As you likely are aware, Governor Scott Walker vetoed a provision that would have removed from the UW campus the liberal "Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism." This was portrayed as conservatives attacking the free press, even by conservatives who should have known better. The provision wouldn't have shut down the center; it would have stopped the free rent, internet and utilities it now receives. As the old saying goes, "no good deed goes unpunished," and Walker got his in a WCIJ story that was front page of the Green Bay Press Gazette and probably most Gannett newspapers around the state. Here's the headline the Press Gazette put over the story:
Choice schools cast out disabled
And as one-sided as the story was, you can see where the paper thought that headline was a good fit. Do you note the almost biblical tone to that headline? Jesus cast out demons; choice schools "cast out" the disabled. You know, the same ones Jesus cured. But that's all just a coincidence, I'm sure. Interestingly, the online version was toned down to "Voucher critics question equal access for special-needs students." Of course, the story under this cyber headline is no less biased than the one in print. In fact, perhaps I have this all wrong. Perhaps I should be praising the print headline for its intellectual honest and criticizing the online headline for deceiving readers into thinking that they may be embarking on a balanced piece. It'd be interesting to know whether the online headline was changed after
And yes, I know, the Press Gazette and not the WCIJ wrote both headlines. But they certainly provided the inspiration for the one that arrived at my front door early this morning. Governor Walker, in vetoing this provision, said he wanted to leave it to the UW Board of Regents to decide the appropriateness of such arrangements. Well, then Media Trackers, The MacIver Institute and other right leaning outlets should apply right now. But quite frankly, that was a punt by Walker. If he felt that way, why not remove the WJIC and let the Regents start a new policy with no such group on campus, rather than grandfather one in?