So it turns out that Gov. Scott Walker was not a target of a criminal investigation nor is there any evidence that the Wisconsin Republican "engaged in a criminal scheme." Indeed, there "is not such a finding" in recently unsealed documents, Randall Crocker, an attorney representing special prosecutor Francis Schmitz noted on Thursday, according to reporting by the Washington Post's Matea Gold in a June 27 article, "Wisconsin governor wasn't a target of probe, prosecutor's attorney says." The story was buried at the bottom of page A8 on Friday's paper. A similar article by Monica Davey in the New York Times was buried in Friday's paper on page A15.
The fact that “no criminal charges” have been filed against Republican Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin on illegal fundraising did not stop MSNBC’s Chuck Todd and guest Amy Walter, former political director of ABC News and national editor of The Cook Political Report, from writing his political obituary on the June 20 edition of The Daily Rundown With Chuck Todd.
“Regardless of where this ends up,” Walter commented, now “Governor Walker equals scandal.” As NewsBuster executive editor Tim Graham noted, this political “scandal” involves Democratic district attorneys purposefully targeting Walker on his campaign fundraising despite repeated court rulings that there was not enough evidence to validate the investigation. But according to Walter, no matter his innocence or guilt, his name is forever tainted with political scandal, a take the Democrat-friendly network is most happy to accept as they Lean Forward into the early stages of the 2016 campaign season. [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
The Washington Post and The New York Times can’t seem to locate the story (never mind the outrage) of destroyed hard drives at the IRS. The latest IRS scandal scoops have been buried deep in the paper. But both biased rags put Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker on the front page Friday in an alleged campaign-finance scandal pushed by Democratic district attorneys.
Neither paper revealed the prosecutors were Democrats, but the Post won the sliming sweepstakes with the headline “Prosecutors: Wis. governor involved in illicit scheme.” The second paragraph explains “Walker has not been charged, and his legal jeopardy is unclear.” So why is this on the front page? No reason, except liberal journalists unleashing their 2016 campaign phobias.
Have you noticed in the past few days the big media campaign against Wisconsin governor Scott Walker? As we have seen here in Newsbusters, the New Republic even attempted a race baiting smear with "The Unelectable Whiteness of Scott Walker." We also have many media sources salivating over what they think is the prospect of Walker being prosecuted over campaign violations such as the Washington Post and the Huffington Post (notice the "coincidental" similarity of the wording in both articles). In addition, Time magazine has declared that ‘Criminal Scheme’ Will Haunt Scott Walker.
Well, I hate to break the sad news to these and the other media outlets lusting for Scott Walker's blood but some very cold water has just been tossed on their fervent desires from an very unexpected source: Vox. Yes, it is that liberal Vox with those annoying mulititudes of explanatory cards except in this case it surprisingly makes refreshing sense:
In a scathing column for TheNew Republic, Alec MacGillis charged–with scarce evidence–that Governor Scott Walker’s (R-Wis.) political success is the result of racial politics in the state of Wisconsin. MacGillis’s headline is predictable left-wing race baiting: “The Unelectable Whiteness of Scott Walker”.
MacGillis suggested that the Badger State governor’s political rise is the product of the urban-suburban divide that exists in the metro Milwaukee area, and then proceeded to explain the long history of the racial tensions that have existed in the state, connecting precisely none of it to Walker himself, unless you count a few forwarded emails by low-level Walker staffers.
When last seen in these parts, the American Prospect's Paul Waldman was forecasting that if Hillary Clinton runs for president, "[s]ome Tea Party congressman is going to indulge his fantasies about torturing and killing her."
Waldman posted a somewhat more temperate item on Friday (titled Who Do You Hate?) in which he offered a few thoughts about why political activists loathe certain figures from the other side but merely dislike others. His bottom line: a politician's image and persona tend to evoke more intense hatred from opponents than specific things he says or does, though words and deeds are hugely important as well.
While I was aware that a fever-swamp Democrat in Wisconsin was planning to pass out Ku Klux Klan hoods at some kind of Wisconsin Republican gathering, I had no idea until this morning that the Associated Press actually considered it a national story back on May 1. It was really even more than a national story at the self-described "essential global news network." It was so vital that the nation know about this offensive plan that the AP carried it at its "Big Story" site.
