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.
Instead of writing about what's in the book, Bauer devoted almost all of his attention to what's not there (bolds are mine):
Wisconsin Gov. Walker's new book doesn't tell all
Gov. Scott Walker's new book isn't exactly a tell-all. In fact, it glosses over or just leaves out many pieces in the story related to Walker's successful drive to take power away from public unions and the subsequent recall battle.
Some issues Walker avoids in the book include:
-- JOBS PROMISE: Walker promised in his 2010 election campaign that after four years with him as governor the state would add 250,000 private sector jobs. It was a lynchpin (sic) of that campaign, and Walker reiterated it during the recall two years later, even though numbers at that point showed he was on pace to only add half that many.
From December 2010 through August 2013, the Badger State has added just under 80,000 jobs, which is almost a miracle in the hostile circumstances. When he made his promise, Walker never imagined that the state's far left-dominated public-sector unions would conduct themselves in such a sustained and intimidating manner, or that the Democratic Party would condone and in some cases quietly encourage that conduct. Their behavior arguably caused many businesses considering moving into the state or expanding within the state to hold off until they saw how the recall turned out, and if the business climate in the state would return to tolerable after that.
... JOHN DOE: Six people, including three of Walker's former aides, an appointee and a major campaign contributor, were convicted of criminal charges as part of a secret John Doe investigation that was ongoing during the recall.
Well, Scott Bauer, that's because the crimes had nothing to do with Walker himself, his policies, Act 10, or the recall. They aren't germane to the book, which is about Walker's "fight to reform his state."
RECALL PETITIONS: Forcing the 2012 recall election required collecting more than 540,000 valid petition signatures in just two months, a mammoth task never undertaken in Wisconsin history. Petition circulators not only met the mark, they turned in more than 900,000 valid signatures from all corners of the state, exceeding nearly everyone's expectations.
While Walker talks a lot about why he thinks he won the recall election, he barely mentions the massive petition drive that forced the vote.
Scott Bauer totally failed to mention that Walker is "the first governor in the country to survive a recall election." I think that's far more important than how many recall petition signatures from the likes of Mickey Mouse and Adolf Hitler were turned in.
DIVIDE AND CONQUER: ... Many thought the comment ... meant that Walker intended to go after private unions next. Walker has denied that is his intention, but he doesn't discuss the controversy in the book.
Well, that's because Walker hasn't "gone after" private unions at all.
PROTESTS: Walker derides the protesters throughout his book, recounting the most salacious examples of them behaving badly, such as when one dumped a beer over the head of Assembly Speaker Robin Vos. "The media like to comment on how 'peaceful' the protests were," Walker writes. "They must never have tried to get around the Capitol in a suit and tie."
But what Walker fails to report is that the protests, which grew to as large as 100,000 people and would be intense for over a month, went off without major incidents.
Sorry, Scott Bauer: The "well-behaved peaceful protester" meme is a myth —
Tabitha Hale of FreedomWorks was filming a union protest outside their offices in the nation's capital Feb. 23 and was shoved to the ground by a middle-aged male activist wearing a T-shirt of the Communications Workers of America.
Fox News correspondent Mike Tobin said he was hit by pro-union protesters in Wisconsin amidst cries of "Fox News lies" from the crowd, which also tried to block the cameraman's view of Tobin.
... a Media Research Center study of 53 Wisconsin stories on ABC, CBS and NBC found that only eight stories visually featured signs comparing Gov. Walker to Hitler, or Mussolini, or Stalin, or Mubarak, or Satan. More incredibly, not a single network anchor or reporter addressed whether that kind of signage was civil or appropriate.
Yet one clown who brought a Confederate flag to a veterans' protest during the 17% government shutdown got all kinds of national press attention.
There were also death threats and union campaigns against private Wisconsin businesses which wouldn't express solidarity with their cause by putting up a sign in their establishments' windows — both of which the press, including AP, downplayed, ignored, or limited to local exposure.
Contrary to what Scott Bauer must believe, Scott Walker didn't have a duty to write a "tell-all" book, or to address only what Scott Bauer wishes he would have addressed. Instead, Walker tells his side of the story. That's his right. Boo hoo, Scott Bauer.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.