Thursday, March 26, 2015

Media Flail: Walker for Amnesty? (Says WSJ, Says Breitbart)

When does the journalistic whip-lash stop in this world?

Breitbart recently reported that Walker advocated for a pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens living in the shadows in this country.

File:Scott Walker by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Walker supporters amnesty? (Says WSJ, says Breitbart)
(Gage Skidmore)

The headline for the story wrote:

Scott Walker endorses pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants and private GOP dinner

Like many on the Facebook and blogosphere, this post caught my attention, yet at the same time I smelled something funny, ginned up, and untrue.

About thirty minutes later, the headline of the article reads on the Front Web Page:

WSJ: Walker Flips on ‘No Amnesty’ in Private with GOP

So, either he flipped in private, and thus is flipping off scores of supporters, or we are getting a flipped script from vocal proponents of other candidates.

The Wall Street Journal Article including the following statements:

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker told a private dinner of New Hampshire Republicans this month that he backed the idea of allowing undocumented immigrants to stay in the country and to eventually become eligible for citizenship, a position at odds with his previous public statements on the matter.
 
Mr. Walker’s remarks, which were confirmed by three people present and haven’t been reported previously, vary from the call he has made for “no amnesty”—a phrase widely employed by people who believe immigrants who broke the law by entering the country without permission shouldn’t be awarded legal status or citizenship.
File:Scott Walker by Gage Skidmore 2.jpg
What did Scott Say? (Gage Skidmore)
 
He was in New Hampshire two weeks ago. Only now is someone, or rather three someone's coming forward with these allegations? Why two weeks later?
 
Who are these three people? Where is the record of this statement?
 
The changing positions by Mr. Walker, a likely candidate for the GOP presidential nomination, show the difficulty that some in the Republican Party face as they try to appeal both to the conservative GOP primary electorate—which largely opposes liberalizing immigration laws—and business leaders and general election voters who have been more supportive of granting legal status to undocumented immigrants.
 
Wall Street Journal
 
The above paragraph follows from the inference that Walker had indeed made some remarks about endorsing a pathway to citizenship. Did he really, though?
 
Mr. Walker’s “no amnesty” position, first articulated earlier this year, was a change from his prior decadelong support for a pathway to citizenship. He has explained in public that his shift to a more restrictive view came after consulting with border-state governors and hearing from people opposed to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
 
Walker signed off on support for a pathway to citizenship as a County Executive in 2006, then made some passing remarks about the issue in a public interview on a newspaper in 2013. That is not a "decade long" support for any policy. More editorializing.
 
Private sources have indicated that a "Bush 2016" temperament animates the Wall Street Journal.
 
As for Breitbart, here are some quotes from the post:
 
According to this new Wall Street Journal report, it’s quite possible a supporter of Jeb Bush, or another candidate went to the media regarding Walker’s recent comments at a private GOP dinner, it doesn’t matter. With three sources now (anonymously) on record, he appears to have Walkered himself right into this one. If his name becomes synonymous with waffling on a critical issue like immigration, his next nickname may be toast!
 
It's quite possible a Jeb Bush supporter went to the media? Yes, and that would indeed matter! This paragraph is brazenly editorialized, and that is fine, but with that context in mind, ("Walkered" and "his next nickname may be toast"), the context  of Walker's remarks, if he made any, require attention, too.
 
Did either news site, whether WSJ or Breitbart, bother to follow up on who made these remarks? "Three anonymous sources" does not necessarily indicate that they are distinct or separate sources either.
 
Plus the timing of these release with Ted Cruz' announcement for President in 2016, and all of this media circus shows that the clowning belongs to the "journalism" class that is eating away at our once-trusted media culture. Has news reporting turned into another hollow, yet expensive version of the telephone game?
 
 
"Three anonymous sources, who may or may not be biased, claim that Walker may have said that he was for a pathway to citizenship, and the Wall Street Journal reported all of this," says Breitbart.
 
The very detailing of this account gives pause, raises suspicion, and then the sudden change in the Breitbart post confirms that a media flail is at work, where "Gotcha!" journalism has to retract and retrace its steps.

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