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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Janesville Newspaper Doubts Stimulus Jobs Exist

Monday's Janesville Gazette contained a couple of "thumbs down" editorials that should have given the editors a time to pause and reflect on their own biased reporting and editorial misgivings.

In the first one, they questioned Sen. Russ Feingold for not using a real person's name in the now overexposed "Ackland" TV ad touting his support for the federal stimulus. But by posing such a frivolous question to the senator, the Gazette's editors must either believe there were no jobs created using stimulus dollars, or they are truly oblivious to the bully/smear campaigns and negative politics they have helped foster. In these seek-out-and-destroy-times and high taxpayer sensitivities, Feingold was right not to exploit a "real" private citizen or subject their reputations to the vagaries of right-wing bloggers and newspapers, providing of course that the stimulus did create jobs. Which it did.

On the other hand, real citizens often do step forward and offer their personal perspective and support for any given candidate. Feingold gets his share of those too. My main point is, the stimulus is not a person and Feingold's ad was a positive, clean and classy way to message that jobs were created. I'd say opponents of Feingold or the stimulus need not worry whether the real person Ackland exists, but should worry to prove whether the jobs don't.

But that would let opponents off the hook too easily. Newspapers like the Gazette should step up to plate and do one of two things: Either prove the stimulus did not create any jobs OR, seek out and interview real people working on projects funded by the Stimulus Act.

The City of Janesville, Congressman Paul Ryan's hometown, has applied for over $74 million in stimulus dollars, so I'm certain the Gazette can find real persons jobbed by stimulus funding and report about it in a non-partisan way. Okay, I know I'm stretching it a bit here, so forget about the "non-partisan" way. But clearly, there should be no shortage of people and personal stories here for the newspaper to exploit, if that's what turns the Gazette on.


Anonymous said...

Um...Janesville is also Feingold's hometown.

Lou Kaye said...

Sure, but only Ryan has publicly spoken out against the stimulus and claimed it hasn’t created jobs.

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