Against all logic, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has decided to go out and declare itself the pure arbiter of truth on the campaign trail. Well, somebody’s gotta do it...uh, maybe. But is the flagship property of Journal Communications – the entity that, although they have cast off hundreds of decent reporters and employees and millions in stock value, continues to employ right-wing hacks like Patrick McIlheran and Charlie Sykes – really the right place to call a spade a spade in a heated election environment?
Hardly. The Journal Sentinel has lost so much credibility with its repulsive patronizing of the radical right (with no counter-balance for even moderate local liberal perspectives), you can only expect the dwindling paper to play both ends against the middle, resulting in a mish-mosh of “a plague on both their houses” slop that fails to call out the Republican assault on truth by comparing their claims to those made by the Democrats and finding both “barely true”. And that’s just what you get with PolitiFact®.
Take Scott Walker’s parroting of talk radio talking-points that 8.2 billion gallons of “raw sewage” had been dumped during heavy rains that the Deep Tunnel project – always opposed by right-wingers anyway – couldn’t handle. Predictably – since part of their mission is to protect Republicans – PolitiFact® declares the lie “barely true”. With 95% of the overflow coming from harmless drain and rain water and, at most, 5% coming from toilets, why does the Boy County Exec get to declare all of it “raw sewage”? Get this:
“Is it raw sewage? That term sounds like it’s all coming from toilets. Actually, an estimated 95 percent is rainwater and runoff. Still, it’s untreated and therefore can be considered ‘raw.’”
Oh, fer cryin’ out loud. How about “sewage”? Can it be considered “sewage”? Sewage is defined as “the waste matter that passes through sewers”. “Waste matter”. Is water from rain and runoff “waste matter”? Give me a break. The J-S is going to bend over so far to help Walker get elected they are going to end up kissing their own ass, along with his.
Likewise, rookie tea-bagger Ron Johnson gets another GOP-get-out-of-jail-free “barely true” for claiming Russ Feingold was the “only Great Lakes senator” to vote against an enourmous spending bill that just happened to ban Great Lakes drilling. Two senators from New York also voted against the bill. How is that “barely true”? They don’t know and they don’t care. They don’t have to. They are the Journal Sentinel.
The J-S also guilds the Republican lily in its standard campaign profiles. The important issue of Republican tea-bagger David Clarke falsifying his nomination papers by claiming to be a Democrat is given short shrift in an article Tuesday morning. “Moews has pointed to Clarke's 2009 appearance at a conservative tea party rally as evidence of insincerity about Clarke's political affiliation. Clarke said he was more interested in leadership than politics.” Well, that settles that for the Journal Sentinel. Never mind that Clarke’s Not-A-Democrat problem has more to do with who is funding his campaign and his constant sucking-up to right-wing radio. “Clarke heads into the primary with the advantages of a high-profile incumbency and the swashbuckling image he curries, typified by ceremonial appearances on horseback and in Western garb,” swoons the J-S. Screw poor morale and mismanagement of the agency – that’s enough for us!
The problem with self-serving journalistic stunts like PolitiFact® is that it pretends that both sides offend Truth to the same degree. By concentrating on campaign proclamations, they ignore the real poison spewed daily into the political atmosphere by talk radio and other GOP front-groups. How about a truth-v-lie investigation of just one hour of the garbage generated by their own Charlie Sykes every morning?
I know – there isn’t enough time in the day to track down that load of bullshit. Talk about your raw sewage.