Tuesday, November 7, 2017

WI Media Fail - Updated

By Jeff Simpson

One of the many reasons that Scott Walker has been able to run roughshod over our great state is that the Wisconsin Media, who are entrusted to bring us the unvarnished truth to keep our democracy going, has let us down.   

Let's look at a couple recent examples. 

1.  Scott Walker announced, what everyone knew, that he would be running for a third term in office.  The Capital Times had the story:

"For me, it really doesn't matter who comes out of that primary; it’ll be more of the same," Walker said. "It’ll be about as clear a contrast as you can get between continuing to move forward or moving backwards."
What gives Walker pause, he said, is not the candidates running against him, but the national groups that will likely spend money in hopes of defeating him. Those include the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, backed by former President Barack Obama and former Attorney General Eric Holder, and the Service Employees International Union.

Let's take a quick look at the Recall:

The top outside groups for Walker were:
Right Direction Wisconsin, created by the Republican Governor's Association (RGA), which gave $8.7 million.
Billionaire David Koch, one of the main backers of Americans for Prosperity. He gave $1 million to the RGA.
Americans For Prosperity (AFP), a conservative group linked to David and his brother Charles Koch, spent $3 million. Tim Phillips, president of Americans for prosperity told CBS News that beyond airing ads, his group sent 75 trained staffers into Wisconsin to knock on doors for Walker.
In addition, AFP spent $7 million promoting Walker's agenda last year, launching an ad campaign just two days after the governor introduced legislation ending collective bargaining for public unions.
Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (affiliated with the Chamber of Commerce), spent $2 million for Walker.
The anti-union Center for Union Facts spent $1 million, the National Rifle Association spent $800,000, and the Tea Party Express spent $400,000.

Apparently, national groups spending money FOR Scott Walker is to be expected and logical, national groups spending money against him....that makes him aghast he does not quite understand that.     We will never know because during the interview with the Cap Times, no one dared question him on the fact that he has been the recipient of an incredible largess of spending from outside groups but he is worried that it might be too much for him to overcome in a bid for re-election.   

When you put that in a story, without challenging it, you are essentially taking dictation.  

2.  The Wisconsin state Journal allows a republican ridiculous attack on Tony Evers.

Ever since State Superintendent Tony Evers launched his gubernatorial campaign, Republicans have been hammering him over his role in a 2009 case that rocked a Dane County school districtinvolving a middle school teacher who looked at pornography during school hours.
Republicans last week and again on Monday used the case to argue that Evers, who did not revoke the teacher’s license, is unfit for the job he wants to take away from Gov. Scott Walker, and there’s no sign the issue will go away before the August primary election.

If a tree falls in the forest and there is no one there to hear it does it make a noise? 

If the WISGOP tries to make an issue of something that is complete and utter Bullshit is it an actual issue?  

That is a question we will never know, because every time the WISGOP through something against the wall, the Wisconsin Media cant regurgitate it enough.   

The issue will not go away, because every time the WISGOP brings it up, the media will continue to report it and get "both sides" like it is a legitimate issue.   

To be fair here to Molly Beck though, she did go into detail why this story is BS: 

Evers maintains he didn’t have the legal authority to revoke Andrew Harris’ license because the teacher’s actions didn’t involve children — a “loophole” in state law he worked with lawmakers to fix in 2011 because of the case.
“It did not fit the law,” Evers said on Friday, dismissing the continued criticism of his decision. “So, therefore we recognized the problem and we fixed it by working with legislators to change the law.”
Tony Evers had no standing whatsoever, under the law, to revoke this teachers license and the fact that Scott Walker asked him to, to score political points shows Walkers ignorance and lack of respect for the law.    

Evers then worked bipartisanly with the legislature to get the law changed so in the future he could.  

Although since this happened, the legislature was so worried about cases like this they extremely relaxed teacher licensing guidelines.   

After a long drawn out process, and after it went through numerous court systems, this teachers firing was overturned to a suspension  The teacher is now still in the district, in a new position, at a different school and the district is happy to have him back:

Meanwhile, the district that spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to fire H**** now backs him and challenged Republicans’ suggestion that children are unsafe in his classroom because of Evers’ decision.
“We are absolutely not concerned. The case was never about that,” Middleton-Cross Plains district spokesman Perry Hibner said, adding the teacher “has done great work since his return, as his students and their families will attest. We have moved ahead and our focus continues to be on making sure every student feels included and inspired every day.”  

While the school district wants to inspire kids, the WISGOP of Leah Vukmir, Scott Walker, Mark Morgan, etc, do not care who gets hurt, or what the facts are they just want to make sure to score political points everyday.   

Let's hope that this story never gets put in the local media again after today and that the media stops printing the outright falsehoods for one side, as if they are credible reports that need to be addressed.   

Edit note - update:  What happens when the media fail, and do not bring people the news?  They become less relevant, and like most of corporate America, the execs make more money and the workers pay the price.   

The Wisconsin State Journal on Oct. 31 parted ways with two veteran journalists in the latest round of downsizing of the already bare-bones staff at the newspaper, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the situation.
Photo editor Steve Apps and assistant city editor and Beer Baron columnist Chris Drosner confirmed to Isthmus they are no longer employed at the newspaper. Both declined to comment further, citing the terms of their separation agreements.  

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