Apr 23, 201512:57 PMBlaska's Bring It!
with David Blaska
What if they invaded John Nichols’ house?
Ever wonder why conservatives don’t trust the traditional news media?
Early this week, the National Review came out with an explosive cover story detailing the experience of three private citizens subjected to armed police with battering rams conducting pre-dawn raids of their homes, seizing cell phones and personal computers, and admonishing them to tell no one — even as the authorities apparently tipped off favored news reporters.
Many more were subjected to the police home invasions than the three interviewed for David French’s National Review article, “Wisconsin’s Shame: ‘I Thought It Was a Home Invasion’.”
The targets were not dealing meth-amphetamines. They were not plotting an imminent terrorist bombing. They were political conservatives who supported Republicans during the 2011-12 recall elections.
Imagine the outrage if Brandi Grayson, of Young, Gifted and Black, were targeted — or Progressive magazine editor Ruth Conniff — instead of Eric O’Keefe of the Club for Growth.
Three days ago I emailed the National Review story to 10 influential Wisconsin journalists in Madison and Milwaukee so there could be no excuse for them not seeing it. So far, not a peep — either to me, personally, or (better!) to their readers.
In Wisconsin, only M.D. Kittle of Wisconsin Reporter, Ann Althouse of Althouse, Vicki McKenna, Charlie Sykes and Collin Roth of RightWisconsin, and yours truly have taken notice. All conservatives or libertarians.
At RightWisconsin, Sykes says, “The explosive new details of John Doe abuses in Wisconsin have gone viral thanks to a great piece in National Review. National reporters and columnists are all talking about John Doe and asking a simple question: how could this happen in America? Of course, here in Wisconsin there is no introspection on the part of the [news] media. The major news outlets here have employed a black out, choosing to ignore the new allegations.”
Odd, this lack of interest, because the case may very well be taken up by the U.S. Supreme Court this term on First and Fourth Amendment grounds. Isn’t that enough of a news peg?
Fortunately, the national news media is beginning to take notice, or, at least, the conservative sources, led by the Wall Street Journal, which deserves a Pulitzer (fat chance!) for being first and firmest in its condemnation of criminalizing political speech.
The WSJ said today, “On Friday, the Justices will consider whether to hear O’Keefe v. Chisholm, a … civil-rights lawsuit brought … against Milwaukee District Attorney John Chisholm and other prosecutors. The suit charges the prosecutors with a multi-year campaign to silence and intimidate conservative groups whose political speech they don’t like … part of a larger legal effort to subvert their 2010 Citizens United ruling. The game is to use the theory of ‘coordination,’ which allows vast investigations to be instigated on the thinnest evidence, to sweep issue speech back into the regulatory umbrella of campaign-finance law. … Wisconsin’s prosecutorial machinery has abused the law to silence disfavored political speech.”
UW-Madison law professor Althouse agrees. Referencing a federal appellate court’s ruling that the case properly belongs in the state courts, Althouse says, “The 7th Circuit decision came out seven months ago. Where’s the action from the state courts? If there are indeed free-speech violations, they’ve been going on for three years. It’s one thing for federal courts to refrain from jumping into state court proceedings that might do a decent-enough job of enforcing federal rights. But here, these proceedings have worked to suppress political speech for two election cycles and beyond. It’s quite shocking.”
Remember this the next time The Capital Times, the Wisconsin State Journal, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, or the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism prate (great word!) about “freedom of information.”
“Let the people have the truth and the freedom to discuss it.” Indeed!
Rush Limbaugh is talking about it (audio here): “This is the police batter-ramming their way into homes on direct orders of a Democrat district attorney, fishing for information to use against a political enemy — and then threatening homeowners who had all of their civil rights violated! Threatening them to shut up or else. …This is the kind of thing that should land some people in jail.”
Megyn Kelly, of Fox News, did 6:36 minutes on this last night. She called it, “the incredible story coming out of Wisconsin, of how Democratic prosecutors went on a witch hunt of voters who supported conservative principles.” (The video here includes an interview with the National Review reporter.)
Rich Lowry, in the New York Post’s, “Hunting witches in Wisconsin,” called it “… an ongoing travesty that — now that Walker is entering the presidential stage — should be considered a national disgrace. Walker’s opponents weaponized campaign-finance law, literally. … A partisan Democrat whose wife was a shop steward for a teachers union, Chisholm investigated everything possible related to Walker for a couple of years, without really laying a glove on him.”
Glenn Harlan Reynolds, in USA Today, said, “When Vladimir Putin sends government thugs to raid opposition offices, the world clucks its tongue. But, after all, Putin’s a corrupt dictator, so what do you expect? But in Wisconsin, Democratic prosecutors were raiding political opponents’ homes and, in a worse-than-Putin twist, they were making sure the world didn’t even find out, by requiring their targets to keep quiet.”
Investors Business Daily editorializes, “Wisconsin John Doe investigations are harassment.”
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Jon Erpenbach, on Scott Walker: “I think he lands, does his laundry, gets back on the plane and leaves.” — Says the state senator who fled to Illinois to avoid a vote on the state budget, as quoted by the 24/7 Anti-Scott Walker corporation. (No comments allowed at “Your Progressive Voice”!)
Did we say Sen. Tammy Baldwin’s Veterans Hospital scandal case had legs?
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