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Nov 3, 201409:23 AMBlaska's Bring It!

with David Blaska

Heritage news media is caught Burke-napping

(page 1 of 2)

Our winner-take-all political system decrees that some will be winners in Tuesday’s fall elections, others will be losers. The one sure loser is Wisconsin’s mainstream news media. They will be repudiated.

Their failure to vet Mary Burke’s record is inexcusable given that Mary Burke has been running on her résumé — not on any discernible platform.

  • She has no message. Her candidacy has been unremittingly negative. Scott Walker has added 111,000 jobs since becoming governor four years ago; that’s more than during the eight years of his predecessor. Not enough, says Burke.
  • Scott Walker has reduced property taxes. Not enough, says the Democratic challenger, who offers no tax-cut proposal of her own.
  • The governor has cut income taxes. For the wrong people, says Burke, even though cuts were across the board. Etc., etc.
  • Burke says she will bring people together, although she could not persuade her fellow liberals on the Madison school board to vote with her in her 6-1 dissent on the school district annual budget. By some accounts, she has a hair-trigger temper.

Her Democratic predecessor at Doyle Department of Commerce called her tenure a “disaster,” and her successor, also a Democrat, was dumbfounded to find that Burke operated without any strategic plan for the agency to grow Wisconsin’s economy, Nathan Schacht at MediaTrackers reports. Which is especially odd, given that strategic planning was the second of her jobs at the family bicycle maker, until she was “downsized,” by her own account.

These developments came to light around the time that it was revealed Burke outsourced her vaunted 49-page jobs plan to a partisan hack for hire. An alternative news outlet first reported that information.

Then came the news, first reported by Matt Kittle at Wisconsin Reporter, another alternative news media outlet, that Burke was fired from her first stint with the family firm. This was criticized for a) coming in the last week of the campaign and b) for the news sources that broke the story. That it came late in the cycle is no one’s fault but the mainstream news media’s. As for bias, there is the adage concerning glass houses.

Liberally slanted and jealous of ‘new media’

Empirical research (abstracted here in the Quarterly Journal of Economics) shows that the heritage press is biased toward the liberal-progressive-socialist spectrum. Now in economic decline, that once-invincible and monopoly institution is jealous of the new media, which includes talk radio.

Consider the once-reputable Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, which has been cheerleading the John Doe 2 assault on political free speech. It went into counterattack mode. “Attack on Mary Burke: Consider the Source.”

It called Wisconsin Reporter “a pseudo-journalistic publication bankrolled by conservative foundations.” But the Milwaukee newspaper admitted that “a second source, dug up by Journal Sentinel reporters, says it’s [also] his understanding that Burke was ‘fired’ from her job.”

“That’s a bit awkward, isn’t it?” posited James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal online. “The Journal Sentinel tells us we can’t trust what we read in the Wisconsin Reporter, then tells us we can’t trust what we read in … the Journal Sentinel. It’s the liar’s paradox!”

In other words, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in its own follow-up story confirmed the Matt Kittle story. Which it was compelled to do only because there was an original story. Scott Walker is correct: His bald spot has gotten more news coverage than Mary Burke’s record. The candidate has never supplied data to support her claim of increasing European sales to $50 million from $3 million in only three years. After only five years at the job, she’s out to go snowboarding.

Instead of demanding the data, the mainstream news media are attacking the credibility of former Trek chief operating officer Tom Albers and, especially, longtime human resources manager Gary Ellerman because both are, to varying degrees, Republican.

Shooting the messenger

Journal Sentinel attack dog Dan Bice scoured Ellerman’s Facebook page before he found an anti-Obama posting that claimed America was headed down the same path as Germany in 1932. A bit lurid, to be certain, but a view supported by thinkers like F. Hayek. Now the Journal Sentinel demands that Gov. Walker call for Ellerman’s head as chairman of the Jefferson County GOP. Yet it never sought dismissal of state Democratic Party spokesman Graeme Zielinski even after he likened Walker to serial murderer Jeffrey Dahmer.

Through all this, Mary Burke’s brother is regarded as without any bias in favor of his own sister.


