Swear to tell the truth, the whole truth …
Good to see Madison’s alternative news source Isthmus back on news stands. Their second issue in print reports their resistance to the subpoenaing of star reporter Dylan Brogan to testify on his eye witnessing of the 23 June 2020 BLM riot on Capitol Square. That’s when social justice warriors firebombed city hall, tore down statues of a civil rights hero and an early feminist prototype, broke windows, and beat a liberal, homosexual legislator.
We’re supposed to think “How noble! They’re fighting for the First Amendment! Our Right to Know!
Balderdash! (Platinum Subscriber Bonus ejaculation: Poppycock!) Editor Judith Davidoff bemoans that her publication can ill afford the $1,000 already spent fighting the subpoena. We sense a Go Fund Me appeal on the horizon.
→ Our advice to Isthmus: kwitchyer bitchen. You don’t have a case.
Isthmus argues that Wisconsin’s shield law protects journalists from testifying in court. But neither Brogan nor reporters for WKOW-TV27 and WORT-FM elicited confidential information from would-be whistle blowers. The three merely witnessed what was in plain view.
Isthmus argues that the shield law applies if the state can find other witnesses. Prosecutors say they cannot. Given the chaotic nature of that night and the rampant law breaking, it is unlikely that the perpetrators and their enablers would step forward. The three media representatives, on the other hand, are more readily located and (possibly) law abiding. That argument is, in any case, immaterial.
We question the very constitutionality of any shield law. Because, what is, exactly, a “journalist”? Do you post on Facebook? Congratulations! (Or condolences.) You are a journalist. The courts have consistently ruled that no one citizen has greater First Amendment rights than any other citizen.
In Branzburg v. Hayes (1972), the Supreme Court even refused to shield a reporter from divulging confidential sources. If such a privilege were established, Justice Byron White wrote, “sooner or later, it would be necessary to define those categories of newsmen who qualified for the privilege, a questionable procedure in light of the traditional doctrine that liberty of the press is the right of the lonely pamphleteer who uses carbon paper or a mimeograph just as much as of the large metropolitan publisher who utilizes the latest photocomposition methods.”
It’s why the Werkes was happy to see Citizens United strike down McCain-Feingold’s ban on issue advocacy in the critical months before an election, with its egregious and generous carve out for news organizations but not for me or thee.
Isthmus quotes their attorney to say, “This case is uniquely inappropriate for breaking the reporter’s privilege because the underlying events were witnessed by so many non-journalists.” He argued that the three reporters “were investigating, they were there and they witnessed things because they were reporting on what was going on. They happened to see …a potential crime.”
But when is a news reporter not reporting? You’re eating breakfast. Through your high rise window you “happen to see” a jetliner crash into the World Trade Center. You begin “reporting.” Either filing your first impressions with your news bureau, or commiserating with your sister in New Jersey, or sharing on social media.
In any event, why would Isthmus fight the subpoena? Why wouldn’t Dylan Brogan want to testify?
Blaska’s Bottom Line: One must wonder whether Isthmus would stage such noble resistance if it had witnessed the January 6 insurrection at the nation’s Capitol. Or the average random traffic accident, for that matter. One that wasn’t the result of a BLM protest, anyway.
Well I guess we all know that the press is not our friend. But wouldn’t you be less likely to talk to a reporter if you knew the conversation could be used against you if they were compelled to testify? I don’t know the answer here but it does seem there is more finesse needed. Dave, weren’t you such a reporter in your youth? How would/did this affect your ability to find and talk to sources?
If it was important enough, would like to think I would spend a few hours in the hoosegow. Providing blanket amnesty won’t separate the serious from the silly. If your source really is a whistle blower, it’s the other guys going to jail.
“Journalism”, as practiced today in 98% of all mainstream media outlets, is actually bare-faced advocacy journalism for Leftist viewpoints, and as such, the riots during the summer were not really riots. This was clearly shown when a low-flow Lefty jurinalist was filmed standing before the Kenosha fires and mindlessly proclaimed them ” Mostly peaceful protests.”
