A brief preface: Doing a short state assembly race profile can be a tough proposition for a writer in a daily newspaper. Did such a piece for the Cap Times (Nov. 1, 1990) (Dave Travis-Donald E. Damon) and crafting a balanced summary in this perceived blow-out (which ended up being a close race that the GOP could have won) was much more difficult, no matter the piece in question is decidedly mediocre. ---
Wisconsin's congressional districts
Mention the work involved because a good journalist, Clay Barbour, wrote a front-page, Wisconsin State Journal piece yesterday profiling the Mark Pocan-Kelda Helen Roys democratic primary for the second congressional district (forgot the other two candidates) in a 1,100-word treatment.
The race has been relentlessly negative because it has been waged so by Roys; and no global-level, neutral-to-facts view of the race accurately describes the getting-nasty nature.
Roys has been and is on the attack against Pocan.
One does not describe a violent assault by one person against another as a "nasty" situation. No, it is truthfully and accurately described as an attack.
But in the conventions of journalism, truth loses out to the strange, almost nihilistic manner of reporting phenomena.
Roys' continuous attacks should be the story line repeated in accurate coverage of this race.
And her star is not rising as a front page cut line asserts; Democratic politicos to whom I have spoken most often describe Roys as "strange."
That's the story of the horse race, but Barbour buried this in the last three paragraphs and even this text is vague.
Write Barbour, "But some party advocates say (Roys) must tread lightly. It's one thing to fight hard during a campaign. The problem comes when the jabs cross the line."
Some party advocates? Roys is roundly condemned in the colorful lexicon of politics.
Roys' TV Spots
Roys's first-person TV spots border on the incoherent and bizarre. That's another story of this race. Who writes these scripts?
Almost messianic in tone, take a listen: "Leader ... who helped build a movement."
--- "This is my fight, too," intones Roys in another spot.
Yes, I don't believe the viewer required being disabused of the notion that you were above being hurt by the governor. Even you. I think Roys misses the lesson of 2011: The people led, and the elected servants followed.