A few thoughts on the recent Republican hazing of the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism:
On Sunday Scott Walker vetoed the provision that would have completely banned the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism from interacting with the UW-Madison campus because he was set up to be the good cop on this.
Robin Vos played (and he always plays) the bad right wing cop in any of these games. Case in point: Vos and Walker’s roles in the private bail bondsman saga of both 2011 and 2013.
If WCIJ really was all this time supposed to be acting as a left wing propaganda machine, then it did a shitty job of it especially when it comes to the frac sand industry, as chronicled by Bluestem Prairie.
Assuming you think WCIJ DOES slant left, AND you believe the schtick that Reps. Vos and Nygren and Senator Darling rolled out, then WCIJ was STILL unfairly singled out.
One needs only to look at Wisconsin Reporter to see it.
Wisconsin Reporter is a “product of the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity” – a conservative media organization – and their bias slips through often enough that Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism has ranked W.R.’s parent site WatchDog.org “highly ideological.
Wisconsin Reporter has a desk in the Capitol building’s press room and is thus guilty of being a politically charged group that is getting something for free from a government body in an arrangement that was not arrived at through a competitive, transparent, and public process – just the sort of arrangement that Robin Vos suggests WCIJ has enjoyed with UW-Madison in this June 6th video submitted to YouTube by Wisconsin Reporter.
If you watch, you will see Nygren and Vos answering questions posed by several reporters who remain out of camera range including Bill Leuders of WCIJ.
I have a feeling this is not the last time WCIJ will be targeted by Wisconsin’s right wing.
The Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University wrote in 2010 that “critics have accused the Franklin Center, and its array of state-based websites, of purposefully half-reporting stories for a conservative gain.”
For conservative gain, eh?
Wisconsin Reporter played a key role in launching the Kyle Wood hoax:
How the Kyle Wood hoax went viral: Self-proclaimed conservative watchdogs spurn reporting basics