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Fox Business special featuring stories of John Doe targets to re-air Friday

By   /   January 7, 2016  /   News  /   No Comments

MADISON, Wis. – John Stossel’s investigative report, “Censored in America,” featuring interviews with targets of Wisconsin’s unconstitutional and politically motivated John Doe probe, will air again at 7 p.m. Central Time Friday on Fox Business.

The program includes a powerful interview with Deborah Jordahl and her son, Adam, about their experiences as subjects of a predawn, paramilitary-style raid on their home.

Eric O’Keefe, another target of the secret campaign finance probe into dozens of conservative groups and Gov. Scott Walker, also is featured in the report.

Photo by Fox News

CENSORSHIP SPECIAL: Fox Business News will re-run John Stossel’s special report, “Censored in America,” at 7 p.m. Central Friday.

“America is the first country to say to its people: all of you have a right to speak. But today speech is under siege,” Stossel wrote in a blog promoting the special.

In it, Stossel tells the stories of several people who have lost that right to speak, suffering varying consequences for doing so.

On Oct. 3, 2013, Jordahl, a political strategist, and her family were forced to watch law enforcement root through and seize their possessions in early morning, armed raids – all over an alleged campaign finance crime. She and the other targets of the probe were never charged with any wrongdoing, and the state Supreme Court in July found the investigation unconstitutional and ordered it shut down.

During the raid, Jordahl, her husband, and her teenage children were confined to the home’s family room, guarded by a Dane County deputy sheriff.

“At one point early on, I started to get up from the sofa,” Jordahl told Wisconsin Watchdog in July. “I told the deputy who was guarding us that I wanted to call my lawyer. She backed me down on the sofa and told me I could not call anyone.”

“I felt completely helpless in my own home.”

Stossel examines the John Doe secrecy orders, which effectively held targets, subjects and witnesses as speech prisoners for years, prohibiting them from talking about the investigation to anyone.

“Authorities confiscated their computers and cell phones, and ordered them (and their children!) not to speak to anyone about the raids,” the Fox Business Network reporter writes in his blog.” Targets faced jail time and hefty fines for violating the gag orders.

Much has changed in John Doe Land since the investigative special first ran in October.

The Republican-led Legislature passed a bill reforming Wisconsin’s controversial John Doe law. No longer may prosecutors use the secret procedure to investigate illegal campaign finance allegations and other such paper crimes.

The Legislature also passed a bill dismantling Wisconsin’s political speech regulator, the Government Accountability Board after revelations that the “nonpartisan” agency was integrally involved in the partisan probe.

Walker signed both bills into law.

And the state Supreme Court last month reaffirmed its July ruling. In the decision, the court also ruled that the position of the probe’s special prosecutor was invalid since its inception and ordered the prosecutor to hand over the millions of documents he illegally seized.

It is not clear whether Stossel has updated the Wisconsin segment in the investigative special. Fox News media relations officials did not return calls or emails Thursday seeking comment.

“Censored in America” also will tell the stories of censorship on college campuses, and of the high-profile Americans who lost their livelihoods  because of the things they said – or once said.


M.D. Kittle is bureau chief of Wisconsin Watchdog and First Amendment Reporter for Watchdog.org. Kittle is a 25-year veteran of print, broadcast and online media. He is the recipient of several awards for journalism excellence from The Associated Press, Inland Press, the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association, and others. He is also a member of Investigative Reporters & Editors. Kittle's extensive series on Wisconsin's unconstitutional John Doe investigations was the basis of a 2014 documentary on Glenn Beck's TheBlaze. His work has been featured in Town Hall, Fox News, NewsMax, and other national publications, and his reporting has been cited by news outlets nationwide. Kittle is a fill-in talk show host on the Jay Weber Show and the Vicki McKenna Show in Milwaukee and Madison.