Trouble is, most newsrooms aren’t even aware of their own perceptual biases, they think they’re fair and balanced while they’re really fairly imbalanced. A fish doesn’t know he’s wet, either. Journalists all travel in the same j-school.
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If most journalists aren’t aware of their perceptual biases (I happen to think they’re only too aware), it’s because they’re willfully blinded by their ideological loyalties. They imagine themselves in the vanguard of the leftist crusade to remake the world in their image of what it ought to be, down to the smallest detail of everyday life. And they’re all too eager to compromise any principles, including journalistic ones, in the process.
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“Never underestimate the power of the human mind to believe what it wants to believe, no matter the conflicting evidence.” Caedmon Erb
The irony of this comment coming from you.
Remember the comment while your watching Fox News.
One doesn’t need to watch Fox News or any news outlet to see that leftists are destroying the company. It’s obvious.
Is that company you speak of listed on the Dow?
If you cannot learn how to write “you’re” for “you are” I’ll ban your ass for all eternity.
Ban me because of my learning disability? Isn’t that a part of the cancel culture I read about here so often.? I wonder if WILL is willing to take my case? BAAAA HAAAA HAAAA. Just joshin’ ‘ya Dave. I’m too busy signing up dead voters for the midterms anyway.
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It’s funny getting lessons from you on journalistic ethics.
You worked in an era when reporters knew all sorts of things and didn’t publish it (but they made sure their editors knew it).
You then worked as a press flack where it was your job to keep sexual activity out of the newspaper.
Oftentimes, it’s not what gets reported, it’s what does not get reported.
My job never involved “keeping sexual activity out of the paper.” In fact, was never asked because it was never an issue.
“You then worked as a press flack where it was your job to keep sexual activity out of the newspaper.”
There was a lot of inappropriate/illegal behavior at the legislative and executive branch in the nineties. At the university too. Some of it led to extortion. Some of it was printed by the national press when Thompson ran for President (why do you think he withdrew when he did).
The local press would not print the stories unless there was a legal/public document involved (remember Bo Ryan). Local newspapers have to be careful what they print because major advertisers will withdraw their advertising if you print something they don’t like. And press flacks are all over the government and campaigns to prevent, what the Clinton campaign called, “bimboo eruptions.”
I’d suggest getting the board out of your own eye and look at the rot occurring within your own party RIGHT NOW.
Withdrew? Because he lost Iowa. We notice: no links.
I’m not a lawyer, but would think that the shield law would NOT apply to a reporter or journalist who is merely witnessing something that anyone else can witness. If a confidential source approaches a journalist with specific information, then THAT’S protected.
You bring up an interesting point about what constitutes journalism these days. The line has become so blurred.
As to whether Isthmus would be so resistant if it had witnessed conservatives engaging in a riot. Hell no. Dylan may be talented, but he still works for a publication that is planted firmly on the left. If we’re being honest.
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I’m not registered and have no party.
The Democrats became the party of Goldman Sachs in 1992 and I can’t support that.
The cult of the Republican Party is led by a man being extorted by the Russians for his love of golden showers and I can’t support that. [ EDITOR’S NOTE: This has been disproven by the Mueller Report and subsequent evidence that the entire Russian Collusion hoax was promoted by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the DNC. ]
You’re right about the Goldman Sachs part (as well as Blackstone and a few others), but the Russia thing has been debunked on numerous occasions.
Not a cult. People are weary of the status quo.
Republicans are not perfect. They accept lobby money, have failed to stand up to leftist bullying (often submitting to it) and haven’t done nearly enough to stand up for the law abiding of this country.
