John Doe Journalism
The Journal Sentinel ran most of this recent blog item of mine below on the editorial page today. Here is the full item:
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker claimed at the end of the week that an investigation by a bi-partisan group of prosecutors into possible campaign law violations during his 2012 recall campaign was over.
But the case is not over. It is continuing, as PolitiFact explained, after Walker's assertion:
His characterization is misleading at best. The investigation has been stopped, for now, under one judge’s ruling.
But the second ruling, while a serious blow, did not end the probe, and in any event prosecutors have appealed the two rulings Walker mentioned.
We rate Walker’s statement False.
Two more interesting things about the PolitiFact piece.
* It came quickly after Walker attempted to muddy the narrative with his 'case-closed' claim.
Some PolitiFact rulings take days or longer to research and publish. Not this one, and that's good, given the gravity of the allegations being leveled against Walker, his campaign, some of his major national financial backers, and the weight of Walker's spin.
* And since Walker is in the midst of another campaign, fact-checking services need to move fast on behalf of voters if candidates commit errors, distribute distortions or create outright lies
.* Also, and for the record, "False" (without qualifiers) is the category into which the largest number of Walker's Politifact vetted statements have fallen, and "False" outnumbers "True" (again, without qualifiers) nearly three-to-one, the PolitiFact tally shows.
Walker would do well to accurately address the continuing Doe probe and his continuing inability to tell a straight story.
"This man can't handle the truth." And we sure could use a few good people leading Wisconsin'sgovernment.
It's concerning that a national publication like the Wall Street Journal can use its forum to threaten Scott Walker, and trash talk Wisconsin's prosecuting attorney's for doing their jobs (investigating potential crimes) and educational system (for suggesting that private/charter schools should be required to release information about how they do or don't meet the needs of children with disabilities -- as the public schools are required to do).
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has an opportunity to show our state and nation what it means to be a truly great newspaper - one that has the best interests of the citizens as a top priority, one that reports the facts and exposes wrong-doing, one that people can trust.
love that headline!
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