Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Wisconsin Press Should Be Ashamed

It turns out that the Wisconsin Press, taking advantage of Chief Erwin's crackdown on free speech, has had one of the full time protestors charged with harassment.

A Capitol police incident report indicates that the criminal charge against Jeremy Ryan, 23, stems from events in early July.

Gwyn Guenther, president of the Wisconsin Capitol Correspondents Association, told Capitol police that Ryan was repeatedly outside the Capitol press room, yelling and disrupting employees, according to the police report.

Guenther also told Capitol police that, at one point, Ryan sang a song mocking her late father, longtime political journalist Dick Wheeler, according to the report.

"I support everyone's First Amendment rights to do freedom of speech, but we have to look at some of the things that are happening here and how people are presenting this First Amendment," said Capitol Police Chief David Erwin.

WISC-TV contacted Guenther for comment but she declined

So Chief Erwin has decided that the first amendment only applies when it is convenient and Gwyn Guenther has decided as a reporter that she has nothing to say about a very important news story.  

Shameful and disgraceful. 

It is no wonder that the state of Wisconsin and politics is the mess it is when our media has so blatantly neglect their responsibilities!

A quick refresher course:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
 Before the righties get their panties in a bunch, this is not an endorsement of Jeremy Ryan.  Its ridiculous to sing a song about someones recently dead father, whoever it is.  However, there is no law on the books that says being a douchebag is illegal.   If there were, Robin Vos and paul ryan would be roommies in Gitmo.   There is also nothing that resembles a journalist in someone who gets a person arrested for what they have to say.  

Chief Erwin has proven himself to be head of the palace guard and disgraces the uniform he wears.  Gwyn Guenther has also proven that she is just there to take dictation and disgraces the profession of journalism.   236 years of people who have been actual independent journalists that have come before her are truning over in their graves at the way the press acts these days!  


  1. It's pretty obvious Jeremy Ryan WANTS to be arrested.He seems to be exercising his Right To Be Arrested. Don't screw with that. You're putting him in a bind now. He wants publicity, but he does NOT want someone interfering with his carefully planned Arrest Scene. If you wanna be helpful, you could probably cut and paste some of his own dialogue from this scene and leave it at that.
    Audience members should not presume to interfere with the meticulously crafted work of Performance Artists. Had you been back-in-the-day, what would you have said - "stop the cameras, Warhol is masturbating"? Look it up. Warhol was a douchebag too, of cosmic proportion. The less attention they get, the better. In ALL cases. Jeremy Ryan only hurts any point you may have about "regular people". Not that I consider those horrible rotunda singer events to be "regular". They could also reflect that DrMLKjr INSPIRED people, he didn't annoy them to death with caterwauling, but i digress.
    Ryan...don't talk about him.
    Cuz, as you said, he's a douchebag and that's what he wants. To funnel attention to himself for purposes of personal narcissism, not to be helpful to any Cause what so ever. You could lay bleeding on the street and he'd turn that around so the camera is on him and his Big Wheel, while you die. Plus, people sucker into giving him money. He's a scammer AND a douchebag. You're giving him free ad-space. (He's also a father, which i find sad.)

    1. I knew that when I wrote this people would jump on Ryan as if he is unique to Madison.

      I think Ryan has been a complete douchebag more often than not, and he has not been relevant for a while, but that being said lets put things in perspective.

      Has he bee na bigger douchebag than say scott walker, Chief Erwing, Robin Vos, The fitzgerald family, Michelle litjens, alberta darking??? Hell no. The difference between this group and them is that they actually have power and set the agenda for our state and ryan has none.

      I have news for you lay bleeding on the street and jeremy is not the only ryan....Paul ryan would get a fox news camera crew there to explain how its all Obama's fault that you are there bleeding on the street & if Mitt was president you would be healthy and dating a supermodel. Then turn off the camera and walk away leaving you still bleeding in the street.

      Also if you think Dr. MLK, jr only inspired then you dont understand who he was. The establishment people despised the hell out of him. They couldnt stand him. Thats why he was out in the streets because the establishment in power hated him and his people and legislated accordingly!

      Also in terms of fatherhood, thank God vos has never procreated but unfortunately for the rest of WI...Litjens, Ryan, Fitzgerald 1 and 2, et al have! Lets not forget Steve nASS who likes to father children then pretend it never happened.

      So please spare me your self righteousness about Jeremy Ryan, this story is not about him at all, no matter how you like to use the fact that he and a handful of others are asses to justify the shameful crackdown on free speech in the People's House!

    2. I agree that the politicians are much more guilty than this particular protester. I am not sure that their being worse makes what he is doing ok.

      I know that innocent people will suffer due to the cuts made by the politicians you mention, let's call them Vos, et al.,
      but, I presume that while some of our reporters are totally biased and deserve a little yelling, others are innocent or at least trying to get the news out. So, I don't think that because Vos is cold-hearted about cutting services to people who need them, that it is ok to blame the press.

      I don't know if I am correct about that but that is my first thought.

    3. What I am saying is that I do not blame the press for Vis beig a douchebag. I am saying that many of those who are self righteous and appalled by the things that Jeremy Ryan does, are huge supporters of the fitzwalkerstan main players and that group if full of HUGE douchebags.

  2. Replies
    1. Has his assistance been cut due to the cuts to Badgercare that were made earlier in the year?

    2. He is not dying. I call total bullshit on that. He's been saying his "final goodbye from his deathbed" (his deathbed, yet!) for what, two weeks now? While appearing at protests, NOT getting checked into St. Mary's hospital after he went there, begging for smokes and weed.

