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Pay no attention to the people behind the curtain

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Our local media, pt. 1


by Bert


Since I was rambling by, I thought I’d drop in for a couple of rants.

The scion of Milwaukee’s right-wing belly-achers, Charlie Sykes, routinely insults his listeners' intelligence. Take, for example, his defense offered more than once this past week of the crooked behavior of state Supreme Court Justice Annette Ziegler. Ziegler has presided as circuit court judge over civil cases involving banks where her husband works.

Charlie was outraged. And he snarled at media outlets for writing about Ziegler when reporters are not blasting a similar salvo at politicians such as Superintendent Elizabeth Burmaster for the influence that the teachers union exerts on her decisions.

If you’re cocking your head right now like a confused dog and saying “huh?”, you’re right in being befuddled. It's apples and oranges.

I may not relish the influence that organizations -- through their lobbying and their campaign contributions -- exert on politicians, but that sort of influence is an ingrained element of our government. Ziegler’s worst iniquity could not be more different. If Burmaster were a judge, or if she were ruling on whether her son or daughter should be given a diploma, or whether her agency should locate a new state building on land her husband owns, then we might be comparing apples to apples.

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