from his position?

Given his dishonesty and hypocrisy, I would guess not.

PS: I'd cancel my subscription to this rag, but I had dropped them years ago.  I thought about resubscribing just to have the satisfaction to cancel them again, but frankly, they're not worth wrapping fish in, much less going through all that.


  1. Oh come on, the paper is excellent for wrapping fish, housebreaking puppies and it burns real nice for starting charcoal. Give it it's due.

  2. I don't know, Gareth, I wouldn't burn that paper to start a barbecue...I don't want anything that toxic near food.

  3. There are some good articles in the paper and certain sections are interesting. But, this endorsing Walker again is too much.

  4. If I owned a newspaper, and a candidate had friends that might sway some cash my way especially, I would endorse the candidate.

    Don't blame the newspaper company for wanting to get on the good side of the guy with the connections to money.

    1. So in other words, you would abandon your ethics and your duty for some lucre. That is really, really sad.

  5. Then that makes you an unethical person. Just so you know, your parents failed to raise you properly.

  6. Add this to the list of this paper's horrendous endorsements not only of Joe McCarthy but also of . . . read on:

    Hitler Arrives

    Adolf Hitler, the Austrian born house painter, becomes chancellor of Germany. Two years ago the news would have shocked the rest of the world and been marked by a heavy fall on security exchanges. For Hitler then stood for instability. His "program" was a collection of bait to catch the minds of the discontented and suffering. It had patches from the Italian Fascists and the Socialists, proposals that could never be reconciled. The German government under Hitler's program at that time would have become either crazy or a return to monarchy, threatening economic stability, threatening the peace of the world.
    Today we can look calmly on the accession of Hitler. For one thing, it had become inevitable; the man had to be tried to end his constant threat to every other ministry. For another thing, Hitler is better understood now. His talk often reached the emptiness of mere raving, but he was putting himself on the political map. He needed a following to make him at all important. Now he uses that following, as many another has, to make deals and trades. Hitler attains position as a result of fusion with the Hugenberg Nationalists, the Seldte Steel Helmets, the somewhat hazy Van Papen group. It is a tamed and compromising Adolf Hitler who takes office.
    Germany may suffer from this change. Her burdened people may be appealed to in a spirit of swashbuckling patriotism to make further sacrifices and pay for an army and a navy. Saber-rattling may be used to distract attention from internal evils. A monarchy even may be attempted, or actually set up. Such are the growing pains of democracy. But the cooling power of responsibility, coupled with the dampening power of having to compromise, may be counted on to sober Hitler – or else produce a reaction that will displace him.
    Hitler had enough of the peculiar quality of magnetism to make him inevitable. It is strange, when we come to think of it, that we can recount the experiments of nations and still each nation must try its own. France has fluctuated between the supposed radicalism of Herriot and the Poincare conservatism – and not found a great difference. Britain has tried first Baldwin, the MacDonald and compromised on both at once. Ireland was granted everything except De Valera, but had to have De Valera, too, without any great gain or loss apparent. Germany has to try Hitler, without much prospect that his accession to power will mean great changes.

    -- "Hitler Arrives.” The Milwaukee Journal, 30 January 1933, p.8.

    And yes, we here in this household have had some fun replacing the name of the subject of this editorial with the name of Walker. Y'know, as in the Journal prediction that accession to power would not mean great changes. . . .

    1. Got a link or pdf for that?

    2. No pdf, as I transcribed it some time ago. But this takes you to archived MJ's:

      In return, I'd appreciate the date of the Joe McCarthy endorsement; I've skimmed through some issues in fall of 1946 but it's slow going.

  7. Actually, you got me there. I don't have a date, but I'll try to find it.

  8. Sometimes I think the recall movement just needs to run ads relentlessly shooting down Walkers initial BIG LIES:
    - the budget is NOT balanced
    - Wisconsin was NEVER broke
    If people just understand that much, maybe it will help them see how everything else Walker tells them is also unreliable.

  9. Do we really think this fiction can go on for much longer? The Barrett campaign should not run any ads. Just keep showing the phone call from the Buffalo Beast. That this contest is even close shows you how undereducated our fellow Wisconsinites are. The man should have resigned and gone into hiding after call was publicized. Shameful charlatan parading as a politician