Sunday, November 30, 2008
Readers have alerted me that he continues his haranguing of the family, even though the autopsy was independently proven to be accurate.
Belling's harassment continues despite the fact that Conley Publishing Group, the media company that carries his columns, felt compelled to issue a retraction and an apology for his blatantly false statements and accusations:
Belling's source for his conspiracy theory appears to be the doctor's brother, who to put it kindly, has several issues of his own, as Michael Horne reports at Milwaukee World.
If Belling had any sense of class, he would offer an apology personally. A word of advice: Don't hold your breath for that to happen.
And if he doesn't issue a sincere apology, then WISN and Conley Publishing needs to finally sever their ties to him, lest he sullies their reputations even further.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Case in point, according to stories in the Waukesha Freeman and the West Bend Daily News:
The McBuchers, Jessica, Paul and their daugher is suing a hotel and their insurance company. Their daughter suffered severe burns to her hands when she touched a hot glass in front of a burning fire place. The McBuchers are stating that the hotel is liable is responsible because they did not have any kind of protective covering to keep people from touching the hot glass.
The first question that comes to mind is where were the McBuchers. Paul was campaigning elsewhere, while Jessica was in the hotel giving a campaign speech for her husband. Another woman, Jennifer Dorow, was supposed to be watching the child when this happened.
The insurance company has added Ms. Dorow as a codefendant, since she was supposed to be watching the girl, but obviously wasn't doing a very good job of it. The McBuchers are protesting adding Ms. Dorow, stating that she did nothing wrong.
First, let me say that we at Whallah! are very glad to see that the little girl has recovered completely and that there will be no scarring.
But isn't it ironic that both Paul and Jessica, who have made a living of telling people that they need to take personal responsibility for their actions, want to blame the hotel for having hot glass in front of the fire, but do not want to blame their aide who should've recognized that fire is hot and that anything near a fire is hot as well, but let the little girl play near there without close supervison?
It is also interesting to note that Ms. Dorow, the woman that was supposed to be watching the girl, was also employed at one time in the Waukesha County District Attorney's Office, working under Paul Bucher. The story doesn't say, but it would be interesting to know if she worked their at the time this incident occurred.
The Prodigal Brawler has more on the subject.
H/T to Owen Robinson and Spring City Chronicles.
But I have been banned by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. They must be scared of me or something. I don't know why...
And the funny thing is, the only time I can ever remember leaving a comment anywhere on any of their sites, was on a dare from Elliot Stearns.
That is what this day is about.
Unless you're Kevin Fischer. Then this is what your holiday is about:
All those other traditions come second.Nothing like sharing that Christian faith by obsessing on food and insulting people.
Thanksgiving is about food and what you eat, and what you eat on Thanksgiving is turkey.
And what you eat is turkey unless you’re one of two things:
But, Kevin…vegetarians have to eat, even on Thanksgiving.
True. But they should do so without any fanfare and not ruin this long-awaited holiday for the rest of us slovenly meat eaters.
Monday, November 24, 2008
There are two main problems with his argument.
The first problem, as pointed out at The Chief, is that there is no realistic expectation that the Fairness Doctrine will ever be reinstated. After listing the fact that both McIlheran and the author he cites admit that President Elect Barack Obama has come out on record as opposing the Fairness Doctrine, the Chief continues with this:
But, of course, it's not the end of the story -- not so far as Anderson and McIlheran are concerned. Instead of just accepting Obama's position -- a position both gentlemen agree with -- both men seem the astonishing: absent any evidence to back up their claim -- and contrary to the very official statement released by the campaign, they promote the idea that Obama does, in fact, support the fairness doctrine.Do read the rest of the post by The Chief, in which he goes on to put a spit through Sykes, and roasts him nicely.
This breach of good faith argumentation genuinely makes my head ache.
Where are the secret memos advising legislators to unleash the Fairness Doctrine bills in the next congress? What about the discretely recorded speeches at fund-raisers with Obama telling liberal contributors that the first thing he's going to do is shut down Rush Limbaugh and the rest of his ilk? Were are the college classmates who remember Obama arguing passionately in his Intro to Comm Law class for the reinstatement of the Doctrine?
