Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Fischer Makes The Big Time, Again!

I received my copy of Milwaukee Magazine in the mail today. I opened it up, to see what they were talking about and say in their "Insiderpressroom" part, they're talking about our good bud, Kevin Fischer, for the second time.

Here is the part on Fischer, with my interjections (because I'm the King, and I can do that sort of stuff):

Kevin Fischer is everywhere as a media pundit. He’s also apartisan
legislative aide, Can you say conflict?

by Erik Gunn

Kevin Fischer is a busy guy. He does a blog on FranlklinNOWcom. He’s a guest host on WISN-AM 1130, filling in for Mark Belling and Jay Weber. He’s one of the regular pundits for Milwaukee Public Television’s InterChange program.

And he’s a full-time Republican legislative aide.

I'd question that full-time business. You'll see what I mean later.
That latter gig has drawn scrutiny toFischer’s peripatetic media career. Our March Pressroom noted he was one of the bickering bloggers on Journal Communications’ MyCommunityNOW Websites. Since then, his critics have turned up the heat on his role as an aide to state Sen. Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin).

Brookfield blogger Cindy Kilkenny made an open-records request for Fischer’s time sheets from the state to see whether he was blogging or commenting while on the taxpayers’ clock. Kilkenny says that while Fischer’s blog entries appear to have been posted on his off hours, she believes he has gone back into some of his comments to other blogs and changed the times of entries.

Yeah, and who first broke that story of name-calling? Uh? Maybe moi?

It appears that Ms. Kilkenny is not done checking things out. She is now inquiring about exactly how much vacation time legislative aides get.
Fischer denies any wrongdoing.‘Whenever I blog, it’s on my own personal time - usually on nights and weekends,” he says. Mindful of the 2001 caucus scandal that rocked the Capitol over the use of legislative aides for political campaign work, he adds, “I am very meticulous about when I’m on state time and when I’m not.”

Fischer blames the “nonstory”on a small group of people who don’t like his politics. “They were trying to not only silence me but get me in trouble with my livelihood. And I don’t take too kindly to that.” But while he singles out “lefty bloggers,” Kilkenny calls herself a conservative, and says she was motivated by Fischer’s penchant for bombastic insult. “People like Kevin Fischer give Republicans a really bad name,” she says.

Um, Ms. Kilkenny is nothing if not conservative. (One of the good ones, too. When she's not supporting Scott Walker, that is.) But she is wrong here. He gives all bloggers a bad name.

Lefty bloggers? Kevin, the name is Whallah! Remember it.
Lazich insists she demands professionalism of her staff: “I don’t tolerate nastiness and name-calling.” But Fischer says he’s never been counseled about the content of his blog.

Oh? And why hasn't he been reprimanded yet for the nazi comment, eh?
Fischer also denies preparing for his media appearances on state time (though there’s no way to prove or disprove this by checking his time sheets). He notes that he discloses his job as a legislative aide on all his broadcast appearances, and - after some pushback from critics - FranklinNOW. com has begun identifying him as such in his accompanying biography.

Yet, by the very nature of his work as a political operative, anything he writes or says is arguably in the interest of his boss. That’s the assertion of Michael Mathias, among the liberal bloggers who have also raised questions about Fischer’s many roles. Fischer’s job working for Lazich includes communications - for instance, helping with Lazich’s, blog, which also runs on FranklinNOW.

For more of Mike's comprehensive labors, look here.

“Can you really separate his work on behalf of her office or Republicans in the state senate that cleanly?” Mathias asks.“His job is to make sure his boss gets lots of great publicity and that she is well-positioned to win re-election. To what extent is [the JS] participating in that? I think that’s really troubling.” Indeed, the same question could be asked ofMilwaukee Public Television and WISN.

Fischer really has no counterpart among Democrats - a government-paid insider who doubles as a news commentator. NOW's online editor, Mark Maley, says the Web site has an open-door policy: “Any Democrats/liberals who would like to present opposing views are welcome to start a NOWblog.” But would that solve the problem or compound it?

Sheesh, MM names Fischer, Mathias and Kilkenny. But no mention of ol' capper who started this whole ball a-rolling. I mean, where's the love here, guys? (Oh, I know that it probably has to do with my anonymity, but still...They could've at least mentioned Whallah!)

But it is good to see this guy get exposed to the light of day and shown for what he really is.

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