Jerry 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 WTAQ.com.
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.