I should have figured that Scott Bauer, the bitter critic of Republican Governor Scott Walker disguised as an AP reporter, would be the guy who thought that devoting 13 paragraphs and over 400 words to Democratic State Representative and gubernatorial candidate (seriously) Brett Hulsey's anticipated stunt was a worthwhile expenditure of precious journalistic time and resources. Given that level of original attention, the wire service should have followed up (but of course didn't) with a national story noting that Hulsey abandoned the KKK hood idea, but still showed up at the May 2-4 Badger State GOP Convention to call out Republicans as racists — and, as captured in the following video (HT The Blaze), was confronted by a "colorful" Republican attendee:
In his "analysis" on Tuesday's U.S. District Court ruling which called a halt to "a secret investigation into his 2012 recall campaign and conservative groups that supported" Scott Walker, Wisconsin's Republican Governor, Scott Bauer at the Associated Press basically gave away what the prosecution's agenda really has been all about.
It really hasn't been about cleaning up political campaigns, or whatever other similar tired bromides the Walker-hating left dishes out from time to time. It's been about hurting Walker's reelection effort this fall and punishing him for reforming public-sector collective bargaining in the Badger State. Short of that, it's an attempt to marginalize him as a potential 2016 presidential candidate by smearing him with the "under investigation" and "scandal" tags. Let's start with the opening paragraphs of Bauer's bluster (bolds are mine throughout this post):
It takes quite an effort to for a Democrat to produce a campaign ad which is so obviously and blatantly false that it virtually forces the left-loving Politifact to promptly issue a "Pants on Fire" evaluation. But that's what Wisconsin Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke managed to do when her campaign's opening TV ad claimed that "under (incumbent Republican Governor Scott) Walker, unemployment’s up."
Two weeks later on March 18, when Burke was asked if she regretted promoting such a self-evident lie, her answer was "No." Somehow, that's not news. Imagine if a Republican or conservative ... oh, you know the rest. Additionally, and as if on cue, Scott Bauer at the Associated Press felt compelled to write a story with cherry-picked and clearly outdated data about how job creation in Wisconsin under Walker has been less than the governor thought he would achieve when he ran for office in 2010, and even gave Burke's blatant lie the appearance of truth (bolds are mine):
If there was any doubt that MSNBC is a mouthpiece for liberal activism, Chris Hayes should have erased it on Wednesday’s edition of his program All In. Hayes was discussing MSNBC’s favorite current topic – the Chris Christie “Bridgegate” saga – with Dan Cantor, national director of the ultra-liberal Working Families Party. [Video below. MP3 audio here.]
Near the end of the discussion, Cantor optimistically declared his belief that Christie will be defeated in the end, thanks in part to Cantor’s own organization:
Is The Washington Post a rag for liberal Democrats? It’s certainly striving for that reputation today. On the front page (above the fold) is this story, trying to ruin another GOP presidential hopeful like Chris Christie: “Gov. Walker, eyeing 2016, faces fallout from probes: Release of ex-aide’s e-mails could stall rise of national Republican.”
Meanwhile, on the front page of the Style section is a picture of ex-Republican Charlie Crist hugging Barack Obama on a card that says “Happy Hug-iversary.” The headline over the aticle is “Charlie Crist: Embraceable Blue.” Newly arrived Post reporter Ben Terris reports Crist loves a good hug:
At this rate, Ruth Conniff may not last much longer as political editor of the Progressive magazine, a venerable left-wing periodical.
Last week, for example, while a guest on Ed Schultz's radio show, Conniff became quite possibly the only liberal in America willing to acknowledge the obvious -- that President Obama's much-ballyhooed executive order to raise the federal minimum wage in government contracts will affect a "handful of people".(Audio after the jump)
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, whose name has come up as a possible 2016 presidential contender, had his name splashed all over the nation by the establishment press three years ago when he largely succeeded in reducing the disproportionate influence of public-sector union members. That attention remained steady until Walker beat back a statewide recall in tbe spring of 2012.
One might argue that Walker's now-obvious success is boring and unworthy of national attention, except for the fact that the press still features Walker in national stories from time to time — really important stuff like the fact that he got selected for jury duty but didn't serve. Turning a projected $3.6 billion deficit into a surplus, bringing down the unemployment rate, and proposing an across-the-board tax cut? Forget about it. And what little coverage does occur is almost comical, especially from the mostly unionized Associated Press. Take the last sentence of the following excerpted paragraph from AP reporter Scott Bauer on Friday morning:
A search at the national web site of the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, on the name of Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker (not in quotes) returns only two recent relevant items. One relates to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, where Walker is described as saying, in AP's words, "that (last week) he didn't know enough about the situation to comment ... (and) has remained silent in the days since details emerged." The other relates to Walker's brief jury duty stint last week.
