Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Death Of Journalism In Fitzwalkerstan

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that a ragtag bunch of people were protesting them. When I read the article and saw who was protesting and why they were protesting, I laughed out loud:
The local group is part of a national effort organized by the Virginia-based conservative watchdog organization, Media Research Center. The center has embarked on a program to "keep media bias out of the 2012 election."

Since 2002, the Media Research Center has received more than $1.5 million in grants from the Milwaukee-based Bradley Foundation.

"The Journal Sentinel never tells both sides of the story and they always show bias," said one of the protesters, Domerica Erskine, 55, a homemaker from Mequon.
Oh, puh-lease!

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, which treats people like Patrick McIlheran, Christian Schneider, Rick Esenberg, and Mike Nichols as credible columnists, cannot be considered left wing (or intelligent) by any stretch of the imagination.

A paper that regularly regurgitates the corporate propaganda promoted by the MacIver Institute, WPRI, and Wisconsin Reporter cannot be considered liberal.

Another fine example is when Journal Communications - the parent company of the paper, TMJ4 and 620TMJ-AM - joined in the McCarthyism by doing their own witch hunt on their own employees:
TODAY'S TMJ4 and Newsradio 620 WTMJ discovered that several members of our staff signed the recall petitions for Governor Walker. Some of those employees play a role in our news-gathering and editorial process. Several of them also work on-air: One at TODAY'S TMJ4; four at Newsradio 620 WTMJ.

We want you to know that we consider this a serious issue. We are in the process of dealing with it internally. Our reputation of being a fair and unbiased news source is of paramount importance to both TODAY'S TMJ4 and Newsradio 620 WTMJ.

We expect anyone involved in the production of news to avoid situations that could compromise our integrity. We don't allow news employees to sign nomination papers for candidates, display yard signs or take part in a political campaign.

However, many employees told us that they felt signing the recall petition was not a political act, but instead felt it was similar to casting a vote. WTMJ does not agree and we want to assure you, our viewers, that we are taking measures to make sure all of our reporting is fair, balanced and to ensure something like this does not happen again.
This is coming from a company that allowed Charlie Sykes to give $1,700 to various GOPers, including $500 to Walker.

This is also the company whose Chairman and CEO, Steve Smith, is an officer of Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce, which actively supported Walker.

Why aren't they reporting on this but are going after the people that chose to exercise their Constitutional rights? It sure isn't because they're a bunch of liberals.

MAL Contends has more on Journal Communications flagrant hypocrisy on this. And for good measure, Jud Lounsbury turns the light on the Wisconsin State Journal and their double standards.

But what MJS lacks in integrity and balanced reporting, they make up for by being wildly inaccurate.

Case in point: On their website, they have an article trying to make a normal primary look like it's an internal war among Democrats, Unions and others. Not only does it show their bias in trying to conflate things to much larger proportions than they really are, but they originally included this paragraph:
AFSCME Council 24 also has promoted a video by union activist Chris Liebenthal that suggested Barrett supported Walker's repeal of collective bargaining, even though the mayor consistently said that proposal should not pass. In an interview Friday, Falk declined to say what she thought of the criticism of Barrett.
Well, that was news to me!

Yes, I did post the video in question. But as I told PolitiFact reporter Jim Nelson, I did not create nor edit the video. Mr. Nelson reported it correctly in his column.  Doesn't the paper have fact checkers anymore?

ADDENDUM: I had sent an email to the reporters who wrote the story, Patrick Marley and Jason Stein, pointing out their inaccurate reporting. Much to his credit, Mr. Marley responded promptly saying he corrected the online article and that a correction in the print copy will be forthcoming.

The sad part is that it won't keep the likes of Charlie Sykes from running with something they know to be factually incorrect and running with it.

And if it's not inaccurate or biased reporting, one has to take into account what they don't report.

I cannot count the times that I have conversations with someone, even to this day, about Scott Walker's dismal record as Milwaukee County Executive, only to have them say, "I didn't know that! Why wasn't it reported?"

Let be clear on one thing. As the example with Mr. Marley shows, there are many good journalists out there that do try their best to be as objective and factual as possible in their reporting.  No one is perfect and mistakes do happen.  But you'll notice by the examples I cited above that, it's often the people that control what gets published and how it's presented that is the real problem.

To call any news source in Fitzwalkerstan as being liberal is laughable at best.  And until the likes of MJS start coming clean with their corporate biases, expect a lot more reporting on it from bloggers such as myself, calling them out on their misrepresentations.

And until they start allowing the real news to be published honestly and objectively, be careful of what you read in them.


  1. The other half of the story is the way the right-wing "news services" simultaneously exploit the way newspapers and television will cheerfully reprint their press releases without verification, while accusing said media of being biased and inept. And then that accusation becomes another story they'll publish. It's the old "stop hitting yourself" trick.

  2. I think they are creating "cover" for their continued right wing bias. Although they don't report on the larger left protest of the paper or it affiliates they do on the right....why?

  3. They are printing what makes their side look good. The fact that average people are noticing that they are biased is either a miracle, or maybe just shows how extreme the positions of those of on the right are. They really just have to report the facts for us to see they are extreme.

    -Lifting the income cap on vouchers while cutting funds to schools and claiming the state is broke.
    -watching the Joint Finance Committee on Wisconsin Eye, watching them turn down amendments to the budget repair bill
    -allowing guns in the capitol, but not cameras

  4. If anyone can cite dates/times/content of Charlie Sykes' on-air lies, please report the detail online to On-air lies are frowned upon (to say the least) by the FCC and can result in huge fines for the radio station. Charlie Sykes is entitled to say whatever he likes -- except lies. Use the lies to get his hate radio show off the air. Please report the detail of his lies immediately to It just takes a minute or two of your time.

  5. Weird karma, isn't it, that promoting a lying video gets you lied about as producing a lying video?

    It's hard to know which is worse -- not just for you and for the JS but more so for the rest of us who just want to get Walker out as governor. Instead, we see those who ought to be working together to do so are working to give Walker more lies to bring down the winner of the Dem primary.

    1. And how does a discussion of the issues prevent us from working together. The only people that have expressed fear of an open discussion are Barrett's people. Why would that be?