Anderson's article, which McIlheran merely appropriates, offers absolutely no evidence to support his claim that Obama actually support the Fairness doctrine. Instead, Anderson glosses over what the broadcasting industry would look like if it were reinstated. No substance, but plenty of tangentially related speculation.
Absent any empirical evidence to the contrary, the only thing we have to go on is Obama's word, which neither Anderson nor McIlheran seem satisfied with, which might strike some as odd since Obama's position is also Anderson and McIlerhan's position!
I think we all know why this is the case: it's better to be on the offensive -- and to smite one's enemies -- than to expend valuable column inches on defending, justifying, or admonishing one's colleagues with regards to the phenomenal failure the party and ideology has been during the last eight years.
That would take a degree of intellectual courage that McIlheran frankly doesn't have the balls for.
Jay Folkbum, aka Jay Bullock, points to the real motivation behind PaddyMac's lamentation - profit making by a colleague:
The idea frightens talk radio radio hosts, as well as it should, since by the hosts' own admission, they often will purposely keep the objects of their attack off the air even when the victims try to call in and offer their side of the argument.So, you see, it's not that Paddy and Charlie are afraid that they will not be able to continue to spew their vitriol. It's just that they realized that some of us still have a couple of bucks despite eight years of Bushonomics, and they want the rest of our money for themselves and their buddies.
However, the fairness doctrine is not coming back. President-elect Barack Obama does not support it. There are no bills pending in Congress, which, frankly, has better things to do. TNR reporter Marin Cogan couldn't find anyone willing to go on or off record suggesting the doctrine's return is anything but fantasy. The last time anyone introduced the idea, it barely got out of draft form. It's just not going to happen.
But that hasn't stopped the right from believing it will--just as they seem to believe that Barack Obama is coming for their guns.
Yes, friends, someone is out there trying to sell a book opposing the fairness doctrine. Like Hugh Hewitt's How Sarah Palin Won the Election ... and Saved America, a book on the return of the fairness doctrine is a book about an imaginary thing, and won't sell very well unless the authors' allies can really gin up the fear for them. Bravo, authors Anderson and Thierer, for working the market like pros. Boo McIlheran, for shilling for them.
He continues to show that he is worth the praise I gave him by cracking the story that the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's office has reviewed the autopsy of Dr. Bradley Mays, and found that the findings previously reported are consisted with their own findings, and that Dr. Mays did not die from any sort of nefarious plot.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel also reports the same findings a day later than Mr. Horne in their Sunday issue.
Judging from the third comment in Michael Horne's post, which came from a friend of the widow and the late doctor, it seems that Belling's source, this brother, Truman, is the one that might have some sort of nefarious scheme to make gain from his brother's premature demise.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Some members of the family apparently were having a hard time dealing with the sudden death of their loved one, and either could not or would not accept the medical examiner's finding.
Mark Belling, in his usual manner, went of on the air, in the paper, and on the Internet, joining in the conspiracy theory, making some wild accusations, including this:
The story gets even more suspicious. Mainland, the Kenosha medical examiner, recently quit her job to take a position in Tampa, Fla. Mays’ body was cremated shortly after the dubious autopsy was concluded. Mays’ widow, Carrie, member of a prominent local family, is fighting efforts by her husband’s family to reopen the case. Numerous sources tell me their marriage was shaky the last few months.
Carrie Mays is the daughter of Frank T. Crivello, a prominent former Milwaukee County judge. The Crivellos, many of whom I know personally, are a great family that know a lot of people. Several are close with Milwaukee County Assistant District Attorney Mark Williams. His wife happens to be Ozaukee County District Attorney Sandy Williams. Did their desire to support Carrie Mays lead to a less than thorough investigation? Or worse, did their friendship lead them to cover up a potential homicide?
The case is so polluted by either incompetence or misconduct that it is imperative than an outside agency reopen it and conduct a proper investigation. The cremation of Brad Mays complicates things but certainly should not stop a real investigation. The state Department of Justice needs to take the case from Mequon police and Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen needs to take prosecution of it away from Sandy Williams.