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Comments, page 1 of 3 1 2 3 Next »
Nov 3, 2014 10:12 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

Geepers, Dave, your satire knows no bounds! I mean, you couldn't possible be serious in accusing Burke of running a relentlessly negative campaign while repeating every untruth, misstatement, outright lie and defamatory smear the GOP has thrown at her. Your fellow travelers, like Ellerman, have some serious personal issues to deal with. Credible? He WAS fired by Trek and has had to hide his sickening Facebook page. On one thing we can agree; the mainstream media has dropped the ball, by not adequately covering the disaster that 4 years of Walker has been for Wisconsin and it's citizens. They certainly never should have run with the laughably untrue (and easy to verify) story she was fired from Trek. Now it's a whole "she hasn't been vetted" meme? Riiiiiiiight...she just popped out of the woodwork a few days ago. And you manage to cap it off with a, "by some accounts she has a hair-trigger temper"? Dave, by some accounts you could be a heroin junkie who beats his wife. Go ahead, deny it.
What this all really points to is a sense of desperation by you and the GOP. Your sleepy-eyed golden boy is not doing well in the final days of a deadlocked race that never should have been close. Even those wild-eyed liberals of the Wisconsin State Journal editorial board had to admit Burke will be better for the state. I'm betting they aren't the only business conservatives who won't be pulling the lever for your boy tomorrow.

Nov 3, 2014 10:54 am
 Posted by  David Blaska

Who are you betting? And what is the bet? How about, you lose you divulge your real name and location? I lose (i.e. Walker loses) and I send a $100 check to Our Ms. Burke's campaign (with a photo scan of the check posted here). It's about putting up or shutting up, AnnoyingMan.

Nov 3, 2014 11:04 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

C'mon annoying bob. Put up or shut up!

Nov 3, 2014 11:37 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

Yeah, "Put up or shut up," says another anonymous. Irony is lost on you guys.
Dave, back to the elephant in the room, how 'bout that WSJ endorsement? And the Journal Sentinal's cowardice in not endorsing (after giving it twice)? Some observers may see that as a vote of no confidence in your boy.

As for a bet, I said I'm betting the WSJ editorial board aren't the only business conservatives that won't vote for Walker. (I never said anything about who wins or loses.) Well, here's another one:

Looks like I win the bet. Pay up. Quickly, please.

Nov 3, 2014 11:56 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

Coward as well as annoying.

Nov 3, 2014 12:30 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Says "anonymous" 11:56.
I'm getting tired of pointing this out, but I guess I have to because critical thinking is just beyond the reach of some of you: irony is lost on you guys.
OK, OK, I'll spell it out; it's ironic when you anonymously criticize me for being anonymous.
At least I identify myself with a nom de guerre (sigh, look it up).

Nov 3, 2014 12:46 pm
 Posted by  David Blaska

No, Bob, you were being criticized for not putting your money where your big mouth is. You have a long record of dishonesty on this site. First you defended your anonymity by saying you worked for state government and feared the wrath of Robin Vos and Scott Fitzgerald. Then it turns out you don't even live in Wisconsin. But you're still some kind of expert. As evidence that business conservatives are deserting Walker you cite one newspaper trying to stay in business in Madison, WI. I can tell you that I know teachers, state employees, and blue collar private sector union members who are voting for Scott Walker. That doesn't mean that those three groups have deserted Our Ms. Burke, only that there are some outliers. N'est-ce pas, mon ennuyant?

Nov 3, 2014 12:59 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

It's over. Time to wax snowboards and jet to the Alps. Mary, we hardly knew ye.
Juan Diego

Nov 3, 2014 01:01 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Odd blaska would use the term 'put up or shut up". He has continually been called for untruthful statements but continues to blather on. One only need to read the comments on pots he has made in the last month to see all the less than factual proclamations he makes. Egads, what a hypocrite.

And by the way, my property taxes haven't gone down. With cuts to aids to local government the local school boards and town/county government have had to raise their tax rate. Net = taxes went up...

Nov 3, 2014 01:10 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Candidate A doesn't run the kind of campaign that Blogger D, who is full in the bag since day one for Candidate B, doesn't like. Therefore, according to Blogger D, Candidate A "has no message."

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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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