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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

Dishonest headlines:

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.


Old to new | New to old
Jun 30, 2014 10:42 am
 Posted by  madisonexpat

I think John Nichols is Annoying Bob. His article about Scott Walker was as duplicitous but took more words to say even less than A. Bob's neener-neener.

Jun 30, 2014 10:59 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

Holey-moley Dave, this is hilarious! You really know how to stroke a guy's ego! You just can't seem to believe that I'm a nobody you've never heard of. I'm really looking forward to the poll's results!
Best, AnonyBob

Jun 30, 2014 06:56 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous


Once again you show your utter lack of objectivity. By limiting the choices of who may be anonbob you have biased the poll it the point where a second grader couldn't accept the results. You need to include some possibilities a little farther to the right to make this credible. For all we know anonbob is Jeff Fitzgerald or Scott Jensen..

And I am really happy you find Bob annoying. It highlights your thin skin well.

Jul 1, 2014 09:29 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

Dave, after a full day of voting I see you've had about 33 participants, unless there's been some multiple voting going on, which is a demonstrated trait of republican activists. Poor Graeme Zielinski, still being blamed for everything. I'd be remiss if I didn't point out the Tourette's syndrome choice is not exactly PC (big surprise there), but that sort of middle school humor should be beneath you. Guess not. On the other hand, "Art the Window Washer, Jr." - priceless! - though it does show your age.

Jul 1, 2014 10:56 am
 Posted by  JNT

Rather than being concerned as to the identity of AnonyBob, I’ve got a much more interesting poll.

In David’s column of 6/26/14 there is an anonymous comment that dates from 6/27 at 11:02 AM that is straight out of the Völkischer Beobachter. To this comment, Blaska says nothing. After all, there are friends and then there are acquaintances as we are so often reminded. This comment must come from a friend since there is no rebuttal from Blaska.

Let’s guess who the author of the comment is:

A) Alfred Rosenberg
B) Joseph Goebbels
C) Ernst Röhm
D) Adolph Hitler

I’m going with D.

Jul 1, 2014 11:30 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

I've seen that comment several times on this blog. GREAT CATCH.

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What About AnonyBob?

About This Blog

Raised on a farm near Sun Prairie, David Blaska is a recovering liberal who spent 18 years in daily newspapers, including 12 at The Capital Times in Madison as a reporter and editor. He served Gov. Tommy Thompson as acting press secretary in 1998 and is a veteran and survivor of 19 years in state government. He served 12 years on the Dane County Board of Supervisors. From December 2007 to November 2011 he wrote the consistently popular "Blaska's Blog" for Isthmus online's "The Daily Page" until, he says, the intolerant liberals ran him off. He blogs from Madison.

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