Crack reporter, and friend of Whallah!, Michael Horne of MilwaukeeWorld, looked into the story and found several flaws with Belling's accusations and assumptions. One flaw is Belling's assumption on who the widow is related to. Another is that the investigation was not done thoroughly.
Belling's wild claims have already caused pain to the family of the deceased. From Mr. Horne's post:
One of the Mays children had already been the subject of hurtful comments from other children at school, outraging the mother who is trying to get on with her life and to prepare her daughters for their futures without their father. These are the true "Blood Relatives" of Bradley Mays.
And just like when Belling made the comment using a derogatory racial slur, he has gotten himself and his employer in trouble. Again, from Mr. Horne's post on this story:
The continuing harassment led Carrie Mays to contact Attorney Steve Kravit this week. Kravit today filed a demand for retraction with GM Today for the Belling articles, which he said were false and libelous, and put Carrie Mays in a false light. You can read the document here, including an enlightening and damning letter from a doctor to Belling as we await the response from the publisher.
It amazes me that not only is the radio station and the newspaper lack so much integrity that they keep this fool on board, but that there are people that really do listen to this guy, and believes what he says to boot.
As that I find this Prince of Puns to be a thought-provoking writer, and that I could always use the publicity, I figured I'd make this pact with the wheeled devil, and agreed to his offer. Twice.
I know that he will make out like a bandit if enough people take him up on the offer, but I've always had a soft spot in my heart for the handicapped. And Elliot has more handicaps than a lousy golfer.
Anyway, even though Elliot does have some good qualities about him, there are some serious flaws as well. I've explained a little bit over here, but the flaw pertinent to any Whallah! reader is a major one.
You see, gentle reader, despite being a Libertarian, finding himself in need of a wheelchair and an inexplicable fascination with guns, these all pale to Elliot's most troubling issue. He has, God only knows why, a very serious man-crush on James T. Harris.
Why a Libertarian would like someone that things it's OK to own his daughter is beyond me. I guess there is no accounting for taste with some people. To me, it would be like PETA member that likes KFC.
Either way, he asked for it, he got it.
Fischer has a post blasting a state representative who issued a press release about the tragic death of Christopher L. Thomas, Jr., a baby boy that was place into the care of his aunt by the Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare. The aunt tortured the baby and his two year old sister until the boy died from the abuse he suffered.
Fischer comes to the defense of fellow incompetent Republican, Alberta Darling, who not only helped create the BMCW, but was supposed to be on the committee that was overseeing it so that this type of thing wouldn't keep happening.
Then Fischer's own incompetence and ignorance really kicks in with this:
Not in Darling's backyard? Zepnick represents the south side of MIlwaukee, nowhere near where this murder took place. What's he shooting his mouth off about?For Fischer's information, the murder took place in the 3000 block of South 12th Street. If 12th and Oklahoma isn't on the south side of Milwaukee, I don't know what is. And that neighborhood is nowhere near Germantown, northern Milwaukee County and southern Ozaukee County, which is the bulk of Darling's district.
Fischer wasn't done with that bit of trivia though. His true racist nature comes out with this:
And then maybe Zepnick should think about the risk of stripping babies away from solid, white foster families only to put them in the dangerous custody of blood relatives on the sole basis of color.And as if the racism isn't bad enough, he gets it wrong, showing that the entirety of his argument is racist. The real reason they put these children with their murderous aunt was because the BMCW wanted to save a few bucks. They pay relatives about half of what they pay foster parents, even though the needs of the children are the same in either setting.
But even past the ignorance, and past the glaring racism, the most disgusting thing about Fischer's post is the fact that he tries to score political hit points by using the death of a baby:
And then maybe Zepnick should think long and hard before putting out another stupid press release. Earth to Josh: The election is over. Sheldon Wasserman lost to Darling.To sum it up, Fischer makes several ignorant, racist comments in order to use the completely unnecessary and avoidable death of a baby, just in an attempt to score a political point. And then he fails at that anyway.
Fischer truly is a pompous dumb ass.
