In the increasingly strange world of daily newspaper journalism, where editors and publishers serve on local chambers of commerce and pen right-wing blogs while dissing their staffs for signing recall petitions, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is setting the standard for strangeness.
The recall petition flap didn't affect the Journal Sentinel as it did a half dozen other newspapers around the state. Moreover, the J-S has won several Pulitzer Prizes in recent years for feature and investigative reporting. However, the Milwaukee newspaper's editorial page has veered sharply rightward politically in recent years. And the news department doesn't, in some respects, seem very far behind.
We're thinking mainly of the Journal Sentinel's can't-see-the-forest-for-the-trees feature called Politifact, which rates politician statements as shades of true or false, but which too often chooses to inspect rather unimportant snippets of rhetorical navel lint. At some point soon, should this trend continue, the column will rule on whether it was accurate for some public official to call Wisconsin "America's Dairyland."