After a week of complete media malpractice, in which scurrilous accusations that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker participated in a “criminal scheme” were plastered all over the headlines, a lead prosecutor has completely backed off.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports, Scott Walker not a target, John Doe special prosecutor says:

Randall Crocker, the lawyer for special prosecutor Francis Schmitz, noted the investigation has been halted, saying, “At the time the investigation was halted, Governor Walker was not a target of the investigation. At no time has he been served with a subpoena.”

Crocker issued the statement a week after a court document Schmitz wrote late last year and made public late last week identified Walker as being part of an alleged “criminal scheme” to coordinate with outside groups and violate campaign finance laws.

Crocker said no conclusions have been made about whether there is enough evidence to charge anyone with a crime.

“Contained in these documents is a reference to the request for production of documents that relates to an alleged criminal scheme. Gov. Walker’s name was included in this reference,” Crocker said. “While these documents outlined the prosecutor’s legal theory, they did not establish the existence of a crime; rather, they were arguments in support of further investigation to determine if criminal charges against any person or entity are warranted.”

Crocker added, “Mr. Schmitz has made no conclusions as to whether there is sufficient evidence to charge anyone with a crime.”

With impeccable timing, Democratic challenger Mary Burke just released a TV ad focusing on the accusations of “criminal scheme” from which prosecutors have just walked away:

Will the media report the prosecutor’s disavowal of a “criminal scheme” with the vigor the media reported the original accusations?

Doesn’t look like it. Although reported hours ago, almost no mainstream media headlines mention the prosecutor’s statement as of this writing:

Scott Walker Google Search 6-26-2014 325 pm EST

By contrast, here’s what the headlines looked like soon after the original release of the “criminal scheme” accusations:

Headlines Scott Walker Accused of criminal scheme

It goes beyond malpractice. There appears to be a desire in the mainstream media to spread smears about Walker, but not to report either contrary judicial findings or the fact that prosecutors have backed off the accusations.

This plays right into the hands of Democratic politicians like Mary Burke, who are just waiting to jump on any claim of impropriety by Walker, no matter how baseless.

The State Journal further reported:

In Crocker’s statement Thursday, he wrote “it is wrong for any person to point to this sentence in a legal argument as a finding by the special prosecutor that Governor Walker has engaged in a criminal scheme. lt is not such a finding.”

Walker campaign communications director Tom Evenson highlighted that line from Crocker’s letter.

“After the media’s slanderous reporting last week, today’s statement by prosecutors should serve as an opportunity for the media to correct the record and report the real facts of this story,” Evenson said.

The other day I asked Will “John Doe” tactics against Scott Walker backfire?

With this latest announcement by prosecutors, it’s looking more likely.


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