I teach at UWM and drive to work there. When gas prices were high, it cost me $20 a day. Many students can’t afford the gas prices, not to mention the parking hassles and costs, the car insurance and payments. Students are shouldering an ever increasing financial burden. Yes, we all are. But there’s a tipping point for students. Most of UWM’s graduates remain in the greater Milwaukee community, including Waukesha County. We all have a vested interest in making sure more people can afford higher education.Now, we already know that her and her trial lawyer hubby live in Merton. According to mapquest, the distance from Merton to UWM is about 31 miles. Just for convenience, let us say that it takes her 60 miles round trip.
Even if gas was $4.50 per gallon, and she burned $20 worth of gas per day, that means she was only getting just over 13 miles to the gallon. What the heck was she driving, the Queen Mary?
Maybe someone should tell ol' Jess that there are more fuel efficient vehicles out there, since she seems unaware of that fact. But then again, a real journalist would have already known how to do that kind of research.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
ZOMG, Obama voters are stupid pawns of the media!!!1!!eleven!
Wow, I thought despairing over the electorate's lack of intelligence was for snobby, effete, cheese-eating bleeding-hearts, not uber-macho, gun-obsessed whack-jobs who threaten the life of the President-Elect barely hours after his opponent concedes.
It seems Peter - the Texas Hold 'Em Blogger who deleted his old blog after some people (myself included) commented that posting an upside-down American flag not once, but twice, while insisting (as he still does) that November 4th is now one of the "darkest days in American history" might be in somewhat bad taste - has returned. I mean, let's be honest here: If bloggers of my persuasion had posted two upside-down American flags in response to John McCain being elected (something I would never conscience doing, and I doubt any of the others would have, but bear with me, this is a hypothetical), Peter would have been hollering for charges to be pressed. Yet he posts it, gets called on it, deletes his entire blog, and then starts a new platform from which to launch into more "I hate America for electing Obama" rants and post flagrantly anti-semitic dreck like this. Yes, according to Peter, Jews who voted for Obama are "self-hating" and morally equivalent to Jews who turned in other Jews to the Nazis to be exterminated. It would be entertaining to see the defeat of John McCain taking so heavy a toll on Peter's psyche if he weren't using so much disgusting hate-speech in the process.
I don't have anything against bloggers of a conservative persuasion. I may disagree with virtually every opinion aired by Dean, Owen, Professor Esenberg, Professor McAdams, Patrick, Charlie, James, Lance, Fred, or my favorite foil, Dad29 (to name a few), but I respect their views. However, I cannot recall any of those bloggers posting upside-down American flags, insinuating that they would be pleased by the assassination of the President-Elect, or indulging in flat-out antisemitism. Maybe it's wrong of me to even criticize Peter for doing so, because my criticism just brings more attention to it, which perversely rewards his rhetorical excesses. However, as Jay Bullock rightly points out, it's probably better at this stage to engage than to ignore.
So, in the spirit of engagement, and with a great sense of historical irony in a world where conservatives are typically the ones attacking their opponents on the grounds that they "hate America," I have this question for Peter: Why do you hate America?
If the election of Barack Obama is enough to make DiGuadio ashamed of his country, his love of said country must not have been very deeply rooted, don't you think?
Cross-posted from Brazen Maverick.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Um, Charlie, to paraphrase someone, perhaps the only one, that you love, adore and respect, let me say this:
The election is over. Obama won. Get over it. No, seriously, get over it.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Andrew at Weazel Zippers makes a great point, Muslim groups also supported Prop 8, why didn't they burn a Koran on the door step of a mosque? Never mind, we all know the answer to that question.....We're waiting for the answer from Fred. But then, in the comment section, Fred writes this:
Default mode for you liberals is to diminsh then make a ridiculous comparrison without any basis in fact.Who knew? Fred's a liberal by his own definition?
I expect that Charlie will be holding true to some of the items pointed out by Mr. Shelley, especially the one about ripping into someone he knows won't be responding. (That is rather hypocritical since Charlie always had the opportunity to respond her, an opportunity he won't allow others on his site or his show, but is to scared that he may be confronted with the truth.)
Consider this to be your open line to respond to his lies, since he won't let you do it on his show. Just remember, you're responsible for your own comments, and we don't want to be sounding like the right wing lunatic fringe.
