Campaigns/Elections

Establishment Media Now Bored By Wisconsin

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Better days for Madison…

Breitbart.com's Joel B. Pollak finds the mainstream media doing what 5.7 million Wisconsinites can only dream about: escaping the Badger State as things go south: 

Today's New York Times is covering the Wisconsin recall election…on page 11. Not even the editorial page could be bothered--only op-ed columnists Joe Nocera and David Brooks weigh in. (Nocera laments the decline of unions; Brooks can't quite bring himself to defend Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, calling his methods "obnoxious.") A cause that fueled front-page headlines and editorial exhortations has been quietly abandoned.

As to the coverage itself, the Times focuses on the fatigue of the voters. "I hope this all stops," says the first person quoted in the article on the recall election…

The ostensibly more conservative Chicago Tribune does even worse, pulling a bait-and-switch on its readers. The front page refers to an article about the Walker recall on page 9--which turns out to be a mere two-paragraph sidebar that mentions the most favorable poll for Milwaukee mayor and Democrat challenger Tom Barrett, putting him only three percent behind the incumbent. A photo of former President Bill Clinton and President Barack Obama at a fundraiser in New York City leads the paper's national news section.

The lead editorial celebrates the "spirit of revolution"--in Egypt, where the radicals of the Muslim Brotherhood have seized the moment. 

I have little regard for Gov. Scott Walker, who is facing a recall in today's Wisconsin election. I favor him today because I desire the precedent of a politician's having survived an attempted overthrow by international labor, and also because I object to recalls as too much work. Even my velleity for Walker is tempered by the idea (first suggested to me by the late Andrew Breitbart) that a martyr to the unions would also be a useful precedent. And it bears repeating that by exempting police and fire unions from reform, Walker has failed even to earn martyrdom. 

However this day ends for Scott Walker, tomorrow state governments around the country will be facing the same problem that brought Walker to this cliff: a cascade of benefits payments for government employees that are draining budgets now and pre-comitting what revenues the states will be able to raise into the distant future. And by the way, the governors facing the biggest crises are Democrats.