Friday, September 28, 2012

Well, Hello Wausau!

Here at Cog Dis, we not only break the news, we make the news.

Last weekend, I posted the raw footage, taken at great risk of life and limb, of Sean Duffy trying to boost morale of party members at a WISGOP strategy summit.

That post, and the video, was picked up by Robert Mentzer, Opinion Editor for the Wausau Daily Herald.

First off, I'd like to thank and commend Mr. Mentzer for the reference. That is something that most media outlets don't do.

When I broke the story of Sean Duffy and his supporters, including his wife, Rachel, harassing his political opponent at a teahadist rally two years ago, several media outlets picked up on my story, but not one gave me the credit for breaking the story or citing me has their source.

That said, I also want to point out a snippet from Mr. Mentzer column which I found to be not only interesting but insightful:
I recommend that you take a listen to the tape because it’s interesting. But I admit that part of me wonders what we really get out of these sorts of illicit-seeming secret-hidden-camera videos. We assume that something a politician says in a closed room is more true than something a politician says in the open, but why should that necessarily be the case? It’s not as if this video — or, for that matter, the Romney “47 percent” video — captured the politician alone with his thoughts, or speaking to trusted advisers. Closed doors or not, both men were speaking to an audience, and if I know politicians that means both were still feeling that magnetic pull to pander and self-aggrandize.

The presidential race in Wisconsin is going to be tight. It’s going to be a 1 point to 2 point race either way. That could easily be true. But it also is exactly what you would want to tell a room full of activists for your side, isn’t it? Seems to me we’re left back where we started, not knowing quite what to make of what’s on that hidden camera.


  1. Intriguing article. The writer hits upon quite a pervasive threat to our democracy.

    All pols will pander, but when one runs on persuasive us versus them rhetoric alone and wins - we have no trace of policy platforms they will champion to represent the true interests of our state. And they are free to parcel off our democracy as they see fit!

  2. This has been an interesting couple of weeks for hidden-video. I too broke a video this past weekend, got on the rec-list at Daily Kos with the Tommy Thompson "do away with Medicaid & Medicare" at, conspicuously crediting my co-conspirators. Then ThinkProgress cut-and-pasted my transcript without crediting me, and things went viral from there.

    Good on you for breaking the Duffy video, good on Mentzer for giving you credit, and a great big raspberry to the outlets who lifted your work and mine without attribution. Plagiarism is never in season.