But compared with the left:
Open borders that introduce more human trafficking, drug smuggling and disease. Coddling violent criminals. Defunding the police. Botched withdrawals that leave Americans behind enemy lines. Approval of partial birth abortions & allowing babies from botched abortions to die. Reversal of energy independence. Using federal agencies to clamp down on protected speech. Anarchist riots. Squashing dissenters. Racist critical race theory taught in elementary schools and exposure to sexually explicit material. Double standards (you can’t worship in church during COVID but rioting & protesting are just fine). Spending trillions of taxpayer dollars on a bill that we’re not even sure what it includes.
Though Republicans have their problems, there’s no question in my mind which side I’m on. And I’m not sure how this is even a choice for most people.
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Hi Liberty – I came here to find you on a totally different topic. Have you read about the Steven Donziger case? Incredible example of abuse of corporate power in our legal system – I thought you’d be interested.
Yeah, anyone’s a journalist. Let’s remember that the entire point of journalism is indeed ALWAYS to impact people’s thinking. Media is mind control. The invention of “unbiased” news was always a farce, a marketing tool, and it’s a stupid game to even try to act unbiased. There’s plenty on the left and right and up and down. That’s the point, there needs to be as much diversity as possible and as little monopoly as possible. We are literally on a blog right now that provides biased journalism, complaining about biased journalism… maybe it’s time to put that topic to bed?
Republicans vs Democrats:
Let’s remember that this too is a false tool to distract from actual power divisions. Centralized corporate power is the only thing that matters. Our democracy runs nothing – money runs everything. If that is addressed all these other issues can be hashed out rationally and democratically – nobody would get everything they want but a rational compromise could be achieved and we could stop hating each other and work as an actual United society submitting to the will of the people within the confines of our constitution, which itself is allowed to evolve according to its design.
As it is this is not possible. If the people even attempt a step in that direction “the economy” punishes. Americans broadly agree on this issue, and because if that we are prevented from setting aside our differences on other less important “wedge” issues to unite on this central important issue. We all need to get comfortable working shoulder to shoulder with people we don’t always agree with and recognize that we are in this together, United.
You said: “There’s plenty on the left and right and up and down. That’s the point, there needs to be as much diversity as possible and as little monopoly as possible. We are literally on a blog right now that provides biased journalism, complaining about biased journalism… maybe it’s time to put that topic to bed?”
You contradict yourself. You say there has to be as much diversity and as little monopoly as possible. Agreed. Yet you’re pointing out Blaska for offering a DIVERSE voice in a city that’s largely progressive.
MOST media outlets, local and national, are biased to the left. Perhaps you should address your comment to them.
You said: “Let’s remember that this too is a false tool to distract from actual power divisions. Centralized corporate power is the only thing that matters.”
I will agree that the attempts at division are indeed a distraction and that both parties are beholden to their benefactors. There are few true public servants.
At this point in time though, there are REAL RECOGNIZABLE DIFFERENCES between the two parties. Please reread my comment above:
Open borders that introduce more human trafficking, drug smuggling and disease. Coddling violent criminals. Defunding the police. Botched withdrawals that leave Americans behind enemy lines, etc.
Leftist policies are DESTROYING the country and changing it in ways we haven’t seen before. How are Republican policies currently destroying the country? To say that AT THIS POINT IN TIME both parties are alike is untrue.
You said: “We all need to get comfortable working shoulder to shoulder with people we don’t always agree with and recognize that we are in this together, United.”
Nice sentiment, but how do you unite with people who want to destroy your livelihood if you dare to have a unique thought, or who are constantly accusing you of being a racist or fascist for merely asking questions, or who tolerate leftist riots during a pandemic because “they’re in the name of justice” but try to have you arrested for wanting to visit a house of worship.
Tell me, how do you work with people who think and act like this?
Isthmus originally was planted in the center, intended chiefly to provide a weekly guide to events supplemented by a small editorial content–eight pages for starters. If over the years it developed a leftward lean, it was largely because in the mid-1970s that was the cast of most of the people who wrote for and read it. Still is, reflective you see.
