Thursday, November 22, 2012

MJS, David Haynes Still Can't Be Honest About Walkergate

The editorial board of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, led by David Haynes, finally got around to addressing the Walkergate story...sort of.

They have two major flaws with their editorial.

One is the part where they wrote this:
Among the unanswered questions: Has the 2½-year-old John Doe investigation run its course? If not, where might it go from here? The district attorney isn't saying. So far, four people have been convicted.

While there may be nothing illegal about any of what Landgraf says happened, the alleged activities inside the courthouse are the antithesis of good government. And they appear to violate Walker's pledge to separate his work as county executive from the campaign.
Do you see their contradictory statements?

First, they acknowledge that four people, including Darlene Wink and Kelly Rindfleisch, have been convicted. In the next sentence, they say there might not be anything illegal about what happened.

Excuse me, but if it weren't illegal, people wouldn't have been arrested, tried and convicted. Duh! Obviously, what they did was indeed and most emphatically illegal.

The other major problem throughout their editorial can be exemplified by their last paragraph:
We have no idea if there is more here than meets the eye. But what's clear from the emails is that Walker's campaign staff was helping to manage county government for the benefit of only one citizen - Scott Walker. How is that acceptable conduct?
I'm sure the gentle reader has noted that Haynes and company refers to Walker's campaign staff. However, they omit the fact that Walker was an active player in these emails and media group.

They include Walker's name in the list of the members of Walker's "Campaign Group." So why did they not include his role in the fact that the campaign was running the county, but rather blame just his staff? The only logical conclusion is that they omitted it intentionally to deliberately mislead their readers by downplaying Walker's role in this.

Perhaps Haynes and the rest of the editorial board should also be reminded of this statement from Walker:

"Anything that happens in the county, the buck stops with me."
Apparently that doesn't hold true to illegal campaigning, either by Walker or the editorial board.

I won't pretend to know what their motivation for lying to their readers is. It could be because they don't want to eat crow after endorsing Walker twice. It could be that they are being good little corporate media serfs. Or it could be something else entirely.

What I find disconcerting is that, even though they've had a significant drop in subscribers over recent years, there are way too many people who rely on the paper as their only news source. These people are unaware that they are being lied to on a daily basis.

I can't help but wonder if the paper would be honest and objective in their reports and editorials, whether Walker would have even remained in office as county executive, much less ever see the governor's mansion as anything but a tourist.

But to be fair, I have to give Haynes and his colleagues credit on one thing.

Even though their representation of the story was false and misleading, at least they admitted its existence. If someone relied on one of the other propagandists, like Brian Sikma, Owen Robinson, James Wigderson, et alia, for their news, they wouldn't even know that Walkergate existed.


  1. The MJS concentrates on what is probably legal, Walker getting help running the County.

    However, the illegal part, the County paid staff assisting the campaign, they ignore.

    County staff destroying any evidence of negligence or culpability in the death from the collapse of the parking structure is not an appropriate task for a public servant but it benefited the campaign so that time should be considered illegal assistance to the campaign.

  2. The buck stops with Walker because he has no one to pass it on to. Someone may, of course, be stupid enough to not pass it on to him in the first place.
    It'll be a funny time to grow a spine, though.