Jun 30, 201410:22 AMBlaska's Bring It!
with David Blaska
Walking back the Scott Walker story
(page 1 of 2)
It’s called “walking back the story.” When yesterday’s news story is conclusively rebutted, the too-clever journalist acknowledges the error without admitting his mistake.
In the wake of last week’s John Doe II “document dump” the news media seized on one phrase, “criminal scheme,” ignoring that two judges in separate rulings overruled what was never more than a prosecutorial “theory.”
Then, on Thursday, this statement was made on behalf of special prosecutor Francis Schmitz:
It is wrong for any person to point to this sentence [“criminal scheme”] in a legal argument as a finding by the Special Prosecutor that Governor Walker has engaged in a criminal scheme. It is not such a finding.
Media Trackers called it “a stunning rebuke for state and national [news] media.”
The New York Times editorial board treated last week’s document release with a flagrant disregard for the facts. “Gov. Scott Walker’s Campaign Violations” thundered the editorial headline at the Times.
On Wednesday, the reliably left-wing CapTimes of Madison, Wisconsin published an editorial board feature with the headline, “Scott Walker’s desperate defenses just aren’t credible.” The piece alleged that Walker is “at the center of an investigation” that has led him to become desperate to declare he is not a target of the probe.
Of course, that is not analysis. It is impure invention. Wishful thinking. Red State has a breakdown of the dishonest headlines right after the document dump.
“It remains to be seen if these news outlets will back down from their misleading headlines now that one of the prosecutors has made it clear they are blatantly wrong and false,” Red State observed.
Well, some did and some did not. The Washington Post managed to commit some journalism even without Woodward or Bernstein:
“Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker not target of criminal probe into campaign coordination” — Washington Post, June 26, 2014.
Two major TV networks did so, as well.
“Prosecutor: Gov. Scott Walker was not target of probe”— CBS News, June 27, 2014
“Prosecutor Says Gov. Scott Walker not Target of Investigation” — NBC News, June 26, 2014
The Kenosha News got it right, too: “Attorney: Walker not target of probe”
Others flunked Honesty 101. Here is “walking back the story” in action:
- “No conclusion in inquiry into Scott Walker’s campaign fund-raising” — New York Times, June 26, 2014
- “No conclusion yet on filing charges, John Doe prosecutor says” — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, June 26, 2014
- Worse is a Democratic Party of Wisconsin Web video that uses trick editing appearing to show Scott Walker nodding yes when asked if he is at the center of a criminal scheme. It was rated “Pants on Fire” by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Politifact. Too bad they don’t Politifact their own articles. But that’s the art! Technically, their article is true — but to the letter, not the spirit.
Our liberal acquaintances (for …) have hoped against hope that the judiciary would do on the cheap what the voters have chosen not to — move Scott Walker out of the governor’s residence. The poster child for this wish fulfillment is Bring It’s very own AnonyBob (aka “annoying Bob”). I swear we did not invent this guy for the amusement value, which is high!
Time to play: Guess AnonyBob’s true identity
Latest cry for help from AnonyBob: “Dave, you have too much time on your hands. Give. It. Up. Your boy Gov and his crew are crooks. By his own words. “Hey Karl, look at us! We’re big time, like you!” An investigation temporarily stalled by corrupt and/or inept judges and an absence of charges filed yet does not prove otherwise.” — AnonyBob.
That “proves” he is a “crook”? If you say so! Bob wisely has chosen anonymity. I have no way of knowing his true identity, but still I wonder. Help me guess AnonyBob’s true identity by participating in the online poll on the upper right-hand corner of this page.