Doug Erickson and theWisconsin State Journal Are Up to Their Old Tricks
Smear Journalism in Madison
Despite Madison, Wisconsin’s claim to be very “progressive” and very tolerant, the Wisconsin State Journal (WiSJ) and reporter Doug Erickson have slanted their reporting on the Catholic Church and the Church’s Bishop in Madison in the past.
One of the prime reasons for my establishing this blog was to defend my faith against such “progressives” in Madison who apparently feel the need to malign the Catholic Church.
Many of my articles, including this one, fall under the blog category “Don’t Diss My Church.”
To be fair, there was a time last year when Doug Erickson and the WiSJ appeared to have reformed their reporting on Catholic Madison. The article written on Bishop Morlino’s tenth anniversary as Bishop of Madison was balanced and reasonable.
Just two days after the balanced article, the WiSJ was back to their old tricks, publishing a misrepresentation cartoon of Bishop Morlino.
To their credit, Doug Ericson and the WiSJ seemed to behave better during the last few months, focusing on promoting their own liberal agenda, rather than focusing on maligning the Catholic Church directly.
But this week Doug Erickson and the WiSJ are clearly back to their old tricks.
This week an article was published in the WiSJ with a headline linking Bishop Morlino to a Diocese which is going bankrupt due to sexual child abuse allegations.
Never mind that the alleged heinous acts did not occur on Bishop Morlino’s watch.
Never mind that some of the alleged heinous acts occurred before Bishop Morlino was born.
Never mind that the lawsuits in question were filed up to 71 years after abuse was alleged to have occurred.
Never mind that the allegations were only made in 2011, almost a decade after Bishop Morlino was no longer at that diocese.
The simple fact that Bishop Morlino worked at that diocese in the past was enough for Madison’s leading newspaper to find an opportunity to link this good Bishop’s name with child abuse scandals which did not happen, nor did they surface, on Bishop Morlino’s watch.
What’s Good for the Goose is Good for the Gander
I say to Doug Erickson and to the Wisconsin State Journal:
Have you ever rooted for Penn State, whose football coach Jerry Sandusky is a convicted serial child molester?
Are you a fan of Woody Allen movies, whose sexual molestation of his family has been in the news in recently? Have you ever vacationed in Barbados, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Korea, Mongolia, Philippines, Thailand, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, or Uruguay, all countries reputed to be involved with Child Sex Tourism?
If the answer to any of these questions is “yes,” then we better write an article about YOU, similar to the one you wrote about Bishop Morlino, announcing that this place you were associated with in the past has been accused of heinous acts:
Wisconsin State Journal Reporter’s Previous Employer
Filing For Bankruptcy Due to Child Abuse Allegations or Doug Erickson’s Previous Employer
Filing For Bankruptcy Due to Child Abuse Allegations
We can pretend that we did not smear your reputation with our suggestive article by publishing a quote from you on how you were unaware, or not involved, or only there in a different decade.
Bishop Morlino wasn’t even born at the time as some of the allegations you write about were said to occur, and the problems did not occur on his watch, yet you include his name in your sensational title.
Once a suggestion is made, whether directly or indirectly by association, it cannot be taken back. A journalist should have the integrity not to engage in such smear tactics. Shame on you. How unprofessional!
It’s Not About Catholic Priests
The media’s smearing of the Catholic Church is not about Catholic priests. It’s about smearing the Catholic Church, smearing a moral authority which encourages citizens to hold government accountable to the laws of God .
Progressives have an agenda.
They want to live their lives centered on pleasure, and want to destroy anyone who suggests that they hurt others with their selfish agenda.
They want promiscuity celebrated, they want the resulting babies aborted, and they want their new morality to be praised and to be taught in the schools.
Media is their weapon.
Whether it is conscious or not, this is the agenda the Wisconsin State Journal and Doug Erickson are promoting.
Catholics get the most flack because they are the most numerous and organized of Christian groups, and thus have the most power.
Catholic Bishops are particularly frightening to progressives, and are under particular attack.
Doug Erickson, faith and values reporter of the Wisconsin State Journal, (608) 252-6149, firstname.lastname@example.org
Want to Pray for Our Bishops?
