Ten Little Editors

We have been discussing how Verify the Recall’s only purpose was to have a searchable database of people who signed the recall petition, so they could be harassed and intimidated.    The latest version was the story of the Wausau Daily Herald checking VTR, and disciplining the employees they find.

Well it turns out I jumped the gun a little bit and there is more to the story.   It turns out in today’s paper’s it turns out there was a pattern.   H/T Jim Romenesko: 

But first a brief interlude.  As a kid, I was a big fan of the Flintstones and One of my favorite episodes was called “Ten Little Flintstones”. 

Chaos reigns supreme when ten androids from another planet–all whom are dead-ringers for Fred–land in Bedrock causing havoc in an attempt to conquer the earth. When the alien master admits failure and recalls the androids, Fred is left to explain his odd behavior.

A bunch of Fred Flintstons run around, wreaking havoc on Bedrock and only saying “Yabba, Dabb, Doo” while the real Fred has no idea whats happening, except that everyone is mad at him.

Ok back to todays op-ed’s. We brought you

Mark Treinen from the Wausau Daily Herald:

Journalists can and do voice their opinions about political issues with their colleagues, friends or family. Journalists can and do vote in elections. Those actions are appropriate.

Yabba Dabba Doo

Now on Richard Roesgen of the FDL Reporter:

Journalists can and do voice their opinions about political issues with their colleagues, friends or family. Journalists can and do vote in elections. Those actions are appropriate.

Yabba Dabba Doo

Kevin Corrado from Green Bay Press Gazette:

Journalists can and do voice their opinions about political issues with their colleagues, friends or family. Journalists can and do vote in elections. Those actions are appropriate.

Yabba Dabba Doo

Genia Lovett from the Appleton Post Crescent:

A number of the journalists told us they did not consider signing the petition a political act. They equated it to casting a ballot in an election, something they have every right to do. But we see a distinction.

Yabba Dabba Doo

This from Plagiarism.org:

According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, to “plagiarize” means

to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one’s own
to use (another’s production) without crediting the source
to commit literary theft
to present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source.

In other words, plagiarism is an act of fraud. It involves both stealing someone else’s work and lying about it afterward.

A story showing up in every Gannett paper with almost the same words, written by someone we do not know, the majority who endorsed Scott Walker, telling their readers they searched VTR for employees and the ones who signed “will be disciplined”.

Then they wonder why newspaper readership has declined?


Rebecca Kleefisch swoons over husband’s crow hunting prowess but others are unimpressed

Ten days ago, Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch was back in her hometown of Oconomowoc, Wisconsin to attend a fundraiser hosted by People for Rebecca, according to Amber Gramza of the Oconomowoc Enterprise. A sommelier who co-hosted the private event at Vino Etcetera! Wine Bar & Store said she supports Kleefisch because “not only is she a woman in power, but she lives here.”

But I personally know plenty of women in Oconomowoc who, shockingly, won’t be supporting Kleefisch, even though they’re of the same gender and hail from the same city. Despite the fact that Mahlon Mitchell is a man who currently resides in Madison, many of my female friends and relatives living in Oconomowoc plan to vote for him for Lt. governor this spring.

Like the public school teacher who took a $600/month pay cut this year after her union was busted by the Walker and Kleefisch administration. And the nurse who is deeply concerned about the administration’s cuts to BadgerCare. And those who cannot forgive Rebecca Kleefisch for equating gay marriage to a person marrying a table, a clock, or a dog.

Lt. Governor Kleefisch must know she’s in great danger of losing her seat, which is why she was in town to raise funds. And as Gramza reported, Kleefisch told supporters at the wine shop, “…if we have a Democrat in the lieutenant governor’s office where our great governor has to spend every day looking over his shoulder, I cannot imagine how we would be nearly as effective as we are right now.”


But Rebecca Kleefisch didn’t just talk about herself on March 15th, Gramza reports, she bragged about her husband as well. When asked by Freeman staff what she thought about Joel Kleefisch’s support for recent Assembly bills regarding sandhill crane and wolf hunting, she replied, “He is a hunter to his core and we’ve got a strong tradition of the outdoors in Wisconsin…He is now the official Stone Bank Crow Hunting champion and not a lot of wives can boast something like that.”