      He claimed to be on his deathbed, seeking hospice, but only if a doc would "admit him into hospice" without looking at his old records or talking with his former doctors. Then he goes to St. Mary's and they won't even admit him as a regular patient, much less do a hospice referral. Do you really not smell the bullshit?

    3. I stand corrected. It's been a week since the "goodbye from my deathbed" letter. But it was a good amount of time before that that he gathered his friends for a "final goodbyes" as he had taken a dramatic turn for the worse, one lung had failed completely, the other was shutting down quickly and there was nothing to be done.

  3. I love the Solidarity Singers, I am not so thrilled with someone who does the actions described here. Singing about someone's dad who passed away to the actual daughter or son, isn't that harassment?

    I get the free speech idea, but if I am on the street and someone comes up and starts singing a song about a family member of mine... hmmm.. I don't know, seems kind of invasive and harrassy to me.

    1. I am not thrilled he did it either. I think its beyond stupid. However I do not think its illegal.

      Just look at how the Supreme Court has ruled for the Westboro baptist Church loons(and they should have). As I said its not illegal to be a douchebag.

      I would think that the members of the press would especially get it and have a huge leeway for free speech even it bugs them personally. However the members of the press have not done so.

      I dont need them to only report stories i agree with, i need them to champion free speech and report stories that are actually happening, irregardless of who it upsets.

    2. I have to agree. The comparison to westboro is pretty apt, except that the westboro folk don't follow their targets around, chasing them down halls, into their offices, getting in their personal space day after day after day. JR does.

      The westboro freaks say their offensive piece at a distance, in a public place, then move on. If they had escalated into, say, following the family of one fallen soldier, taunting them about his death, and making it very difficult for them to conduct their day-to-day business, I don't know that their actions would be protected.

    3. again this post is NOT about Jeremy Ryan. I am going to give him the benefit of the doubt, if he says he has serious health problems I am not going to doubt him. Although that could be why robin vos keeps his distance, we know we he doesnt like to be around people who are sick.

      However I used westboro to point out that freedom of speech must be protected beyond everything. There is no comparison to what these protestors do and what the Westboro church does. NONE.....What the westboro church does is flat out vile. Take away this instance and for the most part what the protestors do is act like douchbags, its not vile.

      many of the things they have been arrested for (and subsequently let off) was things like taking pictures in the gallery of our elected representatives(O the horror) or sitting quietly with a sign, or holding up the Constitution. Arresting them for doing these things is more vile than anything they could say, and the press allowing this to happen unreported or as if there is another side of the story is even worse.

      Finally as for "don't follow their targets around, chasing them down halls, into their offices, getting in their personal space day after day after day. JR does" or "making it very difficult to conduct their day to day business" ..... Give me a break.

      While they should not be allowed to follow them into their offices, when they are in the hallways or the street they are elected officials in public places. Its not like you can just call up Scott Fitzgerald or Robin Vos and get a meeting with them. They are unaccessable and as long as they are unaccessable, for these guys to verbally harass them a little in public well thats the breaks.

      By the way they were last in session in March and have no plans to be back in session until January, what day to day business are they interrupting???

    4. To be fair, Jeremy Ryan's song was intended to mock Gwyn Guenther as not being as good a journalist as her father, though his song was so poorly worded it could easily be taken as gloating over Dick Wheeler's death. The song was so poorly done that you really have to take Jeremy and his friends' word for it that he was criticizing Guenther, and I can certainly understand why people wouldn't give Jeremy the benefit of the doubt.

      Many in the capitol press corps have actually been almost as hostile to the ongoing protests as the Republicans. They've fallen prey to the same bs need as DC journalists to flatter politicians in order to maintain "access," and so the fact that there are now citizens keeping an eye on things is irritating them -- it makes them look bad that they're not covering important things, and they feel they have to sneer at the proles in order to stay on good terms with the powers that be.

      Today's story in the Capitol Times by Steven Elbow was so refreshing in that it actually looked into a lot of the accusations against the citizens who come to the Capitol and found that there's very little to support them -- e.g., there isn't a constant stream of people yelling at legislators and their staffers (though there is one Walker supporter who likes to yell at school kids about how bad Obama is); no one at the blood drive complained about the citizens standing on the other side of the balcony; and all the talk of multiple people going behind staffers' desks and harassing them comes down to one disputed situation of one single person accused of doing that, and the staffer may have been the one to encroach on the other person's space. The fact is, the only real violence has been against the Solidarity Sing Along participants (Tea Partiers knocked a guy's tooth out of whack, an ex state senator ran his wheelchair over people's stuff, a capitol staffer tried to pop a balloon with a knife while the person was holding it [fortunately, the only person he stabbed was himself], and now the absurd overreactions of the Capitol Police).


    5. Thanks Sue and i agree. I documented most of those incidences in my "republican thugs" series both at blogging blue and here.

    6. Sue makes excellent points, as do you, Jeff. The solidarity singers, the assembly photo-takers, etc., that stuff is clearly protected.

      Targeting a reporter whose father recently died and singing about "Dick Wheeler is deeaaaaad" is, imo, not. The disorderly conduct charge seems appropriate - it meets the statutory definition, or at least arguably does so.

    7. Thanks for weighing in. I see where your coming from but i disagree. As a lefty blogger I have had as bad or worse leveled at me and i do not want the anonymous trolls who do it arrested just exposed.

      Look at what the exposure of what JR did has led to even his closest friends and allies disgusted by it. i have no doubt that if the Capitol Press printed much of the everyday goings on that they see, the people would be just as disgusted by many of our reps behaviors.

  4. Agree 100% that the press doesn't appear to be independent at all.