Thursday, July 9, 2015

Trump, Walker and their impenetrable walls

GOP presidential candidate and serial bloviator Donald Trump told NBC reporter Katy Tur towards the end of an exceptionally egomanical interview - - even by Trump's unique standard - - that were he President he'd build a wall at the US-Mexican border that was "impentrable."

And that he'd make Mexico pay for it.

The Mexico-would pay for it line was pure comedy, but the "impenetrable" boast got me thinking about stonewalls in the Nixonian, no-comment political sense.

And that's where you have to give Walker credit and grade media down, because other than taking an occasional question, or offering the smallest bit of a sound bite, Walker has effectively out up stonewalls around the three biggest scandals - - with the broadest policy implications - - of his time as Governor, or as a gubernatorial candidate:

*  The John Doe probe.

*  The corrupted Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, which he created and, until the budget is signed and published, he still is serving as its only Chairman.

*  The sneak attack on the Wisconsin Open Records law, and by extension, democracy and transparency and public access to information, within the tax-payer paid government and state borders.

On these events, Walker has held no news conferences, no Chris Christie-like sessions of give-and-take, no voluntary documents' disclosure , and no assumption of responsibility.

He's content to ride out a day or two or more of negative media, assuming things will blow over, or be superseded by new events.

And, so far, he's been right - - but with the help of news organizations that will not up their game.

I fully understand the professional and logistical barriers that make it difficult for beat reporters to confront Walker, but I fault television shows and editorial boards locally and nationally which invite Walker in for treating him with kid gloves and little systematic follow-up, and for news organization managements generally for refusing to forcefully tell Walker and his people that further coverage depends on his more visible and effective availability.

Trump revels in publicity and fencing with media like NBC's Tur.

Walker is far more cautious and strategic, but that doesn't mean that media managers should play by his rules, especially on their turf.


Anonymous said...

You are right..........A news reporter expressed frustration to me that Walker continually stalemates them by refusing to dialogue with them. He simply shuts off the conversation. He and his staff and probably all of the Republicans have gotten even smarter..........the 60 pages of drafting notes on the open records fiasco contain no names nor initials except those of staff from the Legislative Fiscal Bureau. But the fact that Walker, Vos, Fitzgerald, Darling and Nygren met on July 4th and announced that they were pulling the changes from the budget without reconvening the JFC shows that these five were orchestrating this and the 10 Republicans on the JFC were taking their orders from these five leaders. It behooves all of to stay all over this and every time Walker appears anywhere he must be asked to be "open and accountable" and "live " transparency relative to the role Walker and his staff played in creating the proposal and sneaking it in to the budget. I e-mail Darling daily demanding that she walk her talk about standing for open and accountable government. If the public continues to harass them with expressions of outrage one of them will cave!

Anonymous said...

There is an event being organized outside of Waukesha Expo monday. Here are some details. Please get out if you can and show the media that Wisconsin DOES NOT want Scott Walker to be president of the United States of America!


WHAT: Warning: Don’t Let Scott Walker Do To America What He's Done To Wisconsin
WHERE: Waukesha County Expo Center, 1000 Northview Rd, Waukesha WI 53188
WHEN: Monday, July 13, 2015 - 4:00PM CT / 5:00PM ET


MESSAGE: Scott Walker’s extreme politics, cronyism, and his Koch and ALEC agenda have harmed families, workers, students, women, immigrants, and the environment since he was first elected. Wisconsinites will share personal stories about how Scott Walker's agenda has affected their everyday lives, and warn the country not to let Scott Walker do to America what he has done to Wisconsin.

Grassroots activists will continue demonstrating before and during Scott Walker's announcement event to show that the people of Wisconsin are against his cruel policies.

VISUALS: Press conference and rally imagery, hand-made and printed signage, puppetry, speeches and individual 1:1 interviews with speakers. Staged as direct action response before and during Scott Walker’s Presidential announcement event.

TURNOUT: More than 20 Wisconsin and national grassroots organizations are engaging their activist networks to turn out a broad and diverse mix of families and individuals, young and old, of all races and genders, from all over Wisconsin. Attendance target: 300-500 minimum.

SOCIAL: Twitterbomb, matching social images, and hashtags plans underway. Possible Livestream of full response action event.

RSVP via Facebook Event Page:

Anonymous said...

Come on, James. Walker is doing nothing to evade responsibility for the stuff on your list. NO ONE IS TEFLON, despite theirs to the contrary in the media. The media either does not cover the stuff you blog about or does so in a such a disconnected way that the narrative is to disjointed and broken up for the public to follow.

And even when the media tells some inconvenient truths that are unflattering or reveal corruption, is gets lost in the rest of the pro-walker propaganda they push.

Anonymous said...

The Open Records debacle was being pounded by the hard right columnists in the Waukesha Freeman this week, and local opinion writers too.

One chap said he will never vote Republican again as long as the current big names of the Senate and Assembly are purged from Madison.

Extremely strong critism from the heart of Waukesha Count base. Not to mention him chosen location launching his sunk POTUS attempt.