Platteville Journal Editor Dismayed at Being Lumped with Liberal Media


Apparently my article on the progressive media’s coverage of Bishop Morlino last week stung the conscience of the editor of the Platteville Journal, Steve Prestegard.

I got the following 2 messages from him on facebook:

You know, before you lump me in with all the other liberal media, maybe you should find exactly who I am. Try out for starters.


And I wrote this:


My reply to Steve Prestegard:


(First, an aside-You also wrote THE BISHOP AND ME.)

The hyper-sensitivity you demonstrate to my criticism suggests an emotional involvement in this issue that is not characteristic of most journalists.

This professional conflict was apparently already obvious to you, judging from your published comments admitting that you are “someone in the media being a participant in the story.”   

Your decision to cover the story at all reflected a lack of perspective and a willingness to give exaggerated coverage to dissidents in the Catholic Church- the same accusation I leveled at Chris Rickert of the WiSJ.

Forgive me for pointing out that you seem to be a dissident who may even have left the Catholic Church, too?  Do you have an axe to grind here?

So it was not professional of you to follow the Bishop, to use your status as a journalist to give a platform to several dissidents who clearly attended the Bishop’s talk with intent to disrupt it, carrying signs and humming, who were clearly not there to listen to what the Bishop had to say.

When the media make bad judgments that fail to represent my Church justly, I call them out on it.
You may have noticed one of the headings on my blog- “Don’t diss my Church.”

I was surprised to see your displeasure with my post, in which I primarily called out Chris Rickert.  I made only oblique reference to your involvement, and did not use your name.

Considering your coverage of the event in the Platteville Journal, you actually deserve the same calling out that Chris Rickert received.  But in that post I was addressing a recurring problem the WiSJ exhibits in their imbalanced coverage of the Catholic Church.

Your coverage was not balanced either, and you over-analyzed what you thought the  Bishop should or should not have done in the face of a confrontational audience.  You came across as a disgruntled Catholic trying to use his job to spread rancor.

If you think that my calling you out is inconsistent with who you are, ask yourself whether your actions in this particular matter were consistent with who you claim to be (journalist/libertarian–conservative/Christian husband, father, Eagle Scout and aficionado of obscure rock music, according to your website.) . You did not behave toward Bishop Morlino as I would expect a Christian or an Eagle Scout to behave.  Judging from the facebook message you sent me, your conscience does seem to be smarting.

Slide2I suggest you read my blog post on the Platteville issue   for a more balanced perspective on who is actually responsible for the closing of the Platteville school that you apparently value– it is not the Bishop of Madison who is responsible for closing that school.

Your disgruntled attitude toward the old Platteville issues, your willingness to participate in the news event you were covering, the emotional nature of your reporting, and your volunteering of your Catholic background in the Platteville Journal article all indicate that you are a disgruntled Catholic or ex-Catholic.  In either case, you have no business airing your gripes publicly and mis-using your position as editor of a Wisconsin paper.

You tried to resurrect an old defunct issue, you did not do your homework on both sides of the question, you got involved personally in the event you were covering, and you dissed my Church.
So when you behave just like the progressive media, don’t be surprised when people associate you with the progressive media.

If you ask me, you owe the Bishop of Madison an apology for the sloppy hatchet job you tried to do on him.

The next time 7 or 8 supportive Catholics decide to attend a talk by Bishop Morlino, doubt whether you will come running, camera in hand, to cover the event, as you did for 7 or 8 obnoxious and rude dissidents.

Please try reporting on some real Catholic news.
And in Platteville, try reporting on the majority of Catholics, who support the wonderful priests who have been assigned there, instead of criticising their sacrificial service to the parish.