That was quite an article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel today giving detail after detail about the sentencing hearing for Anthony Peters. Giving key testimony was Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett who was attacked by Peters with a tire iron last summer as Barrett and his family were making their way to their car following a visit to the Wisconsin State Fair.
Barrett, you’ll recall was attempting to intervene in a domestic dispute when he was hit repeatedly with a tire iron by Peters. Many, including yours truly, found Barrett’s actions highly commendable and heroic.
The newspaper’s coverage of the sentencing hearing, a bona fide news story, was legitimate. I have zero qualms about the reporting.
However, the cynic in me feels that Journal Sentinel editors were more than happy to gift wrap all that free campaign publicity to their guy who they want desperately to be the next governor.
Quote after quote after quote from an emotional Barrett. Graphic pictures. A sidebar story about the mayor’s bionic hand. They would deny it, but you know darn well the newspaper brass was thinking that you add it all up, the emotional quotes, the pictures of a badly beaten face and bloodied hand, and you just might stir up enough sympathy, dare I say, votes for the Democrat gubernatorial hopeful.
Again, I want to clear. This clearly is a story that deserved coverage. And Barrett’s biggest print cheerleaders were more than happy to go overboard.