Check out the cool global map at Rosary for the Bishop, a website organized in 2005 to help support Bishop Morlino against the attacks he was suffering in Madison, and which now coordinates 1580 members from 258 dioceses and from 996 parishes, who have prayed 278,300 rosaries for 456 bishops globally since then.
Join the effort by signing up to pray as little as one rosary per month for the bishop of your choice. Note: Pope Francis is also a bishop, and you can sign up to pray for him.
Against odds like this, Doug Erickson and the Wisconsin State Journal have little chance.
On Tuesday, May 29, 2012, Texans held their Republican primary.
Voter turnout was low, about 10%.
Associated Press (AP) announced a projection indicating that Romney had secured at least 97 delegates, bringing him up to the 1144 delegates needed to win the Republican nomination.
Romney made an acceptance speech.
President Obama telephoned Romney to congratulate him.
Assocciated Press Projected a Romney Win; Most Media Sources Parroted the Report
The picture from AP's perspective: Orange=Romney, Green=Santorum, Yellow=Paul, Purple=Gingrich. However, this map neglects the delegates reclaimed recently by Ron Paul's "delegate strategy."
The mainstream and liberal media flocked to repeat and report the AP projected result:
Associated Press Yahoo ABC news
CNN news made an independent estimation (independent of the Associated Press report) indicating a similar conclusion, using the words “unofficially clinched the Republican presidential nomination” Huffington Post
Even some Conservative News sources such as Fox and The Blaze proclaimed the AP estimate, indicating a Romney win.
Other Media More Cautious
The Conservative Drudge Report was strangely silent. Wall Street Journal reported cautiously that “Mitt Romney Tuesday night claimed(my italics) his win in the Texas primary gives him the requisite number of delegates to clinch the Republican presidential nomination.”
Some Reports Question Romney’s and Associated Press’ Claims of Victory
Ben Swann, a Fox News anchor from Cincinnati, Ohio, produced a segment of Reality Check, explaining why he believes that internal tension within the Republican Party may be undermining the security of Romney’s projected victory.
According to Ben Swann’s Reality Check from last week, The Liberty Movement (conservatives who support Ron Paul) is taking over the GOP. On Tuesday, a new segment of Reality Check suggests that the Republican Party might be winning the Texas battle at the moment, but could actually be losing the primary war to conservatives.
More details on Reality Check’s claims will be discussed below; some claim that Ron Paul may have as many as 1,000 delegates going into the Tampa convention, compared with Romney’s present 1,081 delegates (the number of Romney delegates is under dispute, more below).
Fox’s Reality Check is not alone in their suspicions.
Newt Gingrich also acknowledged just last week that Ron Paul is the “biggest danger” for Romney in Tampa. Gingrich pointed out that Paul supporters have gathered an unexpected number of delegates at state Republican conventions recently in Alaska, Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri and Nevada. Apparently, the number of delegates acquired by a candidate continues to change after the primary, with delegates changing allegiance, and Ron Paul is raking them in.
My previous calculations, based on Associated Press data (obtained from Wikipedia through USA Today), indicated that Mitt Romney could not possibly claim the nomination before the Texas primary, and even then, he could only claim it if he got almost all 155 delegates.
Since then, quite a few things have changed, including the fact that Ron Paul is converting delegates who were previously committed to Romney to his own side.
According to present Wikipedia delegate counts (based on month-old AP projections, plus Texas numbers from a website called The Green Papers) , Mitt Romney is still short of 1144 delegates. He has only 1081. The Wikipedia report also neglects the reduction in Romney delegates that would result from Ron Paul’s amassing of delegates.
Where is AP getting it’s most recent numbers from? Why are the new numbers contradicting AP’s numbers from one month ago?
What are AP’s most recent numbers? Wikipedia does not use AP numbers for its Texas update; it is using The Green Papers numbers instead, and AP’s numbers are not in evidence.
How is it possible that Ron Paul seems to be reversing primaries that are already over, and seems to be wining delegates who were previously counted as Romney voters?
Conflicting Reports; Who’s Right and Who’s Wrong?
