Saturday, March 06, 2010

Saturday's column was killed.

Hi everyone,

Well, that was an interesting experience.

The column traced the funding for Americans for Prosperity, and most of the primary foundations funding the Tea Party movement (the Cato Institute, the Heritage Foundation, Freedomworks, etc.) back to the massive and politically aggressive Koch Industries.

I noted that Common Sense Citizens of Washington County, a local political group running three candidates for local office (two of which are self-identified creationists running for positions on the school board), is affiliated with AFP and that these candidates parrot the same anti-tax, anti-government, ant-regulation rhetoric on which AFP has built a following. I noted that this rhetoric, designed to appeal to "just plain folks" actually serves the interests of billionaire industrialists, not working people trying to hang on to their jobs.

Either Conley Publishing didn't like something in the piece or I stepped over a line somewhere.

Next week's column, something about kittens.



John Jost said...

Congratulations, really. It's always a good chuckle when hypocrites are forced to drop the mask.

These people display the First Amendment and the right of the press to publish opinions without government interference, but you can't publish certain opinions without press interference.

And these are the same people who still feel mighty good publishing Ann Coulter et al. I'd say forget the Daily News.

Why not post that column here? As long as it's a non-column there...

Patrick Allen said...

Publish it here, Mark.

Free Lunch said...

Don't editors talk to you about why they do things or ask you to make changes?

I have a friend who wrote for them a few decades back and he remembers it as a great experience. Of course it had different owners back then.

DanBack said...

Monday they run a month old letter from Mary Weigand hating on you for a second time. Today they don't run your column?

What's up with the clowns at the paper?

Can you post the column here for us to read?

Michael Zimmer said...

I've been following the political environment in West Bend following the library controversy, and find this very interesting.

Did the paper give you a specific reason (in writing)? Did you have any clauses within your contract regulating acceptable content?

wbman said...

Conley hasn't allowed the local editors to write an editorial since it bought the paper. I'm sure your column had to be approved by him or his minions, and they killed it. The newspaper has almost no reporters left. It relies on spoon-fed news releases. It's greatest value is the obituary section. Some of us remember when it was an award winning newspaper with a statewide reputation for excellence. That ended when the Torinus family sold it. I wish... I pray... that John Torinus would buy it back and turn it around; maybe not as a daily, but something close.

Anonymous said...

Looks like they replaced the column with James Wigderson's "Ryan Rising" article. Didn't you link to this awhile back?:

Things do turn around, I guess maybe people would rather read about Paul Ryan's political viability instead of whatever you wrote. Or maybe the News wanted to avoid what could be perceived as a "leftist" infused conspiracy theory/diatribe - considering what's happened lately (i.e,, Pentagon shooting, University killing by a professor, IRS plane crash), maybe the timing isn't good for that right now.

Anonymous said...

I have to read Ann Coulter's mania and BS, the anti-global warming crap, Owen Robinson's cherry picked arguments, and stupider stuff from the "common Joes" who think gays spread homosexuality by being in the same room with them, books should be banned, and the school district is run mafia fashion.

I want my balance!

The common sense folks must have threatened them.

krshorewood said...

Even the august New York Times keeps referring them as "grassroots" groups.

Anonymous said...

Run it here. Do not let them shut down a different opinion.

Kraig said...

Prof - maybe the News is tired, as are their customers, of reading about what you are against instead of reading about what you are for. It is pretty easy to spout anti this and anti that rhetoric. Write an article that ID's what you believe and not what you don't. Why argue a negative? If you are proud of what you believe, clearly position yourself as pro-tax, pro-large government, pro-regulation, and pro-atheism. See where that takes you - I hope you enjoy what you find when you get 'there'.

Kevin Scheunemann said...


You can write about the 2 Wisconsin ACORN workers indicted for felony vote fraud.

That's something everyone is against (or are they?).

Yep...more government money at work in ACORN.

Mpeterson said...


The publisher apparently thought there was some ambiguity about how the relationship between Americans for Prosperity and the Common Sense (sic) Citizens of Washington County was laid out in the piece. I've clarified that in the revision and it should appear on Saturday.

As usual, the politics are secondary to the money. Thank you all so much for your support.

Timothy said...

I'm curious. Does Kevin ever stay on topic?

Kevin Scheunemann said...


I was just trying to help Mark out with a topic solution (other than kittens).

Given that he seems to have "worked it out" without government intervention, I'm pleased.

Its funny that the tea party is now an elaborate conspiracy by billionaire industrialists, but actual felony vote fraud liberalism, like ACORN, is not.

I guess its all in skewed political perspective fun!

Just to stir the pot:
Felony ACORN vote fraud seems to be OK, as long as you believe in the global warming religion.

wbman said...

Kraig, will you apply the same standard to Owen Robinson? His columns (including today's) are usually of a similar nature.

DanBack said...


In the sense that regardless of what everyone else is talking about Kevin only talks about ACORN, how "science" is actually "religion", how Obama is a "socialist" and regurgitating whatever else Belling talked about yesterday - yes, he always stays on topic.

Kevin Scheunemann said...


Don't forget Charlie...

Timothy said...


Ah, his own topics! He really should start his own blog. I'd visit regularly and comment on any topic of my choice.

Timothy said...

At least Kevin is honest and admits he regurgitates.

Kevin Scheunemann said...


What are you saying?

Liberals are not honest when they regurgitate?

Anonymous said...

As a former freelancer for the paper, I have to say that the managing editor there is generally very even-handed and professional in her handling of political issues.

I've never met the editorial page editor, but his page is severely lopsided in favor of right wing columnists — and borderline zealots at that.

My main lament with the editorial page, however, is that the columns overwhelmingly focus on national & international issues rather than local ones. There are plenty of things to say about what's going on around Washington County and S.E. Wisconsin, and that should be the role of a local newspaper.

Anti-fanatics said...

The press may "interfere" if facts cannot be confirmed, John. Thank goodness for the media and the government - who else could be blamed for all of the problems in the world? I don't know what people would do without a scapegoat. If the column was press-ready, Mark, why NOT publish it in you blog? Or if you were still going to be able to RUN the column, eventually in the paper, why not say that in your blog post? Maybe because "Saturday's Column Will Run Next Saturday Instead" is less interesting than "Saturday's Column Killed."
Oh the injustice! Oh the conspiracy! Everyone has an angle - even you, professor.