From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, another Paul Ryan wet kiss | WisCommunity

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, another Paul Ryan wet kiss

The increasingly conservative editors at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel loves them some Paul Ryan. The newspaper doesn't print much whenever Ryan mutters ambiguities in response to questions about his policy positions. But if the GOP's vice presidential pick stops anywhere inside the Wisconsin border to glad-hand passersby, the paper is all over it like Condi Rice at a wedding. And today's edition takes that tendency to new heights.

Politicians kissing babies is one thing. Will somebody kiss this political frog and turn him into a prince? The Journal Sentinel appears to be leaning hard in that direction.

Of course, Ryan now makes big news automatically, just because he's a vice presidential candidate and, in Wisconsin, a so-called "favorite son," which under an odd and unusual state law lets him run for two offices simultaneously. Little such attention or respect is, however, accorded Ryan's legitimate Democratic challenger for his House seat.  In fact, former Kenosha County Board Supervisor Rob Zerban's name barely pops up in the Journal Sentinel archives -- most recently on Sept. 7, in a short Associated Press dispatch noting that Zerban has called on Ryan to debate twice but that Ryan's office has remained silent.

Silent on that, but Ryan was only too happy to open up at his latest home state VP campaign visit -- and he got lots of coverage from the state's biggest newspaper in return.

In a feature display on the front of the newspaper's local section accompanied by a large color photo, reporter Bill Glauber detailed Ryan's lunch appearance at an Oak Creek fire house and a National Guard station at Mitchell International Airport.  on the eleventh anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. The Oak Creek Fire Department visit had significance other than 9/11 because that city was the location of the Aug. 5 fatal shootings by a lone gunman at a nearby Sikh temple.

Both 9/11 and the Sikh shootings were tremendous tragedies, and people are right to observe them and newspapers to cover such observances, but Ryan's lone appearance seemed a bit opportunistic. He welcomed himself to the fire station saying (according to the newspaper), ""I just wanted to come on the anniversary of 9-11 to say thank you to all of you who are the first responders and what you do for us every day." Impressive, considering Ryan flew in on a campaign plane "just" to deliver that message.

Interesting message, also, in that neither Ryan nor Romney have had anything substantive to say to the rest of the public about US military operations in the Mideast, or the military in general, or about first responders, other than to intimate that veterans benefits and federal emergency funding are on the chopping block, if the Republican ticket is elected.

Glauber is a decent feature writer, but his talents were misspent here as a stenographer to shameless politicking. On the other hand, the 520-word dispatch provided numerous quotes from Ryan that, on their own, didn't necessarily portray the Romney running mate in the most flattering light.

The story said Ryan finished up at the fire house by saying, "Go Packers!" Gee, we guess that about covers everything. The story itself ended with a quote from the Oak Creek fire chief, praising Ryan and saying he supported him. It was nice of Ryan to drop by, don't you think?

ADDENDUM: What's up with this? Journal Sentinel reporter Bill Glauber has done two stories this week covering Ryan appearances in Wisconsin. He also covered US Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius campaigning for President Obama in the state. The difference among the three stories? The Sebelius story included a couple of paragraphs in which the story quotes state Republicans criticizing her comments. Whereas the Ryan stories simply quote him on his views, without rejoinder. A little more back-and-forth consistency would be nice, J-S.

Hat tip to for the frog image


September 12, 2012 - 10:26am