Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.
I am not a fan of people who comment anonymously on the Internet. In October 2007, I quoted from a column by Dennis Prager entitled, “Internet anonymity is as destructive as Internet porn”:
“There is something at least as awful -- and arguably more destructive -- that permeates the Internet: the lies, vitriol, obscenities and ad hominem attacks made by anonymous individuals on almost every website that deals with public issues.
“Being identifiable breeds responsibility; anonymity breeds irresponsibility.
“Anonymity only enables people to more freely express their feelings. Anonymity values feelings over thought, and immediate expression over thoughtful reflection.
“There is not one good reason for any website, left or right, or non-political, to allow people to avoid identifying themselves. Anyone interested in serious political discourse, or in merely lowering the hate levels in our country, should welcome the banning of anonymous postings.”
More on that in a bit.
Last Friday night saw a great high school matchup in SE WI. On one side stood perennial powerhouse Franklin with but one loss. On the other side was Kenosha Indian Trail. In only its second year of playing varsity football, the Hawks were undefeated at 7-0.
Regular observers knew full well the significance of this contest. The teams were essentially playing for the Southeast Conference title. So Franklin vs. KIT became the locally televised Game of the Week. Local sportscasts featured the game highlights.
Like a playoff game, the atmosphere was electric. Eventually Franklin jumped out to a two touchdown lead and held on for a 28-21 victory. Hard fought game, two quality teams, super fans.
In the Journal Sentinel’s on-line coverage, an anonymous individual wrote in with this comment:
“Those who don't think that Indian Trail is an offensive name need their head examined. Shame on Franklin for agreeing to play this game”
That just boggles the mind. And yet, under current WI law, if the person who wrote that comment contacted the state DPI and essentially stated, “I file a complaint that the school Kenosha Indian Trail has a name that’s offensive,” the school would automatically be considered guilty of discrimination and would have only a specific time to produce evidence that it is not, or face fines for every day it continued to call itself Kenosha Indian Trail.
The Legislature is now debating a bill that would replace the process now being used with a more sensible, fairer procedure. It’s almost sure to be approved.
Ask the Kenosha kids if Franklin should be ashamed for lining up against them and I bet no one would agree.