Good luck in court, Jerry Bader!

Jerry BaderJerry Bader is a class act.

No really, he is!

After all, it would take someone as classy as Jerry Bader to propagate a slanderous rumor about Lt. Gov. Barb Lawton without any type of fact-checking or verification*, opening up the possibility of legal action against WTAQ, as well as Bader himself, by Lt. Gov. Lawton.

Here’s the text of Bader’s comments (emphasis mine):

Good afternoon, this is Jerry Bader with a “Bonus Listen.” This is a follow up to a story breaking in Wisconsin today, Lieutenant governor Barabra Lawton announcing that she will not be a candidate for the Democratic nomination for Governor: This bombshell dropped about 11:00 this morning. She said for very personal reasons.

I’ve been working the phones all day Here’s what I can tell you: I am reporting this factually.

It has been a somewhat open secret in Madison for years that Barbara Lawton has an open marriage and that those relationships she has within the marriage are with other women. This has not been a tightly kept secret, it has been known more than in her inner circle.

I have learned that somebody was about to expose at least one of those relationships. What I am told from sources is a scorned lover — and the phrase that I heard is “attatched to the building,” in their words, a member of the Doyle administration or a staffer of the Doyle administration, a woman, had a relationship with Lawton, she is scorned, and she was going to expose that relationship.

I have been told that she had visual evidence of that relationship. Again, this comes from a number of sources in Madison and I am reporting factually that it is a lover scorned.

Again, I am reporting factually that these are the reasons that Barbara Lawton is not running for Governor, that she has had a gay relationship with a woman who is described as attatched to the building that would mean a staffer.

Obviously this would raise sexual harrassment issues.

Again, this coming at 11:00 this morning — shocking both sides of the political aisle Barbara Lawton’s announcement, nobody saw it coming, she described it as for very personal reasons. Again this comes from multiple sources in Madison. More to come on the show and throughout the day on FaceBook and Twitter and at

What I’m at a loss to explain is how Jerry Bader’s comments made it on the air. Wouldn’t he have to vet something as potentially explosive as the accusations he made with someone else at WTAQ, possibly including their legal counsel? What’s more, why would he make a point to say he was reporting “factually” when in fact he was reporting nothing more than a rumor that now appears to have been fabricated? After all, I don’t presume to be a legal expert, but it would sure seem to me that Bader opened himself – and WTAQ – up for a slander lawsuit. Not surprisingly, shortly after he “reported factually” the rumor about Lt. Gov. Lawton, Bader retracted his statement, but in doing so blamed his sources rather than taking any blame himself and apologizing for the remarks. Again, I don’t presume to be a legal expert, but I can’t help but think Jerry Bader won’t be able to blame “bad sources” if he finds himself on the receiving end of a slander lawsuit. Reached for a statement regarding the allegations made by Bader, Lt. Gov. Lawton was understandably outraged, calling the allegations a “slur” and an “outrageous lie.”

Yeah, good luck in court, Jerry, because something tells me that’s exactly where you’re headed, unless WTAQ fires you and begs forgiveness from Lt. Gov. Lawton before this mess ends up in court.

* The lack of fact checking seems to be a common thing among conservative squawkers.


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14 thoughts on “Good luck in court, Jerry Bader!

  1. I really hope Lawton does take legal action…just like I hope/hoped Fred Zievers in Kenosha would have taken action against those people who libeled him during the election. I’m so sick and tired of all these liars. People without integrity. The only way they are going to stop slandering/libeling/defaming is if people start taking legal action and make them pay up.

    Bader could not have had time to fact check his information but yet he decided to go forward and report it without any regard for Lawton and her family. He’s a disgusting human being…much like a lot of the conservatives. You know…this is much more serious than getting something wrong about the Brewers’ management. He should resign immediately…but he won’t because like I said he (like many other conservatives) is a man without integrity…and I bet the conservatives out there will not hold him accountable.

    I’m beginning to think this is a tactic of theirs…they throw out outrageous lies and let the lies do their damage and then take it back. I really think it’s intentional.

  2. Yea dumb move on Baders part but I Think the lack of fact checking on the part of liberals is HUGE!! Global warming-health care-cap and trade-Dan Rather’s Bush never served allegations and on and on etc.

