Critics of the Journal Sentinel’s coverage of Chisholm’s investigation of Walker, his staff and his allies have long complained of what they call biased reporting and commentary, especially by Bice, overseen by Managing Editor George Stanley.
“Dan Bice and the Journal Sentinel have abandoned journalistic standards in covering the long-running investigation of Gov. Scott Walker, his staff, and allied conservative advocacy groups,” said George Mitchell, a former journalist who once worked for a Democratic governor of Illinois.
“Bice and the paper have relied heavily on material that originated from illegal leaks. They have smeared numerous innocent people who were barred by secrecy orders from responding to rumors and leaks. They have dishonestly portrayed completely legal and widespread political conduct. The list goes on. It is long.”
Forty-three members of Chisholm’s staff signed petitions to recall Walker, and Chisholm himself campaigned for Walker’s unsuccessful opponent in the June 2012 recall vote. Chisholm’s office is heavily Democratic by various measures, including campaign contributions. Twenty-six prosecutors, administrators and support staff donated to candidates in the recent years. Chisholm staffers gave $18,061 to Democrats/liberals, according to an April 2012 report by Mediatrackers, a non-profit watchdog group. By contrast, the staff in the district attorney’s office contributed only $4,408 to Republicans/conservatives over the same period.
This pattern has yet to be acknowledged by the Journal Sentinel.