Media Research Center's Times Square Billboard in New York City
So which is it?
Are Associated Press (and the mainstream media quoting them) and CNN wrong in their projections? Are they trying to influence the election by bluffing?
Does Ron Paul pose a serious threat to Romney as indicated by Fox’s Reality Check, Gingrich’s interview, Wall Street Journal’s caution, Drudge Report’s silence, and my humble calculations?
Is somebody lying and spinning, or is the primary election system so complex that nobody can project results accurately?
The news blackout appears to be aimed at protecting the Obama administration, while continuing attempts to discredit the Catholic Church.
Aside:Thus continues the now decades-long misrepresentation of the Catholic Church abuse sandal. In actual fact, the Catholic Church has the lowest frequency of offense towards children on earth. Children are at greater risk of abuse in their own homes and in public schools than they are, or have ever been, in the Catholic Church.
Credibility of the Mainstream Media
Back to the point – should we be considering an Associated Press and mainstream media attempt to spin reporting on the Republican primary?
Do liberals have a preference for running against Romney, versus running against one of the more conservative alternative candidates?
What is AP’s history on the Republican primary?
Has AP been wrong before?
The answer to all of these questions is yes.
Liberals do have a preference for running against Romney, they believe he is easier to defeat than the other candidates.
AP has called results prematurely in the Republican primary
AP has been wrong before
Most importantly, the media has even shown a willingness to participate in a news blackout, when that is advantageous to the far left and to the Obama administration.
Now, the Associated Press is making projections that do not jive with the estimates of others, nor with their own previous estimates. They seem to be favoring Romney.
Fox’s Reality Check (quoted below) seems to believe that AP estimates of Romney’s delegate counts are wildly misleading.
Even Wikipedia’s charts of delegate counts don’t seem to be updated to reflect conservative changes that have occurred during the past month. Additions to Romney’s delegate count acquired in Texas are updated on Wikipedia, quoting the amateurish The Green Papers website’s numbers, but whole statemajorities acquired by Ron Paul and acknowledged by Newt Gingrich are absent from the Wikipedia charts.
Considering the total news blackout last week, in which ABC and NBC failed to mention the story of the decade (concerted legal attack on the Obama administration by Catholic organizations), the mainstream media can no longer be relied upon to give unbiased facts on the 2012 election. We, as citizens, are back to knowing very little about what is going on in our nation—two hundred years ago this was limited by the speed of the pony express; today, this is due to intentional news blackouts and manipulation of information by radical media.
Fox’s Reality Check, Gingrich, and Ron Paul’s people – Ron Paul is Still Collecting Delegates at a Striking Rate
The fact is, this is a remarkably unusual election. Our nation is divided, not by economic status, not by gender or by race, but we are divided by philosophy. Liberal versus Conservative.
And the balance between liberals and conservatives is changing.
This trend has been evident for a very long time. The closeness of the 2000 election with counting of chads, as well as the unexpected unseating of Hillary Clinton by Obama were indications of division and of close competitions which are full of surprises. Wisconsin’s going Republican in 2010 was an indication that shift toward conservatism may be occurring. Recent Gallup polls confirm this shift.
The two positions, Liberal and Conservative, are stalemated on several issues for which it is difficult to imagine any compromise:
Economy: the liberal solution, spending, is not compatible with the conservative solution, cutting spending. A compromise, doing nothing, would (duh) do nothing while we watch our economy go down the tubes.
Abortion cannot be legal and illegal at the same time. It cannot be a “right” and murder at the same time.
Marriage cannot be between one man and one woman, while also being between two men or two women. A choice has to be made.
There are numerous additional issues on which now polarized liberal and conservative positions would struggle to find a middle ground.
According to Reality Check , even the Republican Party is now divided. There appears to be struggle between Republican National Committee (RNC) leadership and a collection of conservatives whom it is difficult to label, but who seem to be rallying behind Ron Paul. Ron Paul is amassing the support of delegates at a striking rate; there is reason to believe that Ron Paul has 1,000 delegates supporting him already. Reality Check calls these Ron Paul supporters the Liberty Party, but I suspect that this group includes a much wider spectrum of conservative people.
