UW Journalists Fabricate the US Government Accountability Office’s Conclusion on High Speed Rail

This is very disappointing.

From Uppity Wisconsin:

… University of Wisconsin journalists chose to slice a single phrase out of a GAO sentence, and then re-wrote the sentence, fabricating U.S. Government Accountability Office support for the values of the Cato Institute and selected authorities….

Part 1. Fraudulent statement spreads to dozens of newspapers, launched from Wisconsin Public Radio’s Larry Meiller show…

Again, this is very disappointing. The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism is a non-profit organization that is partnered with “Wisconsin Public Radio, Wisconsin Public Television and the UW-Madison School of Journalism and Mass Communication to provide free content about government ethics, neighborhood safety, water quality and other issues to news media in the state,” according to an article in the Wisconsin State Journal.

(It is worth noting that the State Journal contributed $2,000 to the Center to help it get started. That is not a judgment on either party, but just a statement.)

The story made short: WCIJ picked out a phrase from a U.S. Government Accountability Office report on high speed rail in Wisconsin, re-wrote the phrase in a way that totally changed its meaning — in a way which is through no coincidence favored by the anti-rail Cato Institute — and promoted that as the GAO’s opinion. In other words, WCIJ created a lie and used their credibility to promote it as the actual opinion of the government.

That is disappointing and unacceptable. I call upon our local media to