Now the question is will Brogan finger Beauty and the Beast?
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I’m hopin’ and prayin’ no double entendre was intended. If it was intentional, it needs a caveat, (elbow length at that…) at least for that biggest meanest gal:
No problem, I’ll show myself (and John Gruden) out…
Lost Iowa? He withdrew months before the caucus and only after the New York Times and Washington Post started poking around. They never published the story after his withdrawal.
No one told me footnotes were required but here’s one. There are more out there.
Get ’em DG. Get “em good.
Gawd, you are petty. If you had contributed even one-one hundredth of what Tommy Thompson has contributed to the state of Wisconsin someone might listen to the likes of you. Instead, you traffic in prurience. That is David Gerard’s contribution.
Tommy dropped out after he lost Iowa. You can look it up: “Thompson had stated he would drop out of the race if he did not finish either first or second in the Ames straw poll on August 11, 2007. Thompson finished sixth, with just 7% of the vote, despite the fact that some major contenders were not competing in the poll. On August 12, Thompson officially announced he would drop out of the race.”
In reply to Liberty above:
I’m not criticizing this blog by pointing out its biased. I support it, and here I am reading, posting, and making it money. I have no problem with the existence of diverse thought.
It’s fear mongering to imply that what you listed is destroying the country. That is a media tactic.
– Open borders that introduce more human trafficking, drug smuggling and disease.
For most of the history of the US the borders were essentially open. Covid proved that absent closing permanently even to tourists disease knows no borders. Prohibition causes drug smuggling and there’s enough money in it that no border security program can stop it.
– Coddling violent criminals. Defunding the police.
That opinion is out there but – if we have democracy – it will get balanced out among the rest of the diversity of opinion.
– Botched withdrawals that leave Americans behind enemy lines, etc.
Come on, you think this area is exclusively Democrats? Sure, I strongly dislike Biden too and don’t agree with every action, but Republicans are not a bunch of military genuses or anything…. How many conflicts have we engaged in in the last 100 years? Have they all gone totally smoothly?
– Leftist policies are DESTROYING the country and changing it in ways we haven’t seen before. How are Republican policies currently destroying the country? To say that AT THIS POINT IN TIME both parties are alike is untrue.
Anti-democracy. It is a Republican position, top-to-bottom, that less voting is preferable and anything that can suppress voting overall is to be pursued. Do I need to dig up references? It’s been a decades-long strategy. Any party that doesn’t support democracy is not for me – THAT is the fundamental basis for a good society. With democracy we can work through all these other differences and reach moderate compromise. It’s the bedrock, without which all else doesn’t matter.
Cult of personality. The party does not seem to be about policy or values, instead about a single person who is a complete and total liar and the sorest loser I’ve ever seen. Those are facts, not opinions. I don’t hate Trump supporters, but it is not at all healthy for a political party to be so deeply sold-out to a single individual. He just said yesterday “If we don’t solve the Presidential Election Fraud of 2020 (which we have thoroughly and conclusively documented), Republicans will not be voting in ’22 or ’24,”. It is the single most important thing for Republicans to do.” He is literally blackmailing our country to massage his ego with lies, and most Republicans are going along with it! Count me out.
– how do you unite with people who want to …
Via democracy. I’m an atheist. You think being called racist is bad, “mainstream Americans” literally think I will spend eternity in a fiery hell and that I’m an agent of Satan. But I still work with these people, I still send my kids to school with their kids, I even visit their church when invited. They can think I’m evil all they want, but they’re productive members of society too and I’m ok living among them if they’re ok living among me. Maybe when they realize I’m not evil they’ll think differently, and maybe not…. we still need each other anyway. This is freedom. Not everyone will like me or agree with me and that’s ok. If they don’t want to buy my products because I’m not Republican, that’s ok, it’s a free country. I still see them as my brothers and sisters and fellow Americans even when I disagree with them.