A county treasurer who lost her bid for a fourth term last week to a 20-year-old Dartmouth College student from Montana blames her failed candidacy on 'brainwashed college kids.'As the gentle reader can see, she already as the talking points and lingo that any conservative talk show host. Perhaps she can come to Milwaukee, for when Sykes abuses the paid sick leave law.
Republican Carol Elliott said students just voted for the Democratic ticket, which included Dartmouth junior Vanessa Sievers. Sievers won by nearly 600 votes out of 42,000 cast after targeting voters at Dartmouth and Plymouth State University through a $42 ad on the Web site Facebook.
'It was the brainwashed college kids that made the difference,' Elliott, 66, told the Valley News of Lebanon. She said she had little faith that Sievers will fulfill her duties adequately.
'You've got a teenybopper for a treasurer,' said Elliott, who has held the position for six years. 'I'm concerned for the citizens of Grafton County.'
The part-time job pays $6,408. It involves keeping tabs on all county money, making investments and making payments ordered by county commissioners.
Sievers said Wednesday she was surprised by Elliott's 'brutal attack.'
'She's never met me before,' Sievers said in a phone interview with The Associated Press. 'She has no idea what I'm like.'
Thursday, November 13, 2008
It's what Chuckles would call a hot read.
Gretchen Shuldt Doege, of Milwaukee Rising, apparently had some communication with Journal Sentinel Managing Editor George Stanley:
Patrick McIlheran’s pre-publication sharing of a column with a generally right wing bunch of bloggers was a mistake that shouldn’t have happened and shouldn’t happen again, according to Journal Sentinel managing editor George Stanley (previous posts here and here).
Thank you, George.
Gee, something tells me that this was hardly the first time Paddy played this game of peek and boo with his buddies.
Furthermore, who does Stanley think he is kidding that we should honestly believe that Paddy won't do it again. He'll just be more careful on who he has on his email list.
The next thing they'll be telling us is that they really do provide a "fair and balanced look at the news."
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
I chose not to write about it for a few reasons. One, I know Peter has a history of flying of the handle and saying irresponsible and totally unacceptable things. Secondly, I do believe, based on what I saw, and from what others have told me, that Peter does have a clinically diagnosable mental health issue. I have a different perspective than most, as that my training and my career is based on helping those with mental illness. Thirdly, with everyone else piling on him, both publicly and privately, I did not feel that I would have anything to add, and did not want to add to any issues Peter might have. Another major reason for my silence on the issue was simply that I had bigger fish to fry.
Well, Peter, in a fit of pique, chose to delete his entire site. A few days later, he came back with a new site. Badger Blogger and Fred Dooley both proudly announced it, but had never publicly denounced the original problematic posts and comments. This caused them a bit of grief, I'm sure. Again, I said nothing, because this was what I expected from them, unfortunately.
Dooley became so incensed with the criticism, that he felt compelled to put up a post explaining his actions. Now, for the uninitiated, Dooley is an extreme right wing blogger that has problems with polite interactions. His site, mistitled "Real Debate Wisconsin" is anything but that. Dooley has the tendency to use irresponsible rhetoric and over the top hyperbole from time to time as well.
He has also banned many people from his site, mostly for the sin of disagreeing with him. The most recent being another one of our prodigal contributors, Other Side.
Dooley also hates a lot of people, including yours truly. He has written many posts and comments attacking me personally and attacking this site. One of the many insults he flailed about in my general direction was that I am some sort of sexist, just because I had the audacity to disagree with Jessica McBride.
So, you can see, I was just amazed at the level of hypocrisy when Dooley wrote this:
In short, these complainers are the same people who don't seem to have any problem with similar speech from the left. If you'd like to see the local equivalent of Peter's work on the left, do a search for Blue Racine. That's a particularly vile and vulgar site that these same paragons of virtue complaining about myself, Peter and Patrick @ Badger Blogger have no issues at all with. Funny how an acerbic conservative bothers them yet they have no issues at all with acerbic lefties. I prefer to just ignore them, they are not worthy of any energy or effort on my part, I have enough to do.Yup, Dooley, who had accused me of sexism for disagreeing with a woman, calls a site run by a woman vile and vulgar. Interestingly, one of the contributors at his site is also a contributor at Blue Racine. Perhaps it's just a jealousy issue. More likely it's hypocrisy.