That’s for sure.

But not every Wisconsinite in the area is impressed by novelty killing; many are simply concerned with getting or keeping a job with health insurance and paying the bills, which is why, like his wife, Joel Kleefisch is also in danger of losing his seat.

Representative Joel Kleefisch will be challenged by Scott Michalak, a working-class Democrat whose plans for the 38th district include advocating on behalf of our public school systems, fighting for accessible health care for everyone, and embracing environmental stewardship in order to improve our economy. He also seeks to restore transparency to our political process. I’ve spoken with Michalak numerous times, and he is smart and determined.

So this spring voters will get to choose between the Stone Bank Crow Hunting champion and a middle class truck driver, and between a Scott Walker rubber stamp and a firefighter.

And that’s really something to crow about.

HUMOR: Etch A Sketch Maker Ohio Art Take Over Target of Bain Capital?

After the disclosure by campaign insiders that Mitt Romney is the etch a sketch candidate…just turn him upside down and shake him…and restart his campaign talking points…the moribund stock of the Etch A Sketch manufacturer, Ohio Arts, went through the proverbial roof. Lightly traded as an over the counter stock in the $3 – 4 range, the free publicity and impulse purchases of Etch A Sketches by the Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich campaigns rocketed the stock to $11.00 per share on Thursday with sales volume 6 times the daily average. Additional movement may have been caused by rumors that Bain Capital was quietly buying shares in the background to get the toy off the market. Unable to substantiate those rumors, the stock rapidly collapsed on Friday to $4.00 per share.

The Ohio Art stock hadn’t seen anything remotely similar even after the Etch A Sketch secured starring roles in both Toy Story and Toy Story 2 nor it’s induction into the Toy Hall of Fame.

Company spokesman did concede how the Etch A Sketch would appeal to nearly everyone, since the toy does in fact have a Nob on the Left and a Nob on the Right

Recall Walker/Stand with Wisconsin Poetry Reading, 3/27, Milwaukee

If you’re looking for a creative outlet to help manage the frustrations of living in FitzWalkerstan, check out the Recall Walker/Stand with Wisconsin Poetry Reading in Milwaukee this Tuesday, March 27th. Tom Hibbard, a fellow Waukesha liberal, activist, poet and friend has organized an event that will be “just like the good old Vietnam days with Norman Mailer screaming that he is Richard Nixon’s alter ego and John Berryman too drunk to do anything but pass out back stage.”

‘Nuff said.

The details:


Kleefisch, Fitzgerald, Moulton, Wanggaard





when: TUESDAY, MARCH 27, 7 P.M.




Here’s a poem from Tom Hibbard’s Twenty Poems (For the People) reprinted with permission from the author:


in my actions is part of the future

i hate favoritism

doing the same thing day in & day out

i hate looking through a peep hole

at a moth doing a latino dance

i don’t want to stare in a capitalist mirror

wondering if it’s a deception

a hundred years from now

in the unplugged world of digital slaves

our lives taken out of our hands

the corporate death ray will provide all the answers…

from its radioactive smoke of dishonesty

fall people that have turned into cockroaches

committing serious crimes

in an effort to gain splendor

it all began in a moment

emanating from diffused innocence

introducing the concept of mistake

an inexplicable target of delay

in mid-morning a rainbow of optimism

the madison teacher’s union

refusing to report to the classroom

the fab fourteen stonewalling their plans

gaining economic freedom

in this way the alarm is sounded

against one man’s original sin

a day’s pay for a day’s work


Verify the Recall – Still Working!

I have covered the story of "Verify The Recall" & how it was never used to make sure the process was clean and fair, but to make sure and intimidate those who signed. With the Governor’s recall a sure thing, the VTR is still working. The latest egregious event comes from the Wausau Daily Herald and their editor Mark Treinen. Seems as though 25 employees exercised their constitutional rights, and signed the recall petition.

