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 baby daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.
I’m proud of my extensive journalistic background. My peers, listeners and viewers have recognized my body of work, and my bio includes, as former Milwaukee Journal media critic Mike Drew once said, a “trunkload of awards.”
Even so, I recognize that ever since I was thrust into a role of offering opinions on the air and now in print, not everyone will always agree. Where I draw the line is being called a liar. For decades I’ve built a career on reporting the truth. The opinions I broadcast are based on research I’ve conducted and experiences I’ve had that have helped me form those views. I have never lied on the air or in print.
In the summer of 2006, state Representative Tony Staskunas (D-West Allis) wrote, on his letterhead, to an individual that I had lied on WISN about him and a legislative issue.
I got a hold of the letter, and the next time I filled in on WISN, I shot holes in Staskunas’ contention and essentially called him out. After discrediting his argument, I invited him to call me on the air, come to my office, talk to me in the Capitol hallway, or send me an e-mail if he still believed I had lied. I have never heard from him.
Last week, an anonymous individual wrote in the comments section of one of FranklinNOW blogger Greg Kowalski’s entries that I was a liar. This person was proven wrong, so I and others suggested the comments be deleted and that an apology should be made.
Kowalski simply didn’t know what to do and even e-mailed me privately to express his difficulty about how to proceed. I quickly responded that if he didn’t know what to do, it was pretty sad.
Kowalski allowed the offensive, derogatory, and utterly false comments to stay on his blog. I made the decision that the anonymous individual would no longer be allowed to place comments on my blog, and because Kowalski failed miserably in doing the appropriate decent thing, then he, too, would be banned from commenting on my blog.
The anonymous offender was even allowed to call me a liar a second time on Kowalski’s blog, and later, offer a far less than sincere apology. As of this posting, both statements calling me a liar are still up on Kowalski’s blog.
Today, talk show host and author Dennis Prager has written a column about his view that Internet anonymity is just as destructive as Internet porn. Prager writes, in part:
“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.”
I urge you to read Prager’s column in its entirety. Take special note of his last paragraph where Prager offers his own solution about individuals like the gutless coward who falsely accused me of lying.