My, how the MSM give into left-wing spin, with Yahoo! offering this headline, “Prank call adds to Wis. governor’s woes: A candid chat with a “billionaire donor” turns into a PR nightmare as the tape goes viral” on its home page. “The call,” AP writer Ryan Foley contends, “also revealed Walker’s cozy relationship with two billionaire brothers who have poured millions of dollars into conservative political causes, including Walker’s campaign last year.”
How much tilting of the news to the favored narrative can we find in one sentence? Not until later in the article do we learn that the Koch’s PAC only gave “$43,000 to Walker’s campaign” while David Koch “gave $1 million to the Republican Governors’ Association, which funded ads attacking Walker’s opponent in last year’s election.” (Seems Mr. Foley got the message that the Kochs are now high on the approved left-wing list of conservatives to demonize.) His line makes it sound like Walker received millions in their billionaires’ largesse.
“Cozy relationship” with those billionaires? Huh? If the relationship were so cozy, the governor would have recognized that the prankster was not David Koch. The call, Michelle Malkin notes, shows “that Walker is not in deep, dark cahoots or collusion with Koch. If he were, he would have caught on quickly.” And despite Foley’s spin, consistent with the blather on the left-wing blogs, Walker, Jim Geraghty reminds us, “simply explains why he’s approaching the issue the way he is, and pretty much shrugs off the ‘zany’ comments from the faux-Koch, like, ‘you’re not talking with these Democrat bastards, are you?’”
Over at Verum Serum, John does find one comment in this 20 minute call that gets “close to embarrassing” when “the crank caller suggests putting some ‘troublemakers’ in the crowd. Gov. Walker says we ‘thought about that’ but then goes on to say that he’s hoping there is no trouble so that the media gets tired of covering the protests.”
Ann Althouse finds that Walker ignores the “over-the-line things the Koch impersonator said“, going on instead “with his standard points, which is probably the standard strategy that most politicians use when people interact with them.”
Look, I do think this represents a minor setback for Governor Walker and Wisconsin Republicans and their attempts to reform their state’s government He shouldn’t have taken the call. That said, that left-wing performance artists took the trouble to make it while left-wing bloggers dwell on it should serve as a reminder of what he’s up against and should steel Republicans’ resolve to stand firm. Just look at the lengths public employees unions (& their allies) are taking to retain their perks.
One more thing. Foley quotes Democratic Rep. Jon Richards of Milwaukee who “yelled Wednesday on the floor of the state Assembly”, “This isn’t about balancing the budget. This is about a political war,” If there’s a war, Mr. Richards, it has been declared by your fellow Democrats and their union allies. You’re the one using that rhetoric. And Republicans are just fighting back, defending the mandate given them by Wisconsin voters last fall.