Saturday, December 22, 2018

More Walker legacy material surfaces in national media

The Dairy State gets highlighted, though I don't see the subject in Walker's Legacy File while this Washington Post story with a Wisconsin dateline encapsulates it in a strong news feature:
After 40 years of dairy farming, I sold my herd of cows this summer. The herd had been in my family since 1904; I know all 45 cows by name. I couldn’t find anyone who wanted to take over our farm — who would? Dairy farming is little more than hard work and possible economic suicide.
The Journal Sentinel has a related Saturday story, and I'd been writing about it for a while, including this September post:
Small dairies in Wisconsin remain under pressure, as trade negotiations with Canada approach a critical deadline later this month, reports the industry publication Dairy Herd: 

Wisconsin has lost another 47 dairy farms in August, with the total number of licensed farms standing now at just 8,372. The loss of 47 farms is just slightly lower than the 54 farms lost in July. The state has lost 429 farms since the beginning of the year, a decrease of 4.9%, and 588 the past year, a decrease of 6.6%.
Of course, Walker's priority is serving the big dairy operators' agendas, including environmental deregulation, that would help them increase their market share:
State records show that one day before Walker’s October speech in Trego, in northwestern Wisconsin, the governor’s office received detailed plans from the Dairy Business Association on legal requirements and strategic options to move the program. 
I'd noted those depressing, going-out-of-business trends in Wisconsin, here and also here
Walker no friend to Wisconsin family farmers. Or their water.
So here's the state of the Dairy State in one new headline:
More than 4% of Wisconsin Dairy Farms Call It Quits in 2018—So Far
Western Wisconsin Had Most Farm Bankruptcies in the US
Not to worry. Walker's on it, as we can easily see in this recent Tweet: 
Hanging out with my pal Chris Christie at the White House!


Anonymous said...

It took the Washington Post to tell this story accuracy. In Wisconsin, the media is writing Walker's legacy as "Big and Bold"(tm).

If anyone thinks either Walker or Paul Ryan are finished as politicians, they need to learn more about how Wisconsin media created our divide-and-conquer governor.

President Trump took the playbook out of Walker's hands and, with millions of dollars worth of free publicity and promotion from national media, hijacked the White House.

Walker's legacy, just like his performance as County Executive and Governor, will be written by the same tools that propped him up year after year.

Walker's political career should have been over when he killed a boy going to Summerfest with his family by grandstanding about cuts to necessary parking structure maintainance as a sham principled Christian and fiscal conservative. Wisconsin media, however, promptly flushed that down the memory hole.

James Rowen said...

State media have consistently reported on the dairy crisis. There was extensive coverage of the park ramp event, and the Journal Sentinel, as I recall, found and published emails linking Walker to efforts to whitewash it. You can Google all this.

Chris said...

The state media may have reported on Scott Walker's failings and corruption, but not necessarily on a high readership day on page one above the fold with a hard-hitting headline. And if a story did make it to page one, all too often the key facts were buried on subsequent pages. And when a story did run, all too often there weren't follow up stories the next day and the next day and the next.

So the state media can say they reported the news, just not in a way that really grabbed people's attention. How else could an incompetent and unethical person like Scott Walker have gotten so far and done so much damage to our state?

James Rowen said...

Provide some examples to back up these claims, and the “all too often” part of your assertions. And commenters like yourself criticize me when I link to a mainstream media story about Walker, so are dismissing the value of the reporting when it takes place. Media did solid reporting on the Die issues, budgets, ag, pollution and more, with fewer and fewer staff. Your fixation on media to the exclusion of other factors-money, private-sector power, years of weak Democratic offerings and party structure-saps your argument.

James Rowen said...

Doe issues,

Chris said...

My intention was not to criticize you, or the other reporters. As you have pointed out before, reporters don't have control over placement, headlines or whether or not their stories run. You are the last person I would criticize, as you have done more to inform us than any other news outlet.

You are right to ask for examples; unfortunately I can't provide you with a list - but I do know that 'all too often' I've thought to myself 'Why is this buried on page four?" "Why wasn't this stated up front, instead of on subsequent pages where people might not see it?" "Why is this article tagged as 'Politics' when its News or Business?".

James Rowen said...

One of the things I learned working at the old Journal and Journal Sentinel is that many little things influenced story placement, length, paragraphing. Every day and sometimes between editions the “news hole,” or space available for stories among space sold for ads changed, or events took over the news and a story got cut in half or tossed. Or moved to a different section which had open space because something fell through or wasn’t done it needed more work. People on the outside saw none of the process; politicians and advocates saw agendas, but it was a seat of the pants operation more often than not. One more thing: people are upset when a quote ends up at the bottom of a story and it looks like it’s intentionally buried, but, again, that’s often due to its having come in late, and placing it at the end was the easiest spot to place it. Plus, stories need Enders, “kickers.” So the bottom line can be as good as the lede. The whole process is imperfect, and the product continues to shrink. I would give the MJS print editions perhaps three years as a daily/Sunday operation. Online is already the low/cost, preferred option and then will be the only option.

Anonymous said...

The state's media - includinf the Hoard Dairyman, did nnot tell the dairy crisis story in a coherent way. Hoard endorsed Scott Walker every to.e for Governor - including 2018!

The media consistent did not connect Walker & GOP policies and Ripon Commonwealth and Bliss Comminications also did despite the fact that their audiences once had a family farm base.