So we were disappointed to learn this week, while checking online databases and asking staff members, that 25 of our coworkers in Gannett Wisconsin Media broke from our ethical code and signed petitions in support of the recall election for Gov. Scott Walker.

The nerve of people who work for a living wanting to also take part in the democratic process.

Then Treinen goes on to attempt to justify his abhorrent behavior:

» First, none of the Gannett employees who signed (which includes two from the Wausau Daily Herald) is involved in directing or reporting political coverage. In Wausau, the signers were a copy editor who designs pages and a news clerk whose primary job is data entry.

» Second, the overwhelming majority of the 223 journalists in Gannett Wisconsin Media knew better than to get involved in the recall petitions. Gannett’s four central Wisconsin newspapers employ 52 journalists, including the two from Wausau who signed.

» Third, the first two points don’t matter when it comes to our expectations of the news staff — even if you’re involved in page design or clerk duties, you are expected to adhere to our company’s principles of ethical conduct.

Then he heads into the exact reason he is wrong:

Journalists can and do voice their opinions about political issues with their colleagues, friends or family. Journalists can and do vote in elections. Those actions are appropriate.

Also, a few of our senior news employees serve on the Editorial Board, whose function is to weigh local issues and opine about them as a group — not as individuals.

So according to Treinen, the only people allowed to take part in our democracy are a few “senior news employees”, and they will tell their readership exactly how everyone who works at the Wausau Daily Herald thinks. Having an opinion and working for a newspaper will not be tolerated.

I know that you think I am exaggerating to make a point, but if only that were true!

We are now in the process of addressing discipline and reviewing additional ethics training for all news employees.

Shame on Mark Treinen for using “VTR” that way! Maybe he should be the first one disciplined for using VTR in such a way! Somewhere the Grandsons of Liberty are Smiling!

By the way if you want to know what hard hitting journalism the Wausau Daily Herald does: You can Vote today in their wild and wacky pet photo conference call!

There is also this, perhaps Mark Treinen has a personal interest in this?

In this year’s race for Wisconsin governor, there is a strong argument for both candidates — and there are serious charges that stick to both. We endorse Republican Scott Walker, because we see him as the best choice to bring about fundamental budget reforms Wisconsin needs.

As Milwaukee County executive, Walker has experience that in some respects mirrors the governor’s job. He has managed a large budget in dire need of reform, and has concrete progress to show for it.

As mayor of Milwaukee, Democrat Tom Barrett has had an incredibly difficult job, overseeing a city disastrously affected by the recession. He is a strong administrator.

Barrett is also an admirably straightforward and realistic politician, coming across as utterly genuine in a way that Walker doesn’t always. But what Barrett doesn’t have is a track record of taking on special interests within his party.

For budget reform to happen here, the next governor will almost certainly face a confrontation with public employees unions — including teachers unions — on issues such as their level of contribution to pension plans, which today are utterly out of alignment with the private sector.

That is a structural problem. Walker has made it a centerpiece of his campaign; Barrett has mentioned it as an important issue. We have more confidence that Walker will face this set of challenges head-on.

In campaign mode, Walker has also promised massive tax cuts that Barrett rightly points out would hugely increase the state’s deficit. We will need targeted tax cuts to make Wisconsin more business-friendly, but we hope that if elected Walker considers the state’s overall fiscal picture, too.

Both of these candidates have the potential to be good governors. Walker’s skills and priorities are what Wisconsin needs now. We endorse Walker.

A Real Choice

Here we have a brilliant short piece from the next Senator from Massachusett’s Elizabeth Warren!

“This next election is about the direction our country takes. It’s about whether or not we are going to be a people who say, ‘I got mine; the rest of you are on your own,’ or whether we’re going to be a people who say, ‘We can invest in our future.’

“And we can build a real future for ourselves and for our kids, so that when the next kid comes up with a good idea, they got a shot to make it big, and so does the kid after that and the kid after that.

“This election is going to affect everyone. We really have come to real choice and what our future looks like is going to be very different depending on who’s governing.”

These difference will never be more clear than they next week as the Republican Presidential Primary Circus rolls into town. Do we want to live under President Obama or Rick Santorum?

Yes I thought so!