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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Janesville Gazette Publishes Letter Targeting Petition Signers

Today's Janesville Gazette contains a letter to the editor listing the names of Janesville City Council and Janesville school board members and candidates for non-partisan office who signed the Scott Walker Recall Petition. The letter was written by none other than Janesville's hyper-partisan crank, Ed James. The Gazette, famous for their institutionalized anti-union Republicanism and black hole journalism have chosen the cowardly way to "out" our local civic-minded citizens. The Gazette not only lets someone else do the dirty work of combing the petitions for them, but they are more than happy to politicize and broadcast the poisonous message through their newspaper.

The letter was posted next to a regurgitated editorial written by the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram describing a L-T article proudly reporting on and also identifying Eau Claire's city council and school board member recall petition signers. Believe it or not, the message behind the misguided L-T editorial labels all signers of the petition as "partisans."

Below is an excerpt from the L-T editorial written word-for-word except where I took the liberty to substitute a few words with my own. They are in bold.

As citizens and voters, these newspaper media institutions are, of course, free to endorse politicians and attack the opposition or otherwise broadcast their partisan affiliations. But is doing so really a good idea? The deeper they wade into partisan politics, the more politicized - and partisan - their own institution becomes. Voters who traditionally have viewed newspapers as civic minded volunteers who have the best interests of the community at heart may instead begin to suspect they are simply partisan hacks. And such impressions - accurate or not - may undermine public trust in our most accessible democratic institutions.


Rock - Smear and Fear Merchants Targeting Signers Of Recall Petitions

Rock - Anti-Partisan Crusader's Selective Rage Targets Labor Unions

Rock - Gazette's Anonymous Column: A Place To Offend

Reuters - Free The Gannett 25


my wart opinions said...
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Anonymous said...

Why doesn't the newspaper get it over with, come clean, and rename itself the Janesville Republican Advertiser and Business Gazette?

Lou Kaye said...

Anon, I can't figure that out either. The owner and editors truly believe they can categorize and separate their own institutionalized partisanship from within their product, but their employees, judges, public officials and the general public can't. Unfortunately, much damage has been done to the community and I think the Gazette is at a point of no return. It's either own up and come clean or change ownership and flush out the entire management group.

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