Sunday, March 25, 2007

Ament Redux: Is The Annette Ziegler Uproar The Latest Example of New Media Leading The Old?

Former Milwaukee County Executive Tom Ament's fall from grace, and office, in the wake of the pension scandal, began with stories on web sites run by Gretchen Schuldt ( and Bruce Murphy (

But not until the so-called mainstream media picked up and pushed the story across the front pages, especially in The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel did Ament and several county board supervisors lose their positions.

The Ziegler conflict-of-interest story that dominates the current State Supreme Court race could be playing itself out along the same lines.

The news about the dozens of cases that Ziegler managed in Washington County Circuit in which she should have removed herself because of family connections or stock ownership began on a website,, spread to the blogger Jay Bullock, and landed in repetitive stories in the mainstream media.

The Wisconsin State Journal's Dee Hall has been the story's leading, traditional news reporter, and recounts the chronology in yet another Sunday story.

We'll know on election day - - April 3rd - - if the disclosures were consequential enough to knock out Ziegler, the primary winner.

Either way, the alternative electronic media continues to grow in stature when it does serious investigative reporting, though its punch is amplified when traditional media checks out the information, finds it credible and decides to advance it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

on a national scale, talking points memo birddogged the abu gonzales / us attorney crime and firedoglake was all over the outing of valerie plame treasonous act by the bushnazis.

good to see at the local / regional level !!!