WPRI’s Cadre, John Torinus and the Myth of Liberal Media

Bopping through the Wisopinion.com list of blogs of the day, I was amused to see not one, but two posts from the conservative and oft-error-plagued Wisconsin Policy Research Institute featuring former members of the so-called liberal media.

Right there from Charlie Sykes’ yap tank, a post from Ken Lamke, former reporter with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and Sunny Schubert of the Wisconsin State Journal.I find it amusing that time and time again, when reporters leave the fold of the Wisconsin press corps, rare is it that they join the ranks of the liberal movement. Rather from Lamke to Schubert to former Wisconsin Radio Network reporter, cum-Republican Party of Wisconsin com director Chris Lato, or former Associated Press State Capitol Bureau Chief Tony Jewell, who joined the Tommy! Thompson crew, it’s Republican stripes which emerge when scribes remove their reporter robes.

If that’s not bad enough, the cabal of conservative organizations and news outlets was on display again this past weekend.

John Torinus, board member of Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, gets a 18 to 20 inches of free advertisement space each Sunday in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s business section.

This week, he complained that wages aren’t rising in Wisconsin. Comical, considering the anti-wage growth initiatives like raising the minimum wage that he and WMC have opposed. His evidence: a report from the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute.

Again, this would be the same WPRI run by Charlie Sykes, highest profile member of the Journal Communications Company, which owns the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. No mentions of these things were provided by Tornius, nor anyone at the MJS.

Guess Torinus is Latin for “conflict of interest.” (Full disclosure: That joke is taken from Sen. Bob Kerrey’s question “is Santorum Latin for ‘asshole’?”)

I’ve emailed MJS Assistant Managing Editor/Business Chuck Melvin asking him to provide balance to the endless pro-biz blather with perhaps an occasional call from a labor leader — to no avail. Neither has he been willing to run criticism of Torinus’s nonsense your pals at One Wisconsin Now have emailed him. Guess the business propoganda pipe only runs one way on MJS biz page.

One last note about Torinus. People frustrated with the sacred cow treatment of the media by the conservative Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance will be amused to know that hard-core, anti-biz tax shill Torinus was until 2007 a board member of WisTax. He was one of it longest serving board members.

But the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance doesn’t have an agenda, the media will insist when you call them on their endless use of WisTax and its head Todd Berry as somehow a non-ideological source, beyond reproach.

As a note completely unrelated to Torinus, who is a stenographer for business and not a journalist, for the working reporters who contribute to GOP-front groups like WPRI, you ought to let us know how much you’re getting paid to contribute to these propoganda outfits. Unless they don’t have to pay to you for something you’ll give away for free.

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