Monday, May 11, 2009

It's Not What He Said, It's What He Said He Said

Last week, Aaron M. Rodriguez put up another attempt to try to clarify the ever-changing position that Scott Walker has towards stimulus funding. I would have written this sooner, but I couldn't stop laughing every time I read it until now.

He desperately tries, and fails, to parse the reporting from Steve Schultze of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. While I am no fan of Schultze, it is because he usually is in the bag for Walker and fails to ask the tough questions or to point out the hypocrisies that Walker spews out. Schultze basically takes whatever soundbite or press release Walker gives him and runs with it unquestioningly.

Rodriguez, on the other hand, seems to be perturbed for the same reason. He complains that Schultze's reporting is too accurate.

In his writing, Rodriguez repeats the spiel that Walker didn't say what he said, even though we all know better than that. Rodriguez than follows up with Walker's "acceptance criteria" for accepting stimulus dollars. What he fails to mention (willfully fails, no doubt) is that Walker didn't have the authority to set any criteria. Setting policy is the County Board's responsibility, which they quickly pointed out to him. Rodriguez seems to also miss the fact that Walker was very passive aggressive with doing his job until he was threatened with a court action to order him to do his job.

But the real funny part comes in at the end, with Rodriguez' conclusion (emphasis mine):
When it came to accepting stimulus funds, Scott Walker did not back pedal, did not hedge, and did not flip-flop. The core of Walker’s conservatism requires that he keep a keen eye on spending because ultimately, he is the taxpayer’s advocate. His obligation to the taxpayer does not prohibit accepting federal money if no new spending is mandated. If Schultze had understood this from the onset, Walker would not have been pigeonholed into such a fixed and restricted position. Journalist Steve Schultze dropped the ball by reporting his own rendition of Walker’s fiscal conservatism instead of listening to Walker’s narrative.
Ignoring the facts that Walker did indeed flip flop, repeatedly; that Walker has also repeatedly tried to waste our money by doing things like wanting to move the mental health complex into a building that is older, in worse shape, and would have cost a lot more money; and that all of Walker's supposed acceptable funding projects are in direct violation of his own criteria, Rodriguez spells out what the Walker faithful must do in that highlighted sentence.

They must ignore what Walker actually says, but listen to what he says he said.


  1. So a journalist has to ignore the facts and blindly accept the spin to accurately report news?

    The J-S just can't win. If they do their job, they alienate the morons. But if they keep subtly (and not-so-subtly) moving to the right, they further erode their existing reader base. And we wonder why the entire industry is failing?