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.
“Can I help you?” she asked.
My mouth opened but no words came out.
At that exact moment, someone slapped me on the arm.
I turned to see a middle-aged woman with a somewhat troubled look on her face.
“How do you put up with those guys on InterCHANGE?” she asked, referring to the weekly public television show that I’m a regular panelist. The woman proceeded to give me atta-boy’s for standing up to the program’s liberals as I ordered my Badger ham and American cheese.
Just about everywhere I go, people who watch InterCHANGE stop me and say one or more of the following:
1) Kathleen Dunn seems like a really nice person (She is, she’s just ultra-liberal).
2) How can you stand Joel McNally? (I’m sure Joel gets the same comments about me).
3) Do you guys get along? Are you guys friends?
As to #3, there’s a long answer and a short answer.
First, the long answer.
Because of the nature of the program, the discussion often gets heated. There’s nothing wrong with that. You have individuals who are passionate and steadfast in their views and beliefs. God forbid the program ever become dull.
The program is like a sports bar argument or blog chatroom.
On one episode, Joel McNally told me to “Shut up.” Joel apologized the next week, but in the next breath, ripped me again.
This week’s program got intense because I dared to criticize Kathleen Dunn’s beloved Barack Hussein Obama and I blasted Wisconsin’s awful taxes and business climate, that rankled Joel who loves big taxes and anything that’s anti-business. Yours truly also didn’t appreciate being interrupted by Dunn and McNally after I sat silent for about seven minutes while I had to listen how wonderful Barack Hussein Obama is.
So, do we get along?
I could refuse to answer to keep the mystery alive.
However, Joel pulled the mask off the Lone Ranger a few years ago when he wrote a column about an InterCHANGE-related incident.
It’s a custom for some, if not all of the InterCHANGE panelists to stand outside MATC and chat after the Channel 10 taping. On a warm Friday, Joel, Gerard Randall and I were standing on the corner of 8th and Highland, engaged in conversation.
A car pulled up to the stop sign and the male driver pulled down the passenger-side window.
“I knew it,” he yelled out the window.
We all abruptly stopped our discussion to look at the motorist.
Observing the three of us in non-combative mode, the man continued.
“I knew all that yelling and screaming was all for show.”
We burst into laughter.
Suddenly, I realized that like Vince McMahon telling Congress his industry was purely entertainment, we had been busted.
I approached the man’s open car window and implored him not to tell anyone.
He drove off with a big smile as we chuckled on the street. Joel wrote about it in his column a few weeks later.
I’ve known Joel and Kathleen for over 20 years. We rarely agree. But we all respect each other. Before and after each show, the panelists laugh and joke about topics totally unrelated to what’s discussed on television. When the talk gets a bit emotional, it’s generally forgotten by the time we hit the elevator. No one stays angry. No one carries it any further.
Like pro wrestling, we disagree and argue for 26 minutes every week, but all go home in the same car.
Sorry to pull the mask off again, but the short answer is, yes, we all get along and have been friends for a long, long time.