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Mainstream media, left-wing practice politics of hypocrisy in Rebecca Bradley story

By   /   March 8, 2016  /   News  /   No Comments

MADISON, Wis. – Let’s take a trip down hypocrite lane.

The same left-leaning group that has gleefully dropped a political bombshell on Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Rebecca Bradley a month before her election day face-off with Appeals Court Judge JoAnne Kloppenburg was apoplectic about revelations regarding its Democrat candidate for governor in 2014.

More so, the mainstream media players who were so incredulous, so indignant about Wisconsin’s Watchdog’s investigation into Mary Burke’s troubled resume is now lustily reporting revelations about Bradley’s anti-gay, anti-Bill Clinton opinions a quarter century ago in a student newspaper.

One Wisconsin Now, a big-labor funded, left-wing attack group, dropped the story about Bradley on Monday. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel joined the usual chorus of mainstream players in their zealous coverage of the Gov. Scott Walker-appointed justice’s harsh comments.

AP file photo

DOUBLE STANDARD: The left-wing/mainstream media’s coverage of Supreme Court Justice Rebecca Bradley’s anti-gay opinion pieces 24 years ago is much more zealous in its ‘pursuit of the truth’ than its reporting of Democrat gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke’s dismissal from her family business in the early 1990s.

“Newly appointed state Supreme Court Justice Rebecca Bradley wrote in a student newspaper 24 years ago that she had no sympathy for AIDS patients because they had effectively chosen to kill themselves, called gays ‘queers’ and said Americans were “either totally stupid or entirely evil” for electing President Bill Clinton,” the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Patrick Marley wrote.

Think what you will about what a college student wrote 24 years ago in a Jesuit school student newspaper. Bradley has apologized to those offended by her comments and says they are “not reflective of my worldview.”

But the release of the damaging information and the mainstream’s coverage of it is another story in and of itself – exposing, once again, the height of hypocrisy among the hate crowd on the left and their biased media mouthpieces.

In late October 2014, Wisconsin Watchdog broke the story about Democrat gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke being fired by her family-owned company, the world famous Trek Bicycle Corp.

RELATED: Trek sources: Mary Burke’s family fired her for incompetence

As the Journal Sentinel reported at the time, the investigative report drew “howls of outrage from partisans in the race.”

“Liberals say the Democratic candidate is being ‘swiftboated’ in the campaign’s final days,” the paper reported.

While Burke tried to downplay the allegations, several sources, including company executives at the time of Burke’s dismissal, confirmed the story.

The Journal Sentinel attacked the veracity of the story while simultaneously confirming it.

“After the Wisconsin (Watchdog) story ran, the Journal Sentinel made contact with Tom Albers, the former No. 2 executive at Trek, who also said that Burke had been forced out of the company in 1993,” the article stated.

At the same time, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editorial board, protecting its liberal candidate, urged its readers to consider the “source” of the Burke story, describing Wisconsin Watchdog as a “pseudo-journalistic publication bankrolled by conservative foundations.” The report of Burke’s forced departure from Trek was “20-year-old-twaddle.”

The Journal Sentinel, it would seem, does not consider the Bradley revelations “24-year-twaddle.”

In its begrudging catch-up piece, the publication took great pains to let its readers know that the conservative Wisconsin Watchdog’s parent organization had received funding from the conservative-based Bradley Foundation, headed by Michael Grebe, who at that time served as Walker’s campaign committee. (Neither the Bradley Foundation nor Grebe had anything to do with the Burke story. Wisconsin Watchdog received tips from company insiders a couple of days before the first story ran. Those same sources said they took their accounts to mainstream publications first.)

In its Rebecca Bradley story, One Wisconsin Now, which handed the mainstream media Bradley’s early 1990s columns at a Capitol “news conference,” the Journal Sentinel simply described the left-wing organization as a “progressive group.”

The “progressive group” is urgently interested in the destruction of Republican Walker, his conservative judicial appointee, and the ascension of the ultra-liberal Kloppenberg to the conservative-controlled Supreme Court.

One Wisconsin Now has been appropriately described as a liberal attack group that “masquerades as a benevolent, non-partisan ‘watchdog’ organization.” The free-market MacIver Institute has labeled the left-wing attack dog as “the court jester of the liberal movement,” backed by big labor money and advocating only for the “extremes of liberal politics.”

And how did the “progressive” One Wisconsin Now respond to the Burke story in 2014? It attacked – liberally.

The group, as is its wont, painted sources of the story as racists and saw a vast right-wing conspiracy involved in the investigative report.

“The wallet and fingerprints of Scott Walker’s campaign co-chair, Michael Grebe, are all over this last-second desperate smear against Mary Burke,” One Wisconsin’s Now’s leader Scot Ross said in a statement.

Bradley’s comments 24 years ago are a matter of public record. It’s up to the voters to decide if they are important to her career body of work in Wisconsin’s legal system. Just as it was up to the voters to decide whether Mary Burke’s exit from Trek was important in assessing a candidate who made her tenure as a manager at her family’s global business the overarching argument in her campaign for governor.

What is hard to dispute is that Wisconsin’s mainstream media, while pretending neutrality, is much more aligned with “progressive” groups like One Wisconsin Now than it is with free-market, limited government principles.


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.