Freedom of the Press — if you agree with me
One of the stories the graybeards at The Capital Times used to tell was of a certain reporter in the glory days of the 1950s named Aldric Revell. After hearing a Republican’s speech, the leftist scribe informed the political figure that it would take him about one hour to misinterpret his remarks for the final edition of that afternoon’s newspaper.
It was a biased publication then and it is no less biased now, although in reduced form. So we are more than a little curious whether our old employer will break with party solidarity and side with the MacIver Report on general principle, that principle being the First Amendment.
Freedom of the press, anyone?
The MacIver Report has filed lawsuit in federal court against Gov. Tony Evers for systematically excluding the on-line publication from press events, including his administration’s budget press briefing that was open to other journalists. Those other journalists being such left-leaning contacts as Progressive magazine, Devil’s Advocate Radio, The Capital Times, the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Democratic legislative offices, and left-wing advocacy groups such as One Wisconsin Now. (MacIver’s own accounting, here.)
The MacIver Report, by contrast, is decidedly conservative. It is “A Free Market Voice for Wisconsin.” Some recent headlines:
• “Evers Packs Payroll Fraud Task Force with Big Labor Allies”
• “Evers might Have Money for Tom’s Trolley After All”
• “Evers Faces Legal Action on ‘Draconian’ Groundwater Laws”
As a conservative voice, MacIver has few friends in this one-party town.
Let’s play the “Just Imagine” game: Imagine (if you will) that Governor Scott Walker excluded The Capital Times from his press conferences. Imagine the sturm und drang! We recall the fulmination when Trump restricted CNN reporter Jim Acosta. That, at least, could be attributed fairly to his personal misconduct.
Censorship for a good cause
The Evers’ administrations response would be hilarious if it were not so Orwellian:
“Gov. Evers is committed to openness and transparency in state government, and he believes strongly that a fair and unbiased press corps is essential to our democracy, especially now as Wisconsinites and all Americans are calling for accountability from elected officials who refuse to take action on gun safety reform, healthcare, and the hatred and violence borne of white supremacy.”
GET IT! That is Evers spokesman Melissa Baldauf throwing a bucket of chum at her “woke” constituency. MacIver is conservative, Republican, free enterprise, and — the implication is strong with this one — a TRUMP SUPPORTER. Except for the inconvenient fact that MacIver concentrates solely on state issues.
Your (liberal) credentials, please!
What else is new(s)? The New York Times briefly wrote a straight-news headline about Trump: “Trump Urges Unity Against Racism.” The Resistance went nuts! A Washington Post writer relates:
My Nation colleague … was among the many who decided that the Times had crossed an unforgivable line. “I canceled my subscription,” she explained on Twitter. “I know a lot of folks will tell me I’m wrong. I will miss it. But I can’t keep rewarding such awful news judgment.
The furor over the headline is only the latest in a long string of controversies in which progressives have accused The New York Times, reputedly a liberal newspaper, of giving aid and comfort to an authoritarian president and his far-right politics.
Blaska’s Bottom Line: No doubt, The Nation would be welcome at Tony Evers’ quarters in the East Wing; we suspect the Democrat(ic) governor would forgive the Times of new York for its momentary apostasy.