Ron Paul Supporters
Ron Paul’s supporters have been dismissed in the past, because of his minority following and because of some extreme policies. But now the numbers of supports that Ron Paul is claiming are growing, and the RNC seems to be evading the obvious question; where are all these Ron Paul supporters coming from?
Previously, I was never a Ron Paul supporter. As a conservative I now support some of Ron Paul’s policies, but consider some of his positions as dangerously naïve; particularly his attitudes towards foreign policy, defense budget, and legalization of drugs.
However, the more I learn about Romney, I begin to see myself rallying behind Ron Paul in preference to Romney, when my top two preferences seem unlikely to be available (Santorum and Gingrich).
Why don’t some trust Romney?
Romney has no established philosophy driving his politics. His philosophy, if any, appears to be utilitarian; it changes according to convenience and to circumstances. His commitment to truth or to Judeo-Christian morality is not clear.
Journalist Daniel Gross sees Romney as approaching politics in the same terms as a business competing in markets, in that successful executives do not hold firm to public stances over long periods of time, but rather constantly devise new strategies and plans to deal with new geographical regions and ever-changing market conditions. Political profiler Ryan Lizza notes the same question regarding whether Romney’s business skills can be adapted to politics, saying that “while giving customers exactly what they want may be normal in the corporate world, it can be costly in politics”. Writer Robert Draper holds a somewhat similar perspective: “The Romney curse was this: His strength lay in his adaptability. In governance, this was a virtue; in a political race, it was an invitation to be called a phony.” Writer Benjamin Wallace-Wells sees Romney as a detached problem solver rather than one who approaches political issues from a humanistic or philosophical perspective. Journalist Neil Swidey views Romney as a political and cultural enigma, “the product of two of the most mysterious and least understood subcultures in the country: the Mormon Church and private-equity finance,” and believes that has led to the continued interest in a 1983 episode in which Romney kept his family dog on the roof of his car during a long road trip. Political writer Joe Klein views Romney as actually more conservative on social issues than he portrayed himself during his Massachusetts campaigns and less conservative on other issues than his presidential campaigns have represented, and concludes that Romney “has always campaigned as something he probably is not.”
Romney has changed his positions on abortion and on government health care. Both of these are major issues in this election, and both have a huge impact on the economy. Whether Romney’s changes in philosophy are genuine and permanent, or whether they reflect a willingness to alter his beliefs pragmatically over time, remains to be seen.
After four years of President Obama’s drifting and reversals, I would consider the choice of a Presidential candidate who has a history of flip-flopping, evolving, etch-a-sketching, or whatever you want to call it, simply irresponsible. There is a chance that Romney’s conversions (on ObamaCare and on abortion) are genuine, but the risk that they are not genuine is too large to take. Mitt Romney is still the only Republican candidate on the ballot who has refused to sign the Susan B. Anthony Presidential Pro-Life Pledge.
If we elect Romney, we could have another Obama on our hands, who promises one thing, then delivers something quite different.
Reversals on ObamaCare and on abortion by Romney would be catastrophic – not only on the “social” front, but on the economic front as well. Socialized medicine and the killing of future citizens by abortion would have an equally devastating effect on the economy of the nation as they would have on the nation’s morality.
Flip-flopping, evolving, and etch-a-sketchingare not the marks of a candidate for President of the United States.
Flip-flopping, Evolving, Etch-a-Sketching: not good marks of a President
They are the marks of confusion at best, and the marks of a liar, at worst.
Who Would Support Ron Paul over Romney?
Above were the reasons why I would support Romney only after every other possibility has been exhausted for Republican nomination. All three, Gingrich, Paul and Santorum, have established a more consistent conservative record of supporting Judeo-Christian morality (and the economic prosperity which this morality fosters) than has Mitt Romney. And I don’t think that I am so unique. In fact, although I have never joined the Tea Party or participated in their functions, I typify quite closely the average Tea Party member.
Many conservatives, whether fiscal, social, or religious conservatives, could conceivably be persuaded to support Ron Paul, or Newt Gingrich, or Rick Santorum for these reasons over Romney. Tea Party, Evangelicals, and Catholics are just a few of the conservative groups who might likely support Ron Paul over Mitt Romney.
