The news came as a shock to the people actually involved in the protests in Wisconsin. One by one on Twitter and Facebook, protesters who formed the Wisconsin uprising seemed baffled. Some, myself included, were even heavily offended. The news was that the Wisconsin State Journal was considered a Pulitzer Prize finalist for coverage of the protests. Very few thought that the State Journal, who had endorsed Scott Walker, even deserved to be considered. The truth is even more menacing and deserves a call to action.
The Wisconsin State Journal, like almost all of the mainstream media in Wisconsin, had turned their back on the story. What they did instead was propel the same garbage lines and ignore the important news. Ever since Scott Walker has taken office it has seemed the press has treated him extra nice, knowing that holding him accountable could lose them press access to him. The Pulitzer must be mistaken as the Wisconsin State Journal has done more to support the fascist regime in power than it has to cover the story. But the big problem doesn’t really come from their regular writers. It comes from two writers who used to be considered more “liberal,” now left to become the “bitch” of the Administration, pressing GOP talking points and press releases, paraphrasing them, and calling it news. These two writers are Clay Barbour and Mary Spicuzza.
Today I will focus on Clay Barbour, yellow journalist and propagandist extraordinaire. Until September of 2011, Clay Barbour had stayed mostly under the radar, his political bias not so evident. On September 21, 2011, however, Clay Barbour issued a hatchet job piece on myself and several other members of the “ground crew.” The ground crew refers to a smaller group of activists who returned to the Capitol day after day to hold the GOP accountable and to cover the attacks on the working class as the mainstream media (including Clay) had failed to catch most of the story almost every time. In his front page story titled “Wearing Out Their Welcome: Protesters Still at Capitol, Irking Lawmakers,” Clay rips on the protesters and makes it seem like news that some still remain. The only thing decent about the story, however, was the magnificent photography. The article even starts out with a clear slant:
When news broke that a protester had poured beer over the head of a prominent Republican legislator last week, staffers and lawmakers immediately began playing a game of “guess who.”
Was it “Segway Jeremy” or “Pink Slip Miles?” Maybe C.J. or Arthur or Bridgette? Certainly, most agreed, it was one of the usual suspects.
Thousands of people descended on the state Capitol in February and March, crowding the streets and filling the rotunda in opposition to Gov. Scott Walker’s collective bargaining bill. But in the past six months those crowds have given way to a small but dedicated band of 20-something protesters who routinely disrupt meetings, harangue individual Republican lawmakers, stage publicity stunts and take video of nearly everything they do.
The group — led unofficially by about a half-dozen “regulars” — has exasperated Capitol law enforcement and Republican lawmakers. But they also have frustrated Democratic lawmakers, interrupting their speeches and getting into shouting matches with them during committee meetings.
He then goes on to hand select representatives who had already criticized the protesters and picked and chose the best quotes he could to “stick it to the protesters.” Later, Clay and Mary wrote an article falsely claiming that Arthur Kohl-Riggs had violated Assembly Rules when he filmed Joel Kleefisch (R-ALEC) voting for absent members on the Assembly floor. This revelation had been ignored by every member of the mainstream press for years, Barbour seemed upset that Arthur caught it instead. For months we wondered why Clay made such stretches. We must wonder no longer as Clay made it very clear why his stories are so full of right wing propaganda. It turns out their problems in reporting is due to a common issue. The truth “doesn’t matter.”
In a segment caught by John “Sly” Sylvester, of Sly in the Morning, Barbour goes on to say that normal people would not find the recent video in which Scott Walker identifies his plan to “divide and conquer” shocking, which is why. Mary and Clay both go on to state all these reasons why they didn’t think the video and the truth about it mattered. Later in the segment, Clay Barbour states that we are at a point in history where “truth does not matter.” Really? Truth does not matter? Well it sure as hell matters to me. And it should to you as well.
I am asking everyone to please write the Pulitzer and thank them for not awarding the Wisconsin State Journal with the prize but also kindly requesting they remove the Wisconsin State Journal as a listed finalist due to their clear bias. Clay and Mary are the main Capitol reporters for the paper. You can reach the Pulitzer at email@example.com or 212-854-3841. Also please ask that Clay be removed from Capitol and political reporting by contacting:
- Smalley, John, editor, 252-6104, firstname.lastname@example.org
Together we can fight the media machine. Little by little just share this story on Facebook, Twitter, Google +1. Make a phone call or send an e-mail. Together we can fight the yellow journalism machine. One day longer! One day stronger!
Segway Jeremy Ryan has become a full-time member of the protests at the Wisconsin State Capitol. Formerly a businessman, he gave up his business to join the fight for the middle class in the State of Wisconsin. He rides a Segway due to a heart condition. Through videos and writings he has informed hundreds of thousands of people about what was going on at the Wisconsin State Capitol once the mainstream media had mostly abandoned the protests. He has been arrested over 31 times for silently filming or holding up a sign in the Capitol.