Radical Wisconsin Writer Mangles Basic Paul Ryan Facts on Thom Hartmann Show

On Monday’s edition of the Thom Hartmann radio show, he talked about Rep. Paul Ryan with leftist John Nichols, a political correspondent for The Nation magazine and associate editor of the Madison newspaper The Capital Times. But this Wisconsin-based “expert” has apparently never looked at a map of Ryan’s district, because he mangled the geographic facts as he strangely implied Ryan was vulnerable to defeat this fall in his allegedly rural redneck district. (This is the same genius who fell for a fabricated prank anti-Ryan press release in February.)

“Paul Ryan comes from a district that has no TV stations in it. It's a rural, small-city district,” Nichols bizarrely claimed, “and so he's kind of been able to fool Wisconsinites and keep getting re-elected because he's a nice guy, he's a hail-fellow-well-met personally, and I think until this year most Wisconsinites didn't know that he was an Ayn Rand-reading, you know, hard-right point man for the Republican agenda. Now the truth is out.”

Anyone who knows Wisconsin knows that Ryan's First Congressional District includes not just Ryan's hometown of Janesville (population 62,000), but the southern suburbs of Milwaukee and the cities of Kenosha (population 99,000) and Racine (79,000). It includes three of the most populous counties in Wisconsin (Racine, Kenosha, and Rock counties).

The idea it has "no TV stations in it" because most of it is the Milwaukee media market is not a real measurement. Sean Duffy's Seventh Congressional District has a TV station in Wausau, but the population of that city is about 38,000.

Nichols also sounded lame-brained in insisting Ryan is “going to have a much-tougher re-elect,” and so “Paul Ryan is angling for a place on Mitt Romney’s ticket.” Nichols added:

If Mitt Romney were to pick Paul Ryan, that just reinforces this daunting realization on the part of the voters in his district in Paul Ryan’s district that he is not their representative, he really is the point man for a Wall Street corporate agenda, and that’s a big deal, because Paul Ryan’s district, in reelecting him in 2008, also voted quite strongly for Barack Obama for president

But wait -- Obama apparently won Ryan's district by 51 to 48 percent. Ryan won that year, 64 to 34 percent, and won in 2010 by 68 to 30. Suddenly now, he's vulnerable to defeat??? Nichols should try reading AP:

[Ryan] brought in nearly $2.5 million for the calendar year and entered 2012 with $4.6 million in cash on hand. Those figures dwarf the numbers of Rob Zerban, his likely challenger. The campaign for the small-business owner and Kenosha County supervisor reports raising $514,000 for all of 2011. That includes about $220,000 in the fourth quarter.

Zerban spokesman Tyler Norkus says the Democrat has about $304,000 in cash on hand.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis