Journalism Accomplished: Why aren’t news organizations telling the whole truth in Wisconsin and why aren’t the state’s conservatives demanding secession?

I tend to avoid programs produced by major network news divisions like I would the galloping herpes, but I do occasionally tune into CBS Sunday Morning. In its better moments, Charles Osgood helms a tranquil, reflective magazine foregrounding the people, places and things that define what’s best about American culture. At its worst, of course, it’s just another fair and balanced mainstream media medicine show, with a comment from Ben Stein.

This morning we got a frustrating dose of worst, as the producers decided to have a look at what’s happening in Wisconsin. You could have written the script without knowing any of the important details, because coverage like this isn’t informational, it’s ritual. Predictable tough-guy posing from Governor Scott Walker, Tea Party Darling, and then some comment from teachers and union members, the people in the crosshairs. There – “both” sides have been told. Journalism accomplished.

Except…except…CBS didn’t provide some important details, nor did they put a microphone in the face of anyone likely to do so for them. So, let me try to add a little texture, with a couple of caveats: first, yes, it’s complex; second, I’m not an economics expert, so I’m going to link and quote to those who know more than I do. In the end, my purpose isn’t to prove that X is definitively true about Wisconsin, but instead, to ask how come you aren’t hearing these details. How come you’re watching “balanced” news reports that omit such critical facts?

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