Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Gaming Democratic Gubernatorial Primary?

The Sunday April 15, 2012 issue of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel featured a front page article entitled, ‘Hopefuls split on union issues’. The article is fairly extensive probably totally a half page but leaves a lot to be desired. How so?

MJS writers Jason Stein and Patrick Marley spend what is essentially the entire article trying to measure the degree of separation between ‘the two leading contenders’ and their positions on collective bargaining, public employee benefit and retirement contributions, and the mechanisms to repair the damage done by the Walker Administration over the past year. In case you are wondering who the front runners are, I would be remiss if I didn’t name them: Mayor Tom Barrett and former Dane County Exec Kathleen Falk.

Mr. Stein and Mr. Marley aren’t totally oblivious to the fact that there are FOUR legitimate and qualified Democratic gubernatorial candidates, but they give two of them incredibly short shrift:

Also running in the May 8 Democratic primary are Secretary of State Doug La Follette and state Sen. Kathleen Vinehout of Alma.

That’s it? One of the most talked about and nationally relevant elections of 2012 and two major party candidates get barely the equivalent of honorable mention?

Or is this another media self fulling prophecy…they aren’t front runners so we’ll just ignore them and they won’t become front runners. This is particularly rude considering the shortened time frame available in the recall election cycle.

I don’t know…isn’t this a huge disservice to the readership of their paper? They devote a relatively large number of column inches (for the current generation of MJS at least) to what they consider a major front page story and they can’t even tell us the whole story? Really? I can’t imagine the Sen. Vinehout and Sec. of State La Follette weren’t available for comment.



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5 thoughts on “Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Gaming Democratic Gubernatorial Primary?

  1. While I get the drift of your post I ask you to consider the real lay of the land. We have a few short weeks to the election. There is little money or organization for two of the candidates, and there is a serious choice we need to make. While it is nice to think all have equal billing, that is not real politics. Gingrich and Paul are also vying for the GOP nomination…… While the press has the role to report, they also have the right (and I think duty) to allow for the pragmatic part of the story to also be reported. In this case, by not showcasing those who have no chance to win was a part of the report.

  2. Yes indeed we have a few short weeks before the election which makes it increasingly hard for new candidates to get their points across. And before making a serious choice, don’t you want to know what all of the choices may be rather than choosing for the two defaults presented in the media?

    I don’t want to give up my right to choose who I think may be the best candidate based on expediency.

    And your suggestion that the press can determine who has and hasn’t a chance to win violates the entire idea of your vote and holding elections. Who gets to win is YOUR choice in the voting booth…and doesn’t deciding who is a viable candidate or not violate exactly the neutral position that the Journal Company was holding so dear last week when they decried the fact some employees signed the ‘partisan recall’ petitions?

    BTW: Gingrich and Paul already had name recognition nationally, had a tremendous amount of press, a much much larger campaign window, etc. I really doubt there is anyone in the US following the election that don’t know who they are or what they stand for.

  3. And maybe I shouldn’t be so hard on Mr. Stein and Mr. Marley. They may have included a complete commentary on the positions of Sen. Vineout and Sec of State La Follette only to have the editors cut the article to fit…

  4. I think you got it right, Ed. The JS has clearly decided this race is only Falk vs. Barrett, and they’re going out of their way to make it look like Tom and Kathleen are at each other’s throats, which isn’t closde to true if you’ve been at a candidate forum. You’d also see the legitimate grassroots support Vinehout has if you attend one as well, but she doesn’t fit what the newspaper wants.

    Now is that because its lazy journalism or is it because the corporate heads know a divisive primary works best for their boy Scott Walker? I’ll leave that part up to you

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