Friday, October 2, 2015

J-S Politi-"fact" is working for Walker

If you thought the implosion of Scott Walker’s presidential campaign would lead more critical analysis of this dishonest fool by his former fans at the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel’s Politi-“fact”, I think you’re going to be disappointed.

Why do I say you shouldn’t get your hopes up? Read this piece of bilge today by Politi-"fact"’s Tom Kertscher, where he tries to paint State Sen. Jon Erpenbach as a liar (and Walker as being truthful) for Erpenbach saying that Walker reversed himself when Scotty supported proposed changes in the state’s civil service rules. Here’s the start of Kertscher’s “analysis.”
On a number of occasions in February 2011, as if to reassure state workers outraged by Act 10, Walker said union contracts weren't needed because the civil service law would protect public employees from political favoritism or retribution. And he made a point to say that Act 10 would not change civil service protections.

Two examples:

· On "Fox News Sunday," Walker said: "There is no state that has a better civil service system in terms of protections. That does not change in this. Worker rights will be maintained even after our bill passes."

· In a televised address that has become known as his "fireside chat," the governor said: "It’s important to remember that many of the rights we’re talking about don’t come directly from collective bargaining. They come from the civil service system here in Wisconsin. That law was passed in 1905, long before collective bargaining, and it will continue long after our plan is approved."

But saying that Act 10 would not change the civil service system is not the same as pledging not to make any changes to the system. And Erpenbach did not cite any such statements from Walker to us.
ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME? So because Walker didn’t explicitly say he wouldn’t change the civil service system, that makes Erpenbach’s statement that Walker wouldn’t change things false? Bullshit.

Then check out the basis Kertscher gives for saying Erpenbach “ignores critical facts” regarding Walker’s position on civil service, leading Kertscher to give the “mostly false” rating. After admitting that then-DOA Secretary Mike Huebsch said no changes were in the works in June 2014, and that a DOA spokesperson says Walker was not planning any changes, Kertscher throws this copout in there.
But the Journal Sentinel also reported that records it had obtained showed there had been early-stage discussions about removing red tape that slows hiring for state jobs.

And the next month, Walker didn’t directly respond to a request from the Journal Sentinel when asked if he favored changing current civil service protections.
Yes, the J-S has proof that the Walker Administration officials were lying about not having thought about changes, BUT WHERE DID WALKER STATE ANY CHANGE OF POSITION FROM 2011? There isn’t any, so the last statements on the record before last week was that Walker was still backing the civil service, and now he is not. How is that not a flip-flop (if not a flat-out lie), and how is Erpenbach wrong for calling it out?

This is exactly the type of pro-Walker parsing and false equivalency that allowed Walker to slip by in the November 2014 election with 52% of the vote. And it is disgraceful favoritism that would lead to the firing of anyone that tried to pull it at any newspaper worth a damn. Then again, this is the MMAC/Bradley Foundation’s Rag Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel we’re talking about, isn’t it?

It’s the type of “lying by omission” and flip-flopping BS that Walker couldn’t get away with when he tried it against a national media whose bosses weren’t giving orders to cover up for him. Bruce Murphy at Urban Milwaukee has an excellent summary titled “8 Reasons Why Walker’s Campaign Failed,” and one theme that comes up over and over again is how Walker was insulated in Wisconsin from having to know something beyond talking points, and give legitimate answers on questions (something I and many others reiterate in the comments of this article). Here are a couple of examples.
2. A lack of preparation for the national media: In Wisconsin, Walker could count on fawning coverage from talk radio and could generally control when and what kind of interviews he did with the far-from-robust print and TV media in this state. But Walker couldn’t control the national media and seemed unprepared by the sheer onslaught of probing questions he received, even from conservative reporters at Fox. His steely discipline — a key asset — melted away because he too often was unprepared for questions, leading to evasions, slip-ups and contradictions that increasingly made him seem not ready for prime time…

5. Candidate Walker was anything but “unintimidated”: His core message was that he was the politician who won’t back down on tough issues, but Walker’s constant flip-flops undermined this image and he increasingly looked like he was pandering. “This is a candidate who built his presidential campaign on the premise that he was a fighter — yet he seemed uncomfortable confronting people face to face, especially fellow Republicans,” [the Washington Post’s Jenna] Johnson writes. “Ahead of the first Republican debate, I watched hours of video footage from Walker’s previous debates in Wisconsin. In a few of these, Walker had the opportunity to ask his opponent a question and passed. Instead, he stuck to his talking points and avoided confrontation… On the early campaign trail, Walker ignored protesters, maneuvered out of conversations that turned testy, rarely held town halls and avoided follow-up questions from reporters whenever possible.”
But in spite of the unmaksing that happened to Walker on a national level as a dishonest, empty fraud, here’s Tom Kertscher and the Journal-Sentinel’s Politi-“fact”, still letting Scotty off the hook for what is an obvious flip-flop from earlier statements, and trying to knock down Dems for pointing out this reality.

The Wisconsin corporate media suck-ups apparently haven’t been shamed enough from allowing the charade of Scott Walker’s political career to advance to where it has, and for allowing the state of Wisconsin such strife and damage for not calling out Walker’s lies and true intentions. So they must pay every bit the price that Walker and his WisGOP enablers should- by direct action and removal as soon as possible. THIS HAS TO END.

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