Giving items relating to Walker national attention makes sense, given that his name frequently comes up as a possible GOP 2016 presidential contender. But if the two items just mentioned merit national coverage, why doesn't the fact that an out-of-control Democratic Wisconsin prosecutor attempting to dig up "coordination" between interested outside parties and Walker's 2012 campaign to turn back a recall effort just had his hat handed to him in court? On Friday evening, a Wall Street Journal editorial had the news (bolds are mine throughout this post; the link to a previous WSJ editorial was added by me):
Norah O'Donnell and Charlie Rose unsurprisingly conducted a hostile interview of Scott Walker on Monday's CBS This Morning. The two anchors, who have a long record of hammering Republican/conservative guests, badgered the Wisconsin governor on ObamaCare, the 2016 presidential race, and over the immigration issue.
O'Donnell, in particular, went after Walker, asking, "You have said that the next nominee has to come from outside of Washington – has to be a governor. Isn't it a bit presumptuous to rule out people like Senator Marco Rubio; Senator Rand Paul...Congressman Paul Ryan?" She later rephrased this same question, and hinted at her liberal slant on the immigration issue: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
As NewsBusters has reported for years, the liberal media believe one of their jobs is to discredit and defame any potential Republican presidential candidate they believe is too conservative.
ABC's This Week did its part Sunday when during a segment about Republican Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, substitute host Martha Raddatz and chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl both said he "at one point was the most divisive politician in America" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
During the 2011-2012 controversy over Wisconsin's Act 10, the establishment press, led by the Associated Press, clearly took sides against Badger State Republican Governor Scott Walker and the GOP-led legislature. No one was more blatantly biased than the AP's Scott Bauer, who repeatedly insisted in 2011 and 2012 that the law "strip(s) most public employees of their union right to collectively bargain." It does not. While Act 10 sharply limits the scope of what can be negotiated, it does not eliminate unions' right to exist, or to negotiate.
Walker will be releasing a new book, "Unintimidated: A Governor's Story and a Nation's Challenge," in November. Given the sustained national attention Act 10 received, the utlimately failed recall movement it inspired, and Walker's possible interest in seeking the nation's presidency in 2016, it's reasonable to believe that the AP would have wanted to carry Bauer's Monday morning review of the book as a national story. But thus far, it has not. I believe it's because Bauer comes across as a fundamentally dishonest and embarrassingly partisan sore loser.
A 10:30 p.m. ET search on "Kenosha" at the national web site of the Associated Press returned one result. An unbylined story supposedly deserving of national coverage out of Kenosha, Wisconsin tells us that "Twin water spouts put on a spectacular show over Lake Michigan, near the Wisconsin shore." They were apparently unique because "two water spouts merged into one large one, then split." But a quoted meteorologist says that water spouts "generally occur between August and October," i.e., though they are surely a cool sight to behold, they aren't all that unusual.
Something else very unique happened came out of Kenosha today, but the AP treated it as just a local story. The Kenosha school system's teachers' union, apparently joining the majority of other such unions in the state in the wake of Governor Scott Walker's 2011 reforms, was decertified (bolds are mine throughout this post):
On Friday, after Governor Scott Walker (R-Wisc.) signed a new bill requiring women to have an ultrasound before getting an abortion, Sarah Silverman tweeted, "I'd very much like to anally probe @govwalker each time he needs to make an 'informed decision'":
Amidst the rising tide of scandals plaguing the Obama administration, good ol’ Ed Schultz is eager to turn the conversation away from the controversies and towards divisive social issues. On Saturday’s The Ed Show, the MSNBC host declared the Republican “war on women” was “alive and well,” blasting new abortion restrictions passed by the Wisconsin state legislature.
Schultz kicked off his segment with a video of Wisconsin Senate President Mike Ellis (R) chiding Democratic legislators for interrupting the roll call on a bill that would require women to obtain an ultrasound before undergoing an abortion. The bombastic host followed up:
Full of hot air and partisan bluster, MSNBC's Ed Schultz cynically and ghoulishly exploited the disaster in Moore, Oklahoma last week to blast Republicans over unrelated education policies.
