Governor Scott Walker On The Journalistic Malpractice Surrounding Friday’s Stories About The Wisconsin Case
Governor Scott Walker (website here) joined me to begin Friday’s program, and he blasted the coverage of the decisions in Wisconsin dismissing the egregious prosecutorial misconduct which has thus far cost the taxpayers of Wisconsin $350,000 in legal defense costs (and who knows how much wasted time) for abusing the prosecutorial process there. (Earlier today, the Journal Sentinel has the story on the costs triggered by the sham probes as a stand alone-story –it is now buried deep in a different story…mustn’t let readers focus on the real cost to the state of these Democratic sehananigans).
HH: I don’t think I have ever seen a more egregiously handled political story than that concerning Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin today. Time Magazine has a headline, Criminal Scheme Will Haunt Scott Walker, which I believe to be objectively slanderous. And joining me now is Governor Scott Walker. Governor, it’s great to have you on.
SW: Great to be back with you, thanks for having me.
HH: But you must be, are you boiling mad at the way that this has been handled by the media today?
SW: Yeah, it’s unbelievable. I mean, they’ve been a willing accomplice to the attacks against us. The truth of the matter is if people have followed any of the fact in what’s happened in the last several years, they’ll know that what was dumped out yesterday should not have been the headline you just mentioned from Time, but rather should be this is the losing argument. This is the argument that lost not once, but twice. Two judges, a state judge, well respected court of appeals judge, long in office before I was there, so no way connected with me, found that the arguments the prosecutors, before any charges or anything else were issued were invalid, and told them to shut their case down. And then more recently, a federal judge said the same thing, and actually told the prosecutors they’d be in contempt of his court if they continued any further on this, because it was not only wrong, their argument, but it was an outright violation of the Constitutionally protected rights of not just me, but others who supported me. And it reminds me of a phrase Abraham Lincoln once said that truth is generally the best vindication against slander. My hope is eventually the truth will get out. But you look at some of these media outlets, and they don’t seem to care much about the truth.
HH: The Michael Shear piece, and I invited him to come on the show today, because I wanted to ask him specifically about a line that he writes, “In the Walker case, there is an even further complicating factor. A number of judges and a number of courts, both state and federal, have yet to agree on whether or not the specific facts of coordination in this case amount to a crime.” In fact, he is wrong. They have all agreed that it does not, and that it is a malicious prosecution. He’s flat-out, 100% wrong.
SW: There’s not a one, at a state or federal court. So it’s not a matter of jurisdiction. You’ve had consistently the same argument. And in fact, the federal judge who made the more recent ruling last night lashed out at the prosecutors again, and said essentially that the prosecutors were trying this case in the court of public opinion, because they failed to have a case in his court according to the law. So it is one more, this isn’t just a matter of them pondering this, that no charges were issued, this case, the reason a John Doe in Wisconsin is put in place, it’s a bizarre law to begin with, it’s all done in secret, but they have to take it before a judge before they can even issue charges. And the judge shut them down. This case has been shut down not once, but twice. It is one where it is filled with mischaracterizations and outright lies. And it’s one in which the media is a willing accomplice of the left, not only in my state, but across the country. Continue Reading
Yesterday I featured an interview with St. Louis Post Dispatch editorial page editor Tony Messenger (who hung up on me after 25 minutes committed to a forty minute interview –audio and transcript here) on his paper’s decision to drop George Will from its opinion pages.
Today George Will joins me to respond to the paper’s decision.
HH: So pleased to welcome back now George Will, the author of A Nice Little Place On The North Side. If you haven’t read it, yet, it is the best baseball book in years, though it doesn’t say much about the Cleveland Indians. I believe, however, it sparked outrage in St. Louis. It was insufficiently bowing to Stan Musial, I think, and as a result, it offended Cardinals fans, one of whom, Tony Messenger, the editorial page editor, trumped up charges and took him to the court of the Stalinists. And George Will, you’ve been exiled from St. Louis. How do you react to this?
GW: Well, since I’ve always thought as a Cubs fan that the Cardinals are part of the Axis of Evil, I take this, I’m brave about it, put it that way.
HH: Now I have got a lot to cover. I had Mr. Messenger on yesterday until he hung up on me, and did not follow through on his commitment to stay with me long enough to question him. But he did at one point admit this, and I think it’s important to put this up front and center. In his comment about defrocking you, he said your column was, “Offensive and inaccurate,” and here’s what I asked him.
HH: So you are agreeing there is no place where a factual inaccuracy exists in Mr. Will’s column?
TM: To the best of my knowledge, no there is not, and we did not correct on.
HH: He admitted then that you weren’t inaccurate. Do you find that odd that he put it into his explanation then that you were?
GW: Well, actually, the only thing I’ve done in connection with this little kerfuffle was I sent him an email a couple of days ago saying I thought it improper of the Post-Dispatch to accuse me of an inaccuracy, but not specify them. And I said would you please tell me any factual inaccuracy, and he sent back that the inaccuracy was in my conclusions, which means my opinions. So I think that cleared that up sufficiently. Continue Reading
Tony Messenger is the editor of the editorial pages of the St. Louis Post Dispatch. He fired George Will today because he found a column Will wrote two weeks ago offensive. Messenger joined me to discuss his absurd decision, and its likely impact on his already almost-dead newspaper –until he hung up on me. Messneger had committed to three segments; he bailed before the end of the second.
HH: Right now, I am joined for the next forty minutes by Tony Messenger. He is the editorial page editor of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Tony, welcome, it’s good to have you on the Hugh Hewitt Show.
TM: Thanks for having me, Hugh. Good to be here.
HH: You’re also the guy who fired George Will, and that’s really what I want to talk to you about. But before that, I always do a little journalist GPS for the audience for the first time when people come on to get you sighted on the map. Before you were at the Post-Dispatch, you were at the Columbia Times, right?
TM: Well, before I was at the Post-Dispatch, I was at the Springfield News Leader in Springfield, Missouri, and then before that, the Columbia Daily Tribune in Missouri. I grew up in Colorado. I’ve worked at papers in Colorado, Arizona, South Dakota, Nebraska and three different places in Missouri. So… Continue Reading