Another funny thing is that none of his commenters found anything vulgar or vile about Blue Racine. In fact, many of the commenters remark that Fred's site is much, much worse than this site.
So, let's review.
- He calls me sexist for disagreeing with McBride, but then attacks a woman, calling her site vile and vulgar.
- The site he calls vile and vulgar is found by independent commenters to be anything but that, but do notice that his site is actually vile and vulgar.
- He says that he ignores us terrible, terrible lefties, but felt that he had to respond.
- He calls his site Real Debate, when he bans people for disagreeing with him.
And has an added bonus to his ridiculousness, we have another comment on Dooley's post from the (in)famous mickey/gus:
One of the other WMCS hosts, Eric Von, has been so kind as to have me on his show a couple of times to offer his listeners some insight into the other side, Mr. Von being of generally liberal opinions. I recently got invited onto Wisconsin Public Radio in much the same spirit: Do, please, explain to us this odd way of thinking you embrace.
Then again, conservative hosts usually push liberal callers to the front of the line. Charlie Sykes does it. Rush Limbaugh is famous for it and is notably courteous to such callers. A little argument spices up a show.
I'm used to Paddy putting a hard spin on things, but this is the first time that I can recall where he out and outright lied in public.
Sykes tempts Karma.
Karma lays the smackdown on Sykes.
P.S. It continued today as well. TMJ should just let him go. He's too expensive to keep, missing all this work and all that. They need to watch out for their profits.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Saturday, November 8, 2008
So without further delay, let's get the ball rolling. First up is the one and only Mark Belling. Mark, what are your thoughts on the election results?
I see. Next we have the columnist who likes to share, but only with other right wing bloggers, because he needs all the help he can get, Patrick McIlheran:
Thank you, Paddy. And speaking of Paddy, let us now go to the other half of McSykes, Charlie Sykes. Charlie, what are your thoughts?
Anyway, now we bring you the star of blogs, the star of radio, and the star of TV, Kevin Fischer. Kevin, please share your thoughts.
On Tuesday, the nation
wait for it....
are you ready for it?
Someone that I told them not too!
Thank you Kevin, I think.
Anyway, as a special guest to this special post, we bring you, straight from Racine, Fred Dooley.
Fred, please share your thoughts:
There you have it folks, the last week of right wing opinions of the elections.
Thank you and have a good night.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Conservatives explain the total dominance of right-wing opinions on talk radio by claiming that right-wing personalities are somehow inherently more interesting and entertaining than anyone expressing views on the left. That doesn’t make any sense at a time when the intelligent, hilarious news satires of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert coming from the left are among the most popular shows on television.Read it here.
It seems far more likely that half of America doesn’t even bother turning on commercial talk radio because they expect their intelligence to be insulted by simpleminded, right-wing rants up and down the dial.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
I'm going to preface this by saying that I know both Charlie Sykes and Mark Belling well. I like them both and I think they both do a great job on their respective radio shows. [That makes Begel a minority voice on Whallah-Xoff.]
But everything they were in favor of lost last night. Obama won. The sales tax hike won. The sick leave bill won. Conservative talk radio lost, and lost by fairly resounding margins.
What that says is a couple of things.
One, of course, is that people are tired of anger. Say what you will, if there are no enemies, then there is no conservative talk radio. They have built an empire being against things. Conflict is something that has proven to be very good for talk radio hosts.
Talk radio show hosts talk continually about the "mainstream media." Well, in Milwaukee, where both Sykes and Belling draw big ratings, they are the mainstream media. They are the big dogs on the block.
But they may not be so popular as people thought. Listening to those shows, you¹d figure that everyone in the world thought Obama was a corrupt, non-American, terrorist-loving Muslim who read Karl Marx to his kids at bedtime.
But this election has shown us something.
We are tired of the bitterness. We are tired of somebody always being angry at somebody else.
I don¹t want to go all Rodney King here, but maybe, just maybe, we can all get along.
Oh, we can have policy differences. And we can talk about them, and debate them, even heatedly. But what we really are tired of is the "us versus them" patois of conservative talk radio.
