Shameful: Wisconsin Democrats Ban, Threaten Reporter From Meeting About Recalls
The Wisconsin Democrats are plotting their recall of Governor Scott Walker. It’s an important story with national implications, but when a reporter showed up to cover the story they barred her from the room because they didn’t like the stories she writes.
MADISON — The campaign to recall Gov. Scott Walker may be a grassroots effort as its organizers insist, but it proved less than transparent Tuesday evening when Wisconsin Reporter showed up to report on a recall training session.
Graeme Zielinski, a Democratic Party spokesman with a history of threats against Wisconsin Reporter, ranted at the news organization’s reporter in attendance by phone and threatened Wisconsin Reporter again.
More than 100 supporters turned out to the event at the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees Council 40 office on Madison’s west side. The session, led by the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, is designed to ensure that recall volunteers know how to collect signatures properly.
Within minutes of arriving, however, a Wisconsin Reporter journalist who identified herself as a member of the media was asked to leave by an organizer who cited the campaign’s desire to keep the information out of the media.
The reporter agreed to leave, but asked to speak with the person making the request. The reporter was then put on the phone with Zielinski.
Zielinski called the reporter unprofessional, accused her of sneaking into a party function and then threatened to discuss the incident Wednesday with the statehouse press corps, of which Wisconsin Reporter is a member.
“Get out,” Zielinski shouted. “Don’t come to our party functions anymore.”
The Wisconsin Democrats allege that Wisconsin Reporter has a conservative/Republican bias. But why does that matter?
Since when do politicians have to like the coverage a given reporter or news outlet is producing? That’s an unacceptable standard.
When the Obama administration tried to exclude Fox News from an interview with “pay czar” Kenneth Feinberg in 2009 other media outlets showed solidarity by threatening to boycott the interview. Because they recognized that, while there’s a debate over whether or not Fox has a right-tilting bias, allowing politicians to pick and choose which media outlets they’ll cooperate with sets a poor precedent that doesn’t serve the goals of transparency and accountability.
The actions of the Wisconsin Democrat party is nothing short of shameful.Tags: censorship, wisconsin