Schultz recounted the inspiring stories of teachers who threw themselves on students while their schools were being ripped apart by the tornado. But his monologue took an ugly turn when he pivoted to the “conservative news media” and public education:
On Friday's All In show, with the words "The Sickness" displayed on screen behind him, MSNBC host Chris Hayes began the show with a commentary in which he tagged the NRA as a "far-right fringe organization" that "might be spelling their own demise" by celebrating the defeat of the universal background check proposal. Hayes:
On Friday morning, Milwaukee County District Attorney, a Democrat, announced that an investigation into illegal campaigning and other illegal acts while current Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker was the county's executive had concluded nine days earlier. Three former Walker aides, a political appointee, and two private citizens were sentenced. Two county officials pled guilty to crimes relating to campaigning on government time; two others stole money, one from a not-for-profit group and another from a county commission. One private citizen was sentenced for exceeding campaign contribution limits and laundering contributions; the other pled no contest to importuning a 17 year-old boy.
Walker himself was not charged. A top state Democratic Party official was so angry that he tweeted Jeffrey Dahmer analogies. It is pretty obvious, based on word choices he made in his related writeup, that the Associated Press's Scott Bauer, whose biased coverage of Walker has been clear for at least the past two years (previous NewsBusters posts with his tag are here), was also extremely displeased (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
Michigan may very well become the 24th state to adopt right-to-work legislation on Tuesday, and liberal media outlets have given its opponents ample opportunity to state their case. While proponents have not been allowed to defend the law at all, MSNBC's Chris Jansing was more than happy to briefly play "devil's advocate" with her guest on Monday -- newly elected state representative Tim Greimel who called right-to-work "too divisive and too extreme for the state."
Following his lengthy diatribe on the subject, in which he also called right-to-work the "surest path to poverty that anybody could pursue here in Michigan," Jansing invited the Washington Post's Dana Milbank and Jackie Kucinich -- daughter of retiring liberal Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) -- of USA Today back on the program to reinforce the argument Greimel made. Hardly a balanced analysis of legislation designed to safeguard an individual's right not be coerced into a union or into financially supporting a union in which he/she is not a member [ video and transcript below ]
The Washington Post Sports section on Wednesday turned political with an article headlined "Wisconsin governor fumbles on Twitter: Walker sees collective bargaining in a new light after Packers' loss." Would the Post actually fail to recognize the difference between private-sector unions and public-sector unions, the subject of Walker's reforms? Yes.
Strangely, the author wasn't a sports reporter. It was Brad Plumer, a veteran writer for The New Republic and Mother Jones whose usual Post habitat is Ezra Klein's Wonkblog. In fact, that's where this article is found online. Plumer joked "When it comes to professional football, the usual rules of politics apparently take a timeout."
I really can't do much with this one beyond relaying the absurd particulars involved in PolitiFact's incredible conclusion that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker made a statement which was only "Half True" about unemployment in the various states in his speech last week at the Republican National Convention.
On August 17, the government's Bureau of Labor Statistics opened its monthly Regional and State Employment and Unemployment report as follows: "Regional and state unemployment rates were generally little changed or slightly higher in July. Forty-four states recorded unemployment rate increases, two states and the District of Columbia posted rate decreases, and four states had no change ..." The Associated Press's opening sentence in its coverage of the report's contents was: "Unemployment rates rose in 44 U.S. states in July, the most states to show a monthly increase in more than three years and a reflection of weak hiring nationwide." After the jump, readers will see the awful statement Walker made in Tampa:
CNN's Piers Morgan fell on his face Thursday trying to fact-check Paul Ryan's RNC speech from the previous night. He was proven wrong not only by CNN's own report, but also by his guest Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.
Challenging Ryan's point that a GM plant closed under Obama after he said it would stay open for years if it cooperated with the government, Morgan said the plant "closed down under George Bush, in December of that year," in agreement with the Obama campaign. [Video coming soon.]
This will show you what a bloviating hypocrite Bill Maher is.
After comparing Wisconsin's Republican Governor Scott Walker to the mentally-handicapped banjo player in the film "Deliverance" last month, the vulgar comedian on Thursday called for public pension reform: