Friday, December 8, 2017

Sanitized magazine continues devaluation of Walker's DNR

You may remember that after substantial public pressure, the Wisconsin Legislature quashed GOP corporate bellhop Scott Walker and then-DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp's sneaky plan to scrap Wisconsin Natural Resources, the agency's century-old, 100%-subscriber-supported bi-monthly magazine. 

Seems that the magazine had gone too far off a key Walker/GOP message by  acknowledging climate change, but something of a compromise, and the magazine was saved, sort of.

I thought it important at the time - - and still do - - that the printed word and the magazine be retained since Walker and his 'chamber of commerce' water-carriers have to be confronted in the public interest at every turn, and they won't be in power forever.

So it's unsurprisingly par for the course that recent issues magazine issues have had a lot of pretty pictures and soft features rather than useful reporting about real issues facing the agency and the public - - like the exploding number of impaired waterways in Wisconsin by the DNR's own count, the impending introduction of acidic mining statewide, or dangerous groundwater contamination near industrial-scale animal feeding operations already weakly-'regulated' by the agency, or the accelerating push to let businesses fill wetlands.

Here's an update on the magazine.

*  There will be four "seasonal" issues. See the subscription renewal offer I've photographed, below.

*  The redefined magazine still bears the same name, but is being marketed with an intentional tilt to recreation and tourism; maybe Walker will next try and offload the magazine to the Wisconsin Department of Tourism the same way he intends to move big dairy regulation to a more friendly and promotional Department of Ag, Trade and Consumer Protection.

*  Bottom line: the slimmed-down, vanilla-flavored magazine is another reflection of the DNR's watered-down message and mission under Walker, additional proof that  the distribution of timely, newsworthy facts and figures to the general public is not a priority - - whether in the DNR's magazine lite, through sham hearings, in delayed warnings about unhealthy air quality or devalued climate change websites scrubbed of their essential, scientific  content.


Golden Eagles said...

The Cons will do anything to get rid of this magazine.

Anonymous said...

State agencies are definitely gearing up the propaganda machine to help Walker's re-election. Look for more state funded publications trying to put a positive spin on Walker's record on the environment, ag and job creation.