I am sure that Charlie and Mark will continue to have their shows. I¹ll personally fight any efforts to stifle talk radio with new kinds of legislation.
But if I were programming a radio station, I might just decide to get ahead of this curve and find some talk show hosts who aren¹t looking to make a name for themselves on the back of other people. I doubt if that¹s going to happen but there's no harm in wishing.
The JS letters editor and first vice president of the local Newspaper Guild, Sonya Jongsma Knauss, tells readers of Blogging Blue that the JS’ ethic policy does not apply to columnists.
“First, the ethics agreement refers to articles, not columns,” she writes.
So it’s OK for Patrick McIlheran to disclose the contents of his column well in advance of publication to his conservative buddies, plus Jay Bullock?
So then columnist Dan Bice can ship his stuff around town ahead of publication? Columnist Jim Stingl can do that? Columnist Tim Cuprisin? Really? That’s news to me. If I, a subscriber, request that McIlheran and the rest of JS columnists provide to me their columns in advance of publication, can I do that in the name of equal treatment? Or are they allowed to pick and choose who gets an advance look? Is Paddy Mac giving non-subscribers preferential treatment (or punishment, depending on how you view his writings) over people who plunk down cash for their papers?
And is a column really not an article? Generally, but not always, a column is not a story — but to argue that a column is not an article doesn’t match the definitions of “article” that popped when I Googled. And are average readers are supposed to be able to slice that finely the semantic pie Sonya has laid before them?
Sonya suggests that Paddy Mac may have sent his column out after the 7 p.m. day-before posting at JS online, but he actually sent it out several hours before that.
Sonya also writes that the Newspaper Guild doesn’t officially recognize the ethics policy, something else the average reader would have no clue about. By the way, is the right wing Paddy Mac a Guild member?
The explanations are not good enough. If the JS exempts certain staffers from its ethics policy, it needs to clearly say so so readers can understand — with no hidden caveats — what they are getting.
“It is a permitted practice for Journal Sentinel editorial board members and columnists to disclose the contents of their work in advance of publication to a select few most likely to support their points of view.”
Something like that. But is that really something the JS wants to live with?
It is a sad commentary when the only local newspaper is no longer satisfied by reporting the news, but is apparently trying to unfairly influence the course of events.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
§176. Respect for flag
(b) The flag should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, the floor, water, or merchandise.
(k) The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.
All four flags are set up to touch the ground...
Of course, they have a right to do whatever they want with the flag, but it bothered my parents so much, I thought I'd point it out... All four flags out of respect for our country, should be burned in a flag burning ceremony.
Monday, November 3, 2008
With McCain, however, you get an adult now. His growing is accomplished. The best speech the man delivered was at his nomination, and its heart was his story of war imprisonment. What started sounding like a boast turned out to be its opposite. McCain told of how his captors broke him. This shamed him, he said, but also took away his youthful self-regard. He learned, he said, "the limits of my selfish independence," to understand that "I wasn't my own man anymore; I was my country's."
Those are the words of a man who has had time to think and comprehend the meaning of freedom. Obama seems like a bright fellow. Someday, he might achieve such understanding. Until then, I'd trust the guy who seems to know what he's doing.
I was then going to point out the absurdities in this one column, which would have been a Herculean undertaking to say the least.
However, there is something even more alarming than PaddyMac's usual running and hiding from reality. It is that he apparently likes to give sneak previews of his columns.
Jay Bullock, my friend and mentor, received an email from Paddy, with this column. Jay writes:
I am a lucky guy. I think. Somehow, after all these years of duels and ripostes, in the last couple of weeks Patrick McIlheran has added me to his mailing list. That means every few days or so I get an email from him with the full text of a column of his slated to run in the next day or two.Jay then goes on to do the fisking of the column, so that we don't have to. But it seemed disconcerting to me that Paddy was giving out advanced copies of his column, mostly to conservative bloggers. Sort of like giving them a heads up so that they can gear up the echo chambers, in a futile effort to make his column look rational.