If the eccentric and perseverant Energizer Bunny calling himself Ron Paul, the medical doctor who opposes abortion and who has personally delivered over 4,000 babies in his lifetime, continues to amass delegates to support him, and if he makes it to the Republican Convention in Tampa in August, there could be some big surprises occurring at that convention.
My knowledge of the very complex electoral process is not sufficient to forecast whether Santorum or Gingrich will go to the convention and be listed on the ballot as well as Ron Paul. But Ron Paul is now almost sure to be there. In fact, his supporters have already organized a massive 3-day party, to be attended by 40,000 to 100,000 people, including as much as 1,000 delegates supporting Ron Paul, in Florida immediately prior to the Tampa convention.
The RNC is Worried
Delusional speculations, you may be thinking?
Well, the RNC appears to be worried about these possibilities, too.
The Massachusetts RNC leadership is apparently sufficiently worried about Ron Paul’s growing popularity that it is threatening delegates that they must sign an affidavit that they will vote for Romney on the first round of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, or be charged with perjury. They would not be threatening delegates and creating last minute busy-work if there was no danger to their RNC establishment’s agenda.
This does not make it look like Ron Paul is a harmless eccentric, or that Mitt Romney has the nomination bagged.
How Can Delegate Counts Be Reversed?
How can Ron Paul be reversing primary election results, and why is the media failing to acknowledge recent reversals?
Apparently, Ron Paul has discovered a strategy that circumvents the Republican establishment, and endeavors to facilitate a conservative takeover of the Republican party. The strategy is called the “delegate strategy,” it seems to be working. It involves focusing campaign efforts on the ability to win over state delegates, rather than winning the popular vote.
Instead of focusing on getting the votes of voters at primaries, Ron Paul focuses on getting the votes of the delegates who are elected at state conventions and caucuses, typically a couple of weeks after the primary.
Ron Paul supporters use an extensive grass roots campaign network to influence local officials, who then influence higher-up officials. Basically, delegates are persuaded to switch their vote to Ron Paul weeks after the popular vote at the primary, and this essentially reverses the effect of the primary.
For example, take the state of Massachusetts. Just like in Texas tonight, Romney won the popular vote there. But in the congressional district caucuses, where the delegates are actually chosen, Mitt Romney, despite having been Governor of that state, was embarrassed, when during the district caucuses, Ron Paul supporters took 16 of 19 delegate slots. In doing so, the Boston Globe reports that those Paul supporters, they beat out major names in the Massachusetts Republican Party. Including state house minority leader, Bradley Jones Jr., Kerry Healey, the former Lieutenant Governor, Sheriff Frank Cousins of Essex County, and Republican’s most recent nominee for governor, Charles D. Baker.
This strategy is discussed further by Chris Miles at policymic. Chris Miles concludes: “Boom, Ron Paul’s system looks like it is working.”
How Many States and How Many Delegates Does Ron Paul Now Have?
The Republican race is not won through a series of state primary contests. It’s won by accumulating delegates at state conventions, which typically occur a few weeks after the state primary contests.
In the states where the primaries are over, Ron Paul is winning large numbers of delegates, leading to massive fights at State Conventions across the country. It’s also leading to many new people taking over the GOP leadership in these states, and those people happen to be Paul supporters. That has also led to Governor Romney creating a shadow party in some of these states. This reflects the intensity of the competition that is raging in the Republican Party, all the while unreported by the liberal Mass Media, who would love to help push Romney as the candidate Obama will oppose.
What are the rules?
Are delegates in the Republican Party bound to vote for a specific candidate, as determined by the popular vote of the Primary?
Or is the popular vote an advisory one?
According to the 2008 Rules of the Republican Party, 25% of delegates are unpledged and are free agents at the convention (this year in Tampa) These include party officials such as the party chair or national party committee members. But 75% of delegates are pledged delegates, indicating that they are “bound” by the popular vote from the primary.
However, the Legal Counsel for the RNC made a ruling in 2008 that ‘The RNC does not recognize a state’s binding of national delegates, but considers each delegate a free agent who can vote for whoever they choose.’” This statement allows all delegates to be free agents, voting for whomever they choose.
