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The RW leaning Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has been carrying water for Scott Walker for many years.  They endorsed him for Governor in 2010 and again HAVE AGAIN endorsed him in the recalls.  Not a surprise, really, but it is now clear that it doesn't matter what Walker and the GOP do, corporate media will have their backs.

As Scott Walker and his GOP majority rolled out their extremist legislative agenda, the Journal Sentinel had to work hard to cover their behinds about their earlier endorsement of Walker for Governor after their it became a nationally exposed embarassment.  Even then, their lame excuses and continued support for Walker stunk to high heaven.

They're again scrambling to justify themselves.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Sunday editorial endorsing Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in the upcoming recall election has been in the works for months, the paper’s editorial page editor said by email.
(emphasis mine)

Yes, I've noticed as the JS has downplayed bad news for Walker and increasingly scrutinized and criticized his opponents.  Attacks on those of us gathering recall signatures weren't covered until they became so violent they could no longer be ignored even by the Journal Sentinel.  Their coverage, though, wasn't about how Walker supporters were threatening and intimidating recallers as well as using violence, but saying "both sides do it".  Both sides didn't do it.

Coverage recently featured prominent stories about how Stand With Walker signs are being destroyed or damaged and didn't include their previous "both sides do it" meme.  The Karl Rove playbook prominently features the tactic of destroying or damaging something yourself and blaming "the other side" so I don't necessarily see Walkers opponents as the only possible cause of these incidents.  I do find it fascinating, however, that while violence against recallers wasn't covered until they became too numerous to ignore, the sign damages have merited nearly instantaneous reportage.

Also, while Walkers campaign are not only giving their campaign signs for free (they also install them for you) Barrett and Mitchell signs need to be purchased by anyone who wants a yard or window sign so damage and destruction to those signs cost the owners every time they need to replace them.  Not a peep from the JS, of course.

They haven't covered Walkers schedule either.  It's been hidden from the public with a summary being made available the middle of the following month.  In February, Walkers schedule showed only about 40 hours of actual state business with the rest listed as "personal".  They continued to echo Walkers meme of "outside money" coming in for his opponents while ignoring his enormous time out of state raising money for himself.  And not a mention of "both sides do it" either.

The JS continues:

Sunday’s editorial emphasized the same point: “a disagreement over a single policy is simply not enough to justify a vote against the governor.” Further, it read, “the yearlong tantrum over Walker has been harmful.”
(emphasis mine)

Baloney!  This isn't over a single policy.  It's an endless stream of extremism, bills rammed through the legislature with lightening speed, and continuing lockout of any opposing voices in the discussion.  

This is about stripping unions, stripping $1.8 billion from our schools, stripping funds from our state universities and technical schools, throwing people off Medicaid and Badger Care, repealing our Equal Pay Act, mandating abstinence only sex education, stripping funds from local governments and prohibiting them from raising taxes beyond a tiny limit set by the state, allowing hunting in state parks close enough to trails and paths that hikers and recreational users are fearful of their lives, a frightening concealed carry gun law, and I could go on and on.  But the JS wants to convince readers that there's only "one" issue here.

The Wisconsin Democratic Party is also not surprised by this action of the JS.

"It saddens, but does not surprise, that the state's largest newspaper would continue to support the most divisive, and possibly most corrupt, governor in Wisconsin history.

"The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has supported Scott Walker in its editorial and news pages for years, has seriously underplayed the scandals of his various administrations, has treated the historic recall movement with small-minded contempt and will, therefore be judged harshly if remembered at all, in Wisconsin's history.

"One need only read the Milwaukee Sentinel editorials AGAINST the Civil Rights Movement and FOR Joe McCarthy to remember how silly and reactionary a news organization can look in the hindsight of the ages.

"And so it will be with Scott Walker, who has been treated with the embarrassing kindnesses of the Journal Communications empire, which props up the Walker agenda with a daily and unrelenting stream of propaganda via right-wing extremists Charlie Sykes and Jeff Wagner.

Mike Tate, head of the Wisconsin Democratic Party, continues:
"Scott Walker not only owns the back editorial pages of the paper — he also owns the front pages of the paper with what is is supposed to remain a neutral forum for actual news. In this case, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has practiced repeated journalistic lapses, underplaying the shocking criminal corruption scandal in Walker's midst, downplaying the enormity of the division and dishonesty emanating from this administration and hyping up and adopting a shocking re-engineering of the truth by Walker on everything from jobs numbers to government transparency.

"This endorsement is also troubling given that it is a blatant about-face to their previous editorial policy of not endorsing in recall elections, having not endorsed in any of the recall elections of last summer.

As the week goes on, there will be more reactions to the Journal Sentinel and their political pandering and, I expect, more attention paid to how journalism today is a small shadow of what it was in the past.  When newspapers (and electronic media) continue to downplay criminal investigations, don't ask tough questions of one side while hammering the other, fail to report actual news if it conflicts with their ideological stance or corporate control, and serve as stenographers for whatever propaganda serves their own interests, they doom themselves.  They're dying because they've dug their own graves and now they're digging faster and using bigger shovels.

You can't call it news when it isn't.  The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Wisconsins Pravda, "reporting" whatever their ideological masters want people to see.

Originally posted to Puddytat on Mon May 21, 2012 at 10:57 AM PDT.

Also republished by Badger State Progressive, ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, Progressive Hippie, and German American Friendship Group.

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