All I don't know is what I can't read in the newspapers -- Walker edition | WisCommunity

All I don't know is what I can't read in the newspapers -- Walker edition

[img_assist|nid=72460|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=175|height=170]From an article by the very estimable John Nichols in The Capital Times comes a bald if unsurprising statement about Gov. Scott Walker. It involved Walker's reaction to the current John Doe investigation and FBI raids involving his tenure as Milwaukee County Executive:

News reports of the FBI raid are the talk of the state. But Walker is not talking. He and his press secretary are instructing reporters not to bring the issue up at public events.

Since when do a governor and his staff feel so uber-privileged that they will not only refuse to answer questions about a particular and unpleasant matter, but will effectively threaten any reporter who dares to bring the matter up in the first place? Is this transparent government, where the public has a right to know? Of course not, but it fits right in with the state GOP legislative leadership's recurring tactic of calling public meetings without following the spirit or even the language of the Open Records Act.

The good news is that the state press corps is writing about these Walker-related events anyway, as they must. This is too big a story to ignore. Yet Walker Incorporated persists in trying to impose Nixon/Reagan stonewall tactics so he can pretend he's clueless and uninvolved in the matter.

Yet, it is very likely that while news organizations are reporting on the matter, some political reporters are indeed being intimidated by Walker's "instruction." Because if your primary job as a reporter is to get information from the Walker administration, and the administration has the power to screw you over by not dealing with you should you violate any of its "instructions," your very job could be in jeoopardy. You know, like state workers face losing their jobs when they don't tow the official administration line.

It's rather like after 9/11, when Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer warned people in general and pundits and journalists in particular to "watch what they say."

For Walker, the John Doe investigation apparently is a subject that is doubleplus ungood, and not to be treated as reality. But it's a reality that's still likely to bite him in the butt. So, too, eventually, will his increasingly imperious behavior in general.

So for now we have news coverage of the investigation. Question is, when will state news media begin editorializing about Walker's strong-arm tactics in this matter, and when will they connect the dots for the voters?


September 19, 2011 - 10:39am