For some time now, at least in Milwaukee, the shoe has been on the other foot, with talk radio campaigning, often successfully, to get the Journal Sentinel to cover stories they ordinarily wouldn't because they are marginal or, in some cases, not news at all.
Charlie Sykes on WTMJ-AM, owned by the same company as the newspaper, has had more success than Mark Belling on WISN-AM at pressuring the paper to cover things. A few days of Sykes ranting about something he thinks is important, with claims the paper is covering it up because of some liberal bias (right!) is often enough.
The whole scenario took a definite turn for the worse this week, however, when Belling aired what was a non-story in anyone's book: Tom Barrett's campaign manager is driving a car with expired license plates. Oh, the horror!!! And that's not all. He might even have an unpaid parking ticket or two. Can you imagine???
Clearly, with that kind of scandal rocking his campaign, Barrett should quit the race right now. It's only a matter of time before he does. How could the voters possibly trust him after that expose?
The Journal Sentinel got a tip about this non-story and correctly ignored it. So far, so good.
But Belling yelled about it, and the posse of right-wing trolls who now comment on every JS story began commenting on other stories, asking about the "coverup" of this blockbuster.
So what did we get? A long blog item by Dan Bice on the newspaper's website, explaining and defending the paper's decision not to write about the non-story.
As it if needed an explanation. And now they have written about it, even though it is not (yet) in the print edition. Bice says he wrote the blog item because his editors asked him to.
When Mark Belling and anonymous commenters on the JS website decide what's news and what isn't, we are in serious trouble. That's even worse that Managing Editor George Stanley deciding.
By the way, we're still waiting for the explanation of why the major gaffe in Ron Johnson's TV commercial has not gotten one word in the newspaper, while other news outlets have found it newsworthy.
And has anybody checked lately to see how long the grass is in Keith Gilkes's front yard? Just asking.