Sunday, November 6, 2011

Journal Times Editorial: Trying To Look High & Mighty On A Pile Of Crap

It is common knowledge that the daily editorial at the Racine Journal Times is a job passed around to whomever is available. Long gone are the days of the newspaper editor who set the tone for integrity and vision each day when he (or seldomly she) penned an editorial that commented on events and issues in a way the community understood was in their collective interest. The newspaper editor was our link to current events, the point man in the endless stream of information and news.

The Siren is of a newspaper family. Ones who chose their daily paper (yes, back in the day there were several in any given city) like they they chose their church or political candidate. It mattered.

Some days it is a painful process to turn to the last page of section A in the JT to see what afterthought of an editorial someone (literally - anyone) belched out before deadline.

Today is an interesting exception not because it is an afterthought, but because it poses so endearingly as a beautiful Italian Combo Bomber sandwich - only to discover after biting in - it is really a shit sandwich...with cheese.

Today's editorial is titled "Hiding the Warts". It attempts to cover the recent and ridiculous arrests in the Wisconsin Assembly gallery of people quietly filming the proceedings, or holding a copy of the Wisconsin State Constitution or a picture of apple pie.

This all would be stupid enough if the Assembly had not just voted to allow loaded, concealed handguns to be carried in the gallery seated right next to the person holding a flag who will be handcuffed and arrested in a few short minutes. Guns - good. American flags - bad.

The JT rightly points out this is dumb and most likely unconstitutional. The Assembly rules which disallow such bizarre behavior as writing, holding paper or filming (which is clearly allowed by the state constitution) was implemented by legislators so they would not be distracted while doing the people's work, or more likely filmed sleeping by the people who employ them.

It's true, the Assembly as a whole voted years ago to disallow pictures, filming or anything they deem "distracting" long before anyone dreamed of a smart phone or flip camera that fit in your pants pocket.

Distracting - as if knowing some guy sitting above you is carrying a loaded 9mm is not. Whatever.

But then the JT goes off on some fantasy designed to not offend the few remaining subscribers and holy advertisers they have left by claiming it is a bipartisan effort by Representatives to see people with flags and pictures of Jesus hauled out like criminals.

To validate this nonsense is supported by legislators on both sides of the aisle, the JT employs a mouthpiece from the Koch funded Heritage Foundation to flesh out their position by adding to the discussion a patently false assertion that people who wish to film in the gallery (and apparently 12 year old's doing their homework) are "opposition researcher(s)." Both sides are in "silent agreement" out of fear of gotcha moments used against them in the next election.

This is all grade "A" bullshit.

Democrats in the Wisconsin Assembly moved to change the Assembly rules to stop the arrests and were blocked by Republicans and Assembly Democrats have repeatedly spoken out on the floor in defense of the people removed and arrested while Republicans cheered on the police.

The Journal Times knows this, but pretends differently.Their effort to castigate both sides is a cheap trick to skate down the middle and not piss off customers who voted for the same Republicans leading the effort to shut down public participation and transparency.

The JT's failure to rightly state the facts of this issue makes them party to the entire subject of public's right to know. If we could cancel our subscription twice, we would.