Here’s a guest post by avid Madison activist and teacher Kimi Ishikawa which criticizes an Isthmus cover story called “Not My Madison”. If you haven’t read it , it’s right here. I was also really frustrated with that piece.
Dear Isthmus Editors,
I have been watching the Isthmus grow less and less relevant in the eight years since I moved back to Wisconsin, and its dive has accelerated since February.
It seems that you are bending over to be “balanced” in an utterly lop-sided situation, and the connection between your portrayal of what’s going on bears little resemblance to what I see in our town on a daily basis.
The latest cover story, “Not my Madison” is so full of misinformation and excluded information that it finally spurred my break from the paper entirely. I do understand that this is a reflection by someone who has been out of the country for years, so perhaps I could excuse the ignorance of the author, Terry McCoy. But I do not excuse the editors for letting McCoy’s pronouncements stand. In doing so you are willfully fostering ignorance.
McCoy says that the “protests against Scott Walker have failed [...] Madison has lost.” Did you not inform McCoy that we have eight recall elections coming up in the next two weeks, and that the recall of Scott Walker will get underway in November and 200,000 people have already pledged to sign his recall papers?
McCoy paints this conflict as a one-issue problem: collective bargaining, and states that “I am more interested in the people of Madison than in the politics.” Any decent editor would point Terry toward resources for researching the legislation that has passed since January, and the legislation that has been proposed. This legislation is all about people — and not just union members. Planned parenthood, recycling, craft brewers, Badger care, voter’s rights, concealed carry, open-pit mining, public schools, freedom of speech, and many other issues affected directly impact the people of Wisconsin. I know it is way too much to cover in one article, but the writer should have enough background to avoid making inane statements, and if there are inane statements in the article, it is the editor’s job to guide the reporter to do more research.
McCoy then goes on to claim that the lack of compromise we now find is due to Walker’s “radical, polarizing” proposals. This completely ignores the concerted assault the Republicans took against our democratic process — the closed door meetings, extraordinary sessions, lockdown of the Capitol, posting police to blockade stairways and keep citizens away from “open” meetings, the attacks on free speech (cuffing and hauling out citizens who dare to silently hold the U.S. constitution in the senate galleries, for example). The proposals were and are, indeed, polarizing, but attempted compromise was destroyed by dirty trick politics that are destroying our democratic process. Again, McCovoy’s ignorance combined with the lack of editorial oversight results in misleading, incomplete coverage.
The most accurate slant in this article is that Wisconsin is polarized. And there sits the Isthmus, trying to “balance” somewhere in the non-existent middle, completing its descent into complete irrelevance.
The next Isthmus I bring home will be to get our fireplace started this winter.
Madison parent, teacher, activist, citizen