January 21, 2008

John Torinus: WMCheerleader

John Torinus writes a regular column for the The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s business page.  He is a reliable WMCheerleader who regularly fills the pages of the state’s largest paper with all of the latest Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC) talking points.   Although he feeds this steady diet to readers he rarely discloses his deep involvement with the well-financed organization and their rigid corporate agenda.

His latest piece is another defense of the status quo on health care.  This is the same status quo that is bankrupting families, leaving more people without health care, and hurting many businesses.

John Torinus writes a regular column for the The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s business page.  He is a reliable WMCheerleader who regularly fills the pages of the state’s largest paper with all of the latest Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC) talking points.   Although he feeds this steady diet to readers he rarely discloses his deep involvement with the well-financed organization and their rigid corporate agenda.

His latest piece is another defense of the status quo on health care.  This is the same status quo that is bankrupting families, leaving more people without health care, and hurting many businesses.  In the column he criticized bold plans for reform, such as Healthy Wisconsin, saying that only the “market will ease health care costs.”  The problem for Torinus is that “the market” has helped to produce the very high health care costs that have become so unbearable.  The only ones to benefit from the market in health care have been big insurance and drug companies who take record profits while we suffer.

If you can get through an entire Torinus column, you’ll likely have little more knowledge on any issue than when you started. You’ll simply have a drawn out version of his…er, WMC’s talking points. But when you give someone without a reporter’s background an opinion column in a newspaper, you’re likely going to get little reporting and mostly opinion.

It begs the question: If the Journal Sentinel is going to give Tornius a column in the Business section every week, shouldn’t there be a competing voice? And for that matter, every newspaper has a Business section, but why not a Labor section?

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