Will MJS give Conservative WPRI, WISTAX Same Treatment as Public Citizen?

Watchdogging is essential for the news media and the more the better. However, all entities, from the liberal Public Citizen to the conservative Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance, should be treated with the same standards by the media watchdogs.

Today’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel “Politifact,” in its analysis of a unfair trade deals cited by U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold, makes this note about the sourcing by Feingold’s campaign of Public Citizen:

“Public Citizen is a leading critical voice on trade deals, so it comes to the issues from that perspective.”

Fair enough.

Unless you consider that the MJS regularly runs stories generated by the conservative Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance and the pro-corporate shills at the Bradley Foundation’s Wisconsin Policy Research Institute, but a media-accountability fact-checker would be hard pressed for the motives and intentions of these groups to have been cited in previous news articles by the MJS.

The reporters have gotten good at using “conservative” or “free-market think tank” when including the oft-cited WPRI, although the recent spate of propaganda columns in the MJS from WPRI’s latest project didn’t include this important modifier.

In addition, rarely, if ever has Todd Berry’s conservative, corporate-funded Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance gotten its motives explored by the MJS.

As One Wisconsin Now’s WISTAX Watch showed, 93 percent of contributions from the board of WISTAX go to Republican and conservative candidates. Even more than the quasi-U.S. Chamber of Commerce affiliate, Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, gives (80%).

Watchdogging is essential for the news media and the more the better. However, all entities, from the liberal Public Citizen to the conservative Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance, should be treated with the same standards by the media watchdogs.

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Scot Ross has served as Executive Director of One Wisconsin Now & the Institute since 2007.