Scott Walker was given a free pass for the stupid statemwnts that dairy farms needed to increase production and the rest of us should eat more cereal! This while he was stabbing tbe farmers in tbe back with more CAFOs that were allowed to put manure in the family farms water.

The current article at jsonline/MJS omits any reference to Walker's role and minimizes the CAFOs impact on Amish farmers. The m3dia enabled 8 years of attacks on farmers.

The WaPo article is more comprehensive and coherent than anything published in the Dairy State. The media in Wisconsin will not more-fully serve the public until people demand it. Walker was a rock star in Wisconsin because of a media echo-chamber. When he ran foe President, the national media could not and would not promote him as a political genius because he is too much a fool.

This is the guy that claimed we needed 2 border walls - one with Mexico and another with Canada! He claimed he was qalified to run for President because he had a "wife, 2 kids, and a Harley"!

The media in Wisconsin eats this garbage up and repeatedly endored Walker. On the national stage this made him a laughing stock and Walker went from first in the primaries to literally zero support while spending millions of dollard over 90 days! The state media created Scott Walker and it all began with the hate radio and newspaper in Milwaukee.

Anonymous said...

The large newspaper and broadcast media have never reported how Walker's chamber of commerce mentality DNR encourages CAFOs to externalize the costs of their business model by dumping manure into groundwater. This is the largest reason traditional dairy farmers cannot compete in any way. They don't have massive indirect subsidies externalizing their largest costs - dumping animal waste when there are thousands of animals.

While MJS/jsonline currently has what appears to be a.good breakdown of how Walker lost support in successively smaller communities, it avoids addressing any issues about how agriculture-focused rural Wisconsin was harmed by 8-years of Walker/GOP's anti-family-farm policies.

What should be obvious, however, is that rural communities were never responsible for the rise of urban communities and there econimic development. This is the lie that schools hage taught generations of children. Family farms, in terms of their production, are irrelevant. There is no shortage of milk or commodities even when they exit the business by boatloads.

As today's MJS analysis demonstrates, these communities propelled Walker into the Govenor's Mansion. What did they get for it?

They are losing the farm, their roads & infrastructure are among the absolute worst in the US, and their schools are chaotic because on inconsistent and inadequate funding - there is no reason for today's generation to see teaching as a viable career path. While small districts can, if they try to hire qualifies teachers, find professional educators; the turnover is very high because these are very crappy jobs and it is not just Baraboo - the districts in rural Wisconsin are largely outwardly racist.

Katrina said...

Jim Goodman, the author of the WashPo piece, has been an activist supporting family farms for as long as I can remember. If you google him you will see the columns he has written. Thanks for posting about his latest column.

Katrina said...

If readers don't have access to the Washing Post you can read the article by Jim Goodman here: ( you will need to scroll down to find it).

Anonymous said...

Does Wisconsin have a hankering to be just like Oklahoma? Or Alabama? Maybe some Mississippi is what you are wanting?

Cause that is what right wing neo confederate rule will get you.

Anonymous said...

The "kid-gloves" coverage by the mainstream media in Wisconsin was critical to the success of Walker & his Right-wing agenda in Wisconsin. Walker enjoyed no "favored son" treatment by the national media, hence his Presidential aspirations went down in flames as he was finally subjected to REAL questions, instead of the softballs that the mainstream media, including the Journal Sentinel & Gannett outlets fed him for years.

Glad that the national media outlets are exposing the ugly divisive state that Walker & his Reich-wing supporters have turned Wisconsin into. Vindictiveness and hatred pulses through the veins of his supporters, especially in the most rural areas of Wisconsin.

Walker turned Wisconsin into the WORST place in America to be a teacher. Rural districts across Wisconsin are finding out that after years of treating teachers like crap, of dropping starting salaries to $25,000-$30,000, of firing teachers for the most minimal of infractions, that NO ONE wants to teach or live in Hicks-ville Wisconsin.

Since Walker's election in 2010, the Wisconsin mainstream media has intentionally ignored the stories of hundreds of teachers losing their jobs after 1 parent complaint, for having a Recall Walker sign on their yard, or for signing a Walker recall petition. Just last year, a social studies teacher in Waupaca had to attend "re-education" classes in order to keep his job in Right-wing Waupaca. His offense? One goofy parent who complained that he wasn't supportive of Walker and Trump.

Over 1 million Walker recall petition signers are still blacklisted as many Republican business owners use the Verify the Recall list as a primary employment screening tool.

The Wisconsin mainstream media continues to support Walker and his Right wing agenda not by what they write about, but what they continue to choose to NOT write about.

Anonymous said...

It appears most small farmers may be too full of hate to understand: No one needs their milk, corn, or soy beans. They are entirely irrelevant to the multinational corporations that own virtually all of tbe brands in your grocery store.

I stopped caring about them years ago as they supported rightwing politics and thought they were important business tycoons. The Kochs, Walker, Trump, GOP, China, and Putin have no use for Wisconsin farms. Too bad they were so blinded by arrogance, self-importance, and racism to see what was obviously coming there way.

Chemical monoculture agriculture dominated by multinational corporate farms west of the Mississippi can and does produce all the commodities mcorporate food processors need.

Anonymous said...

Scammylicious?! Contract growers all tied up by big chicken conglomerates are financed by govenrment guaranreed "small business" loans?


Poultry growers lean heavily on government-backed loans