Remember that sensational story the Journal Sentinel printed a couple of weeks before the recall that implied Tom Barrett and his police department had cooked the books to make it look like violent crime in Milwaukee had gone down, when in fact it had it gone up?
You know... the one that Walker incorporated into a fear-mongering, race-baiting ad warning voters about the dangers of letting Milwaukee spread to the rest of the state? The one that drove down turn-out of Barrett voters outside of Madison and Milwaukee and pretty much cost Barrett the election?
Well, while it is true that some violent crimes have been miscoded in the database, the truth is that error has been going on for the last six years and wasn't some sort of scheme cooked-up by Barrett and his police chief.
In addition, when you go back and correct the violent crime statistics that Barrett supposedly lied about, you will find that Barrett's claim of violent crime being lowered from 2010 to 2011 is not only true -- the year-to-year violent crime drop was actually lower than what Barrett was claiming!
So, one would expect the Journal-Sentinel to run a front page correction for this horrible report that likely threw an election, right? Nope. In a release today, nine members of the Milwaukee City Council came forward to say that after days of pleading with the paper to retract and correct the story they have given-up, and are going to take their case directly to the people.
Unfortunately this isn't the first time that the paper has grossly distorted the truth for the benefit of Walker.
This is the same paper that ran a bogus story saying that Walker's base rule change would only apply to have much of a raise workers would get and had nothing to do with their actual base wage. Even after this was proven false by a report from the Legislative Council and even internal Walker memos, the paper refused to run any sort of correction or retraction.
It's also the same paper that shamelessly promoted Walker's home-cooked jobs numbers and refused to run a correction that BLS had NOT confirmed Walker's job numbers.
Unfortunately, the Journal-Sentinel is considered the state's best newspaper and if they report on something incorrectly, the incorrect story quickly spreads to the rest of the state's slack-jawed media.
Having an effective fourth estate is key component of any democracy. If voters don't have correct information, they can't make informed decisions at the ballot box.
That is exactly what happend on June 5-- thanks to the Journal-Sentinel.