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.
Last Sunday, I began a new feature on This Just In called, “The MJS Scorecard.” My goal is to subjectively track the number of liberal and conservative pieces printed in the Sunday “Crossroads” editorial section of the MJS (The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel).
I am shocked, SHOCKED that this little ol’ blogger and his little ol’ experiment in just a matter of days garnered reaction. Of course, it came from the usual suspects: some lefty bloggers, and, not surprisingly, the newspaper!
Poor Sonya Jongsma Knauss of the MJS. I think it’s a pretty good guess she showed up for work earlier last week not expecting some higher up to walk into her office space, muttering and sputtering that something had to be done about that no good Kevin Fischer and that she, unfortunately, had drawn the short straw.
I am convinced that some folks (Kevin Fischer detractors) don’t fully read my entire posts, or if they do, they simply don’t or refuse to comprehend the message.
The MJS’ Knauss and some others opined that I didn’t know George Stanley of the paper from George Jetson. Stanley doesn’t run the Crossroads pages, Ricardo Pimentel does.
Let’s go to my blog, shall we? I distinctly wrote;
“Last October, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Managing Editor George Stanley tried his best to convince readers that the paper is fair and balanced. He cited some examples and then wrote, ‘In these cases the press, in all its forms, is not leading public opinion but reflecting it.’
He added, ‘We're here to serve all readers - conservative, liberal, independent and nonpolitical.’
Stanley was referring primarily to the paper’s reporters.”
Let’s see. Stanley’s name correct? Check.
Stanley’s official title correct? Check.
Stanley’s name spelled correctly? Check.
Reference made that Stanley is talking about the newsroom? Check.
Any mention at all that he is in charge of editorial pages? None.
So what the hell?
Some skeptics also suggested that I bear no resemblance to a Harvard or Yale statistician. They’re right. I don’t.
But I know a liberal column when I see one. Ditto for a conservative piece.
But Fischer’s doing it all wrong. He’s not (whine) including works by Journal Sentinel writers. My goodness, that’s a hoot.
No, I’m not including newspaper employees like Patrick McIlheran whose work is in every Sunday edition. That would only skew the results. And do lefties really want me to score every product from Eugene Kane, Jim Stingl, Laurel Walker, and Pimentel as well as the actual editorials? I don’t think so.
For the record, I’ve received many “You go, Kev” notes, encouraging this watchdog weekly. So I repeat the parameters of my project:
I’ll review the most coveted editorial pages of the week by opinion-makers as well as the most widely-read, the Sunday “Crossroads” section of the Journal Sentinel. I will keep track of the conservative and liberal pieces published and keep a running score throughout the year.
I will not count pieces by Journal Sentinel columnists or Journal Sentinel editorial writers, short Quick Hits or Advisory Hits. Judgment is, of course, subjective, but I’m pretty sure I can perceive if an opinion piece is conservative or liberal.
What about Monday through Saturday? Sorry. I’m going to concentrate on the Sunday pages. If others want to take on the task of monitoring the other days, God bless them.
Let’s go to today’s paper:
TODAY’S LIBERAL PIECES:
Jerry Resler: Manufacturers could help recycle e-waste
I know Jerry, a retired member of the MJS Editorial Board, a good writer and a good guy. While he writes about a bipartisan proposal that has the support of the MMAC, his piece endorses a mandate on businesses. Not by much, but I toss this one under the “L” column.
TODAY’S CONSERVATIVE PIECES:
Scott Walker: Don't use stimulus to build in swell budgets
George Will: Culture of law sues us into a stupor
Willie L. Hines Jr.: It's wrong not to teach what's right
Hines of the Milwaukee Common Council calls for ethics, morals and values in the Milwaukee Public School System. Definitely a conservative theme, even if Hines never attends the right-wing conspiracy meetings.
The paper also ran two pieces with differing views on the current Middle East conflict. While more conservatives and few liberals have come out in support of Israel the past week, this issue is difficult to label ideologically. I give the MJS credit for running both columns, but they’re not part of this week’s tally.
TODAY: Liberal-1, Conservative-3
YEAR TO DATE: Liberal-4, Conservative -4
Hmmmmm. Could we be making a difference already?