Thursday night I got his preview of Friday's column*. (Confidential to PM in Bay View: Next time, use the BCC field. Your sole liberal correspondent might feel a bit weird about being your sole liberal correspondent, and was probably happier when he believed there was a more even distribution.) "Here’s an early look at my column in Friday's Journal Sentinel. You’re seeing it because I send a heads-up to a select group of talkers and bloggers whose work I admire. You’re among them." See? Lucky!
I am not the only one that caught onto this disturbing behavior.
Gretchen Schuldt Doege, who in a former life was a real journalist, with all the skills and ethics that are associated with the best (cuz she was, and still is, among the best, in my humble but royal opinion), also noticed a problem:
The changing ways columnists and bloggers communicate may mean that maybe hard and fast journalistic rules — like you don’t spread newspaper content around in advance of publication — are changing. To allow columnists to sneak-peak their writings to a handful of friends seems a slippery slope the MJS ought not want to start down. It damages the paper’s credibility and chips away at the trust it must have from its readers. We are left wondering: Who else at the MJS is showing what else to a politically friendly audience?Zachary of Blogging Blue also picked up on the story. What is truly remarkable about that post, besides his usual fantastic work, and worthy of our attention, is a comment left by none other than Sonya Jongsma-Knauss, the letters editor at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. She comes to Paddy's defense, sort of, but with a really strange twist at the end (emphasis mine):
I think this may be a little bit of much ado about nothing…
First, the ethics agreement refers to articles, not columns. Second, depending on what time in the evening Pat e-mailed his column, it likely had already been typeset for print and probably even already published online. JSonline producers often have Editorial Board content — columns, editorials, etc. — posted by around 7 p.m. the evening before they’re in the paper.
Newswatch and JSonline both tend to disclose, on a daily basis, what will be published in the next day’s paper. So, perhaps it’s time for that policy to be updated…
And as a side note, the Newspaper Guild doesn’t officially recognize the ethics policy.
Is she saying that the newspaper doesn't follow an ethics code? Or that MJS has one on paper, but that it is meaningless in their eyes?
That opens a Pandora's box of disturbing possibilities. As Gretchen points out, it raises the question of what else they are sharing, and with whom are they sharing it? Not only that, but what are these outside influences sharing, and telling, MSJ staff to write? And of equal importance: Why am I not on Paddy's email buddy list? I'm sure it's just an oversight on his part.
No wonder their circulation is dropping faster than Bush's approval ratings. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: This rag isn't even worth the paper it's printed on
In a post last night, Fischer wrote about his reasons for voting for McGrumpy.
Included in that gibberish was this line, after trying to paint Obama as corrupt:
Attacks by the press on McCain and his running mate, Sarah Palin, have been personal and vicious. Obama and Joe Biden have gone virtually unscathed.
Despite it all, The One, the Messiah, the greatest, most intelligent, most phenomenal candidate, the most revered individual to ever run for the White House has failed to seal the deal, and just days before Election Day, John McCain is still in it. His task is clearly difficult, but not insurmountable.
He then goes on with the right wing talking point about their faux concern about Obama not putting this election in the bag yet. You know, the same kind of tripe they ran out with during the primaries, wondering why Obama didn't put away Hillary Clinton earlier. They seem to have forgotten that they already used this line, and still ended up looking like knuckleheads.
The ironic thing, is that Fischer, the self-proclaimed star of radio, TV and blogs is the same media person that came to my attention after his very personal, very immature attacks on Greg Kowalski. I would normally suggest Mr. Fischer do some hard introspection, but my guess is that he wouldn't, and even if he did, he probably wouldn't see anything wrong. Delusions will do that to a person.
The list is the usual fear and smear that we've been hearing ad nauseum from the right. The telling one is the number one reason why Mr. Frum, and Charlie, will be voting for McCain (emphasis mine):
1) John McCain is white, the son and grandson of admirals, married to a wealthy heiress – and yet he has experienced degrees of suffering, despair, and defeat that not one in a million of us can imagine. Barack Obama wears a black skin and carries an exotic name.What the hell does that have to do with anything? I reckon it just goes to show that Charlie does have racist qualities and he isn't even bothering to hide them anymore. Excuse me if I don't hold my breath waiting for him to apologize or for other right wingers to condemn this. They don't seem to interested in integrity lately.