May 20, 2012

In Scott Walker "Endorsement," Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Stands Against History

Following is the statement of Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate following the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel endorsement today of Scott Walker.

"It saddens, but does not surprise, that the state's largest newspaper would continue to support the most divisive, and possibly most corrupt, governor in Wisconsin history.

"The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has supported Scott Walker in its editorial and news pages for years, has seriously underplayed the scandals of his various administrations, has treated the historic recall movement with small-minded contempt and will, therefore be judged harshly if remembered at all, in Wisconsin's history.

"One need only read the Milwaukee Sentinel editorials AGAINST the Civil Rights Movement and FOR Joe McCarthy to remember how silly and reactionary a news organization can look in the hindsight of the ages.

"And so it will be with Scott Walker, who has been treated with the embarrassing kindnesses of the Journal Communications empire, which props up the Walker agenda with a daily and unrelenting stream of propaganda via right-wing extremists Charlie Sykes and Jeff Wagner.

"But it is not merely the editorial support that is so troubling.

"Scott Walker not only owns the back editorial pages of the paper — he also owns the front pages of the paper with what is is supposed to remain a neutral forum for actual news. In this case, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has practiced repeated journalistic lapses, underplaying the shocking criminal corruption scandal in Walker's midst, downplaying the enormity of the division and dishonesty emanating from this administration and hyping up and adopting a shocking re-engineering of the truth by Walker on everything from jobs numbers to government transparency.

"This endorsement is also troubling given that it is a blatant about-face to their previous editorial policy of not endorsing in recall elections, having not endorsed in any of the recall elections of last summer.

"In the end, time will tell whether the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's snide and small support for Scott Walker and against the average citizens of Wisconsin will make the difference on June 5th. But by turning such a blind eye to facts in the service of an ideology so extreme and an administration so corrupt, the paper has made yet another backward stand against history."