Actual journalism was committed by Chris Wallace who tried hard to get Republican Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker to actually answer a question he didn't want to answer about the almost 28,000 documents released this past Wednesday. Kudos to TPM for watching Fox News Sunday so we don't have to.
This is video you need to watch:
Naturally Wallace begins by pointing out that while top aides and associates of Walker were convicted of wrongdoing, Walker himself was never charged (so far, typical Fox News). Then he asks about the released emails that indicate Walker knew that public employees were working on county time doing political work on campaigns.
Walker answers with his pre-document dump talking points about this being "old news" in a case that was investigated and closed by a "Democratic" District Attorney (never mind that the overseeing judge was a Republican). Then he pivots into talking about how the Democrats are trumping up these documents in order to divert attention from his "successes" as Governor.
Wallace doesn't buy it. He accurately points out that these documents ARE new news because this information wasn't available before. Then launches into the emails covering the coordination that Walker ordered between his county and campaign staff as well as the use of private email accounts.
His next question is amazing:
If county workers were doing nothing wrong why should they be using a private email system?Walkers response is stunning:
"That's exactly to my point", he says. He follows that up with the exact same talking points about the "Democratic District Attorney" reviewing and closing the case that he already used.
Wallace didn't buy that answer and asked if Walker himself used a private email account. Walker again gave the same answer about the "Democratic review" and closure of the case (of course not mentioning that 6 associates were convicted along the way or that a new John Doe Probe arose out of the original).
Wallace then interjects:
You're not answering my question.Yowsa! There's something Walker never ever gets from the state and local press here or national press. And certainly never on Fox News.
Walker gets miffed and again repeats his same well-mouthed talking point.
He never does answer the question and Wallace moves on to Walkers Presidential prospects and whether or not this will hurt him.
No matter how slow your internet is, please watch the video. Walker is doing what Walker does best - repeating talking points, diverting attention from the question all with a slick and greasy ease acquired over a lifetime of experience spewing nothing but baloney.
He did seem a bit surprised that Chris Wallace wasn't going along with his well rehearsed talking points answers and diversions and actually expected an answer to the question he asked.
This is classic Walker and our media here always seems to buy into it. They don't really ask follow ups or tough questions. He's well experienced in repetitive answers and diversion and when journalists are lap dogs, he always gets away with it.
I only hope there's going to be more real and actual journalism regarding Scott Walker and the pile of sleaze and corruption that is always around him. I was just surprised to see it happening on the network that provides cover for all Republicans.
This is getting some attention back home where his question dodging was noted.
Gov. Scott Walker declined again Sunday to answer whether he knew of the existence of a secret email system in his Milwaukee County executive office.
Mike Tate, chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, said there are additional questions that Walker needs to answer.And I had even more questions in yesterdays diary.
"What we continue to see is the further erosion of public trust in the governor's judgment," Tate said. "Did he know his staff was breaking the law, and if he didn't, how is that possible with what has come to light? How will his public and campaign staffs interact moving forward? And how do citizens know that their tax dollars won't be misused by mixing private-public staff going into an election year?"
Let's all hope they keep the heat on this guy.
AND THEN THERE'S MORE! BIG TIME NEWS!
It looks like Scott Walker strongly encouraged not only his campaign staff, but his Milwaukee County staff to promote him online!
In the heat of the 2010 governor's race, Scott Walker urged both county employees and campaign aides to go to news websites and post comments promoting him and his record, newly unsealed documents show.I can tell you from personal experience that news websites are filled with large numbers of full-throated Walker backers who often say the same things under different user names. I and others have suspected many of these to be GOP operatives or paid bloggers.
In one instance in May 2010, for example, a close ally posted online a portion of a Walker email almost verbatim on a Journal Sentinel story just minutes after receiving the directive. Walker had sent the note to an inner circle that included county administrators as well as campaign operatives.
Tapping out a message on his campaign Blackberry on the afternoon of May 4, 2010, Walker urged county aides, campaign staffers and other trusted volunteers to go to an online Journal Sentinel business story and respond to critics of his plan to privatize the airport in the comments section below the story.
"Someone should comment on the fact that the only way for the county to benefit from that success is to contract out operations," Walker wrote in an email. "Having a well performing airport increases the value that the county could receive."
A half-hour later, Brian Pierick — the boyfriend of Walker aide Timothy D. Russell — posted a comment on the story under the alias "WI_Calvin," calling rising airport traffic "another example of Scott Walker's outstanding leadership."
The post duplicated and carried out an email directive Walker sent to about two dozen people. Walker also publicly thanked @WI_Calvin through his Twitter account for his support during the 2010 campaign.This is exactly the kind of thing Walker aide Darlene Wink (charged and convicted in the John Doe) was up to on the secret router when she should have been doing County work. More importantly, Scott Walker denied knowledge of her activities at the time. And even on Friday he was still denying knowing anything about it.
But the documents do reveal Walker was willing to engage himself and his staffs in comments about even short and minor news stories, with his aides concealing their identities behind Internet monikers or using private email accounts rather than official county ones. It was the mingling of campaign with government work that broadened and significantly extended the nearly three-year investigation.(bolding is mine)
Walker issued his May 2010 directive on website comments during the same period when some of his aides were crossing a line by anonymously posting about campaign matters while being paid by taxpayers.
I would encourage you to read the entire article for other examples and information. What I've got up here is only a tiny portion of what's in the article itself. it's well worth the time.