May 19, 2012

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel—The Death of a Newspaper

The Milwaukee Journal from 1973 (above) -
The golden age of journalism when corrupt
politicians such as Richard Nixon were held
accountable, - Today, the Journal-Sentinel is
not a check on Wisconsin's own Nixon, Scott Walker.
The Journal-Sentinel actively promotes his career,
shields Walker's corruption, even creating an
enemies' list in service to Scott Walker.
Update: MJS defends Walker against recall in editorial, ahistorical and incoherent. Not one word about lies, about promises broken, about Walker's condoning aides' stealing from veterans. MJS calls families protesting Walker, "tantrums."

There was a time when journalism played a vital role in democracy, holding politicians to account for their actions in office.

When newspapers competed  to investigate and report stories on corruption, lack of transparency and betrayal of the public trust, papers specifically served as a counter-weight, performing a reformist function in a democracy.

Not anymore (with some notable exceptions).

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel is a cautionary tale of what happens when media empires decide that their news product ought to promote the career of its chosen politicians, the public, the facts and the truth be damned.

Paul I. Tascoupe has a wrap-up of the Journal-Sentinel's latest effort to spin the news for Scott Walker's campaign against the Wisconsin people who demanded Walker's recall election in the face of the Journal-Sentinel's unyielding support for Walker throughout his myriad scandals and the recall effort.

The Journal-Sentinel changed a headline on jobs to help out Walker who realizes his 250,000 new jobs is a posturing promise that has no chance in hell of being met. Walker also realizes that his spin and statements are not meant to last; lie and evade and the Journal-Sentinel is there to cover for him.

From Tascoupe:

Democratic Party of Wisconsin Graeme Zielinski had this to say about the 'controversial headline.'
“The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has been a reliable friend to Scott Walker over the years, with a few notable exceptions. They have endorsed him, they have opposed his recall, they have adopted his talking points and here, they seek to add to the fog created solely by Scott Walker himself over the historic job losses endured by Wisconsin, we argue as a direct result of Walker's "divide and conquer" policies. Our candidates frequently dispute assumptions made by Scott Walker Republicans in their unrelenting propaganda machine, but never does this result with the state's largest paper then using that "controversy" to modify or describe the fact or number itself. That the Journal Sentinel chose to do so in this case, or at all, shows a deep-seated bias that hangs from the publisher to the editor on down, corrupting the content of the news pages of Scott Walker's favorite paper. This was a mistake, pure and simple, and the paper's failure to own up to it sounds very much like the same never-ending stream of justifications that flow from the lips of Scott Walker himself.”

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