Apr 4, 2012

WTMJ Goes Soviet

WTMJ - On your side, comrade
From Pravda, make that WTMJ:

TODAY'S TMJ4 and Newsradio 620 WTMJ discovered that several members of our staff signed the recall petitions for Governor Walker. Some of those employees play a role in our news-gathering and editorial process. Several of them also work on-air: One at TODAY'S TMJ4; four at Newsradio 620 WTMJ. ... [M]any employees told us that they felt signing the recall petition was not a political act, but instead felt it was similar to casting a vote.  WTMJ does not agree. ... [W]e want to assure you, our viewers, that we are taking measures to make sure all of our reporting is fair, balanced and to ensure something like this does not happen again.
So another one of the Party organs takes exceptions to its employees exercising the Wisconsin Constitutional Right of Recall (Article XIII, Section 12). Wonder what measures WTMJ will take.

Journal Communications Chairman, President, and CEO: Steven J. Smith is a board member of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC), but I guess their activity is properly sanctioned by the Party.

Funny how progressives and liberals fight for the rights of all citizens; and rightwingers like WTMJ, the Wisconsin State Journal and other GOP organs police unsanctioned political activity of their employees.

From the Capital Times [leebrals in Madison]:

The same constitutional amendment that protects the right to freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion and the right to assemble — the essential underpinnings of democratic life — also protects the right to petition for the redress of grievances.

To tell an American that it is wrong to sign a petition, any petition, is to our view the equivalent of telling people that they cannot speak their opinion, publish their views or worship as they choose.

Conservatives and liberals have long agreed that nothing smacks more of totalitarianism than to tell a citizen what he or she cannot say, to tell a publisher what he or she cannot print, or to tell a believer how he or she should worship.

Yet in recent days there has been a flurry of debate about whether citizens of Wisconsin — judges, journalists, elected officials, public employees — should be sanctioned for signing petitions to recall Gov. Scott Walker, Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch or members of the state Senate.
When Scott Walker was for recalling the Milwaukee County executive, Herb Kohl, and Russ Feingold, WTMJ didn't police its employees for unsanctioned political activity.

Back when he was a state legislator, Walker was an enthusiastic proponent of recall elections. In fact, he was one of only a handful of state legislators who aligned himself with—and ultimately took money from—a group that was seeking to recall US Senators Russ Feingold and Herb Kohl.

Walker got even more enthusiastic about recalls in 2002, when he became the favored candidate of the group seeking to remove Milwaukee County Executive Tom Ament. After Ament resigned, Walker was elected to replace him. When he ran for governor in (2010), Walker talked up the recall drive of 2002 as an exercise in democracy—celebrating the recall as a tool for holding errant officials to account.
Wonder why the different treatment by WTMJ between then and now.

1 comment:

  1. WTMJ wants you to stop worrying about bias. They've got it all under control. Don't you worry your pretty little head about this. If a new-hire peripherally involved in the reporting process signed a petition, it sends a clear signal, and that sort of behavior will be quashed. If WTMJ touts Charlie Sykes on billboards, it's just advertising an entertainer. Management and owners are always allowed to express opinions, especially while they're supervising the news staff. Nothing to see here, move along.