There’s been some conversation on Facebook about Christian Schneider’s op ed pieces in MJS. Liberal posters have accused him of being a hack and a direct mouthpiece of the Republican Party of Wisconsin. MJS editor Ernst-Ulrich Franzen stepped up to defend him as a paid columnist. All well and good…well not really good…but you know what I mean.
But that brings up MJS’s relationship with Rick Esenberg. Mr. Esenberg as far as I know isn’t a paid columnist…he’s a very very conservative blogger in their Purple Wisconsin blogs. There are quite a few bloggers in Purple Wisconsin from both the right and the left…all well and good. And Mr. Esenberg makes good use of his access to the blog. He’s published 8 articles during the month of June. That doesn’t seem like a lot but when you consider that he’s got a full time gig as President and General Counsel of the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty and is an adjunct at Marquette University’s Law School…you wonder where he finds the time.
But here is the rub: As President and General Counsel of the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty, Mr. Esenberg has become a news maker…not just a blogger anymore. And I included quotes from him in my post about voucher schools earlier this evening.
It’s not a bad thing when politicians or business people or educators or other citizens are allowed to write the occasional op ed piece for the paper…and even Mr. Esenberg would be expected to appear in that role from time to time. But I think it’s time his tenure at Purple Blue came to an end…allowing him to continue to have that platform seems a bit of a conflict of interest for the MJS. Or of course they could stop looking to him as a news source…naw…that’s too much to expect.
BTW: I wouldn’t have really noticed except I was trying to find the two articles on line that I used in the voucher school article and the open records article tonight. I had the hard copy in hand. I knew who the authors were. I knew the topics. I searched and searched the JSOnline site and they wouldn’t come up. I had to Google them to find the articles. But when I tried Esenberg as search term on JSOnline for the voucher article, I found how many blogs he’s published and how many times the MJS has used him for a source in the past 30 days.
BTW II: As a long time subscriber…I really would appreciate a more robust search engine on JSOnline…really…it’s 2014!