Given a chance to revise and extend its 9:58 a.m. report (covered this afternoon at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog) on the June 13 altercation between Wisconsin Supreme Court Judges David Prosser, Jr. and Ann Walsh Bradley, the Associated Press’s 5:29 p.m. version persists in telling its national audience only one side of the story.
Although the fact is that accounts as to who was the aggressor completely differ, the wire service’s oddly unbylined story (a 650-word AP item usually has a byline — it’s almost as if someone doesn’t want their name on it) will cause its readers, including subscribing news outlets around the country, to believe that the only open question is whether and how hard Prosser choked Bradley. One suspects that AP’s “fairness” defense will be the employment of these three words in Paragraph 8: “While accounts differ …” Sorry guys, that doesn’t cut it when the accounts are totally opposite.
A member of the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s liberal faction has accused a conservative justice of choking her during an argument in her office earlier this month – a charge he denied.
Supreme Court Justice Ann Walsh Bradley told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that Justice David Prosser put her in a chokehold during the dispute. She contacted the newspaper late Saturday after Prosser denied rumors about the altercation.
“The facts are that I was demanding that he get out of my office and he put his hands around my neck in anger in a chokehold,” Bradley told the newspaper.
… The argument took place June 13, the day before the court, in a 4-3 decision that included a blistering dissent, ruled that Dane County Circuit Judge Maryann Sumi overstepped her authority when she declared the polarizing union law void. While accounts differ, the justices were apparently discussing the decision and its timing.
The AP ignored the opposing version of the story which appeared early Saturday evening at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, even though the time stamp on the wire service’s report is over 20 hours later, and even though it was an earlier Journal Sentinel report which formed the basis for both the current story and the AP’s coverage this morning (bolds are mine):