So there is a contradiction.
It is not clear how this dispute will play out.
For comparison, Newt Gingrich’s delegates are still bound to vote for Gingrich in Tampa. Newt has the option to release his delegates to vote for Romney as he wishes. But his delegates will be bound to vote either for Gingrich or for Romney in the first two ballots of the Republican convention in Tampa. If there are more than two rounds, they are free to vote for any candidate. Incidentally, Newt Gingrich has not yet released his delegates to vote for Romney in Tampa.
SO: the rules are not yet clear. This is going to be an exciting summer and an exciting convention.
Has This Ever Been Tried Before?
I’ve discussed the Harding election previously, in which Harding went into the Convention with only 20% as many delegates as his opponent had. However, since no delegate had the required 51% (1144) at first, several rounds of voting took place. Eventually, Harding ended up winning the nomination and then winning the election to become President.
I am not sure how the details of the primary worked out, but the fact is that when candidates do not have the requisite 51% (today 1144) delegates before the convention, a brokered convention is held, and some big surprises can surface after several rounds of voting.
This system was wisely put in place to create a process of elimination, so that when there are numerous candidates, as there are in 2012, and not one of them gets 51% of the vote, a minority leader does not end up leading the United States as President. A “brokered” convention steers a process of repeated voting and elimination, which culminates in a candidate who is supported by at least 51% of the U.S.
At present, Romney is still short of 1144 delegates by many estimates. Even AP’s estimates make assumptions and guesses about delegates who are not bound (at least 25% or more of them are not bound), and then even bound delegates are no longer bound after two rounds of voting if more than one candidate enters the convention. With Ron Paul’s number of delegates rapidly growing (and thus Mitt Romney’s number of delegates rapidly shrinking, something that AP does not seem to have acknowledged yet), the numbers are in such a flux in 2012 that it is difficult to make any projections at all.
How Many Delegates Still Up For Grabs?
According to the Wikipedia charts (from USA Today, AP and The Green Papers), this is the present estimated delegate count:
Note: If Ron Paul continues to succeed in winning delegates who were previously though to be “bound,” all of the above AP numbers become meaningless. Note also, that the total of delegates still to be determined by the primary votes from the above table is 359, while the AP estimates from table before that listed 537 as still to be determined.
The Final Outcome
The outcome of this primary – Romney versus a much more conservative candidate like Gingrich, Paul or Santorum – could have a powerful impact on the future of the United States. There is reason for concern. Romney is not similar to the other 3 remaining candidates, and a Romney presidency could be much different than what the conservatives who elect him might imagine. In some ways, Romney has the potential to “evolve” or to reverse himself almost as badly as Obama has done during the course of the last four years.
If all this speculation by Fox’s Reality Check, by Newt Gingrich, by Ron Paul and his supporters, and by me turns out to be mistaken, Mitt Romney will have the nomination, and he will run against Obama for President. In that case, he will have my vote. That is the highest probability scenario.
But if reports of a power struggle in the RNC between moderates and conservatives are correct, there is not only a good chance that Ron Paul’s name will be on the ticket at Tampa, but there is also a good chance that a large number of conservative delegates (previously Santorum and Gingrich supporters) might join him. If Ron Paul’s “delegate strategy” turns out to be legitimate and successful, Ron Paul could even defeat Romney.
With the present NEWS BLACKOUT orchestrated by the liberal media, this primary may not be over until the Republican Convention in Tampa (August 27 – August 30, 2012) is over.
Is the Republican Primary Over?
No, it’s Not Over Yet
Does Mitt Romney Have the Nomination?
No, Mitt Romney Doesn’t Have the Nomination Yet
Syte Reitz grew up in Queens, New York, in a family of Lithuanian immigrants who fled Nazi and Soviet domination during World War II. Her education includes a Ph.D. in Biochemistry, and post-doctoral work at Princeton University. Syte left her job as an Assistant Professor at Oakland University, Michigan, to devote herself to raising her children, and ultimately homeschooled them through the end of high school. She is a member of Madison's Cathedral Parish.