  3. Dan Rather lost his job. He was held accountable for his lies and distortions. Global warming/healthcare/cap and trade aren’t slanderous/libelous…so that’s really a stupid comparison. Bader committed intentional character assassination against Lawton…and for what?? I want to know who his sources were that he lost confidence in…if he even had any.

  4. Going to trial, much less actually getting a judgment on slander or libel is pretty rare. My understanding is that this is because of how difficult they are to prove. It’s not a matter of saying something untrue – you actually have to prove the person knew it was false and still said or wrote it out of malice. Well the malice part in this case shouldn’t be a problem, but actually provingBader knew it was false would be.

    That said, I really can’t fathom what would possess Bader to put this out there. It’s just classless. Beyond classless, beyond just doing the right thing because it’s the right thing, this was just stupid. It looks to be not just a lie – but a stupid lie. I classify a stupid lie as one which will easily discovered to be false. What the hell was even the point? She’s stepped out of the race already anyway. It’s not like she’s some major threat or something – and I am NOT saying that would justify it at all – just wondering what the heck the rationale was.

    I don’t like Lawton as a politician – she’s just way too out there. But on so many levels, the accusations are just garbage. If I actually listened to Bader, I wouldn’t any more.

    1. “Going to trial, much less actually getting a judgment on slander or libel is pretty rare.”

      That’s an accurate statement, there won’t be a suit in this case.

      Moreover, “truth” is an affirmative defense to a slander/defmation suit. Oscar Wilde’s defamation suit which allged he was defamed by being called a homosexual is a famous example–He lost after admitting on cross examination that he kissed boys.

      But in my opinion, the pre-trial discovery that Lawton would open herself up to would be the worst part. She would likely have to provide a list of all her sexual partners, each of who could be forced to answer questions regarding their relationship with Lawton. Obviously, this would be extremely invasive and would risk shedding the light on other skeletons she may have in her closet.

  5. It’s sort of the same thing as accusing someone of being a racist for comments they never made. What goes around comes around. My guess is that this story about Lawton is probably true. What it has to do withability to be gov, I don’t know.

    Regardless…I’ll admit he was pretty stupid for saying that on the air, but stupidity has been pretty strong on both sides of the aisle.

    1. “It’s sort of the same thing as accusing someone of being a racist for comments they never made. What goes around comes around.”

      So…who did Lawton call a racist?? And BTW…it’s not the same thing at all. It’s far worse.

    2. Personally, I’ve never had a problem with giving any politician the boot for affairs (same sex or otherwise). I don’t see why it’s so difficult to _not_ have sex with someone. But even more to the point – as an elected official, you know doing so may cost you your office or at the very least, weaken your ability to do your job, not to mention what it will do to your family. Whether that’s fair or not, isn’t the point, it will. Now, knowing that, if you choose to have an affair, it tells me you don’t really care that much about those things or losing your job. It’s a clear display of your commitment to your office.

      I don’t really care if the story ends up being true for Lawton or not. The fact is, she was already on her way out. True or not, this was simply an attempt to hurt her. There is no argument for “the people deserve to know” since she pulled out.

  6. Prediction: this never gets to court. He’ll be let go and the station will make an official apology to Mrs. Lawton. Why? Because Bader was set up. There is ALWAYS more to these stories than the public sees. A court case would force the source out into the open, which is exactly why it won’t happen. Jerry Bader is a smart man who presents his arguments well; any reasonably intelligent person should come to that conclusion no matter what their political affiliation or whether you agree with him or not. I’m not saying it’s not possible, but it’s highly unlikely a guy like that would be that stupid and toss that out on the air without having a high degree of confidence in his sources(s). Again, possible, but unlikely.

  7. This can be stopped.
    Call the FCC, and complain.

    Bader is using a FCC radio lease, one owned by the American people, to spew garbage, racist immuendo and now blames a blog?

    This station must be held accountable fot allowing our license to be misused.
    Firing Bader is not enough. The station, also must pay for it’s careless use of our license we let them use.

    1. Yeah, it seems more than a bit excessive to call the FCC. Let’s wait and see how the station chooses to handle Bader once his suspension is over, because I have a feeling the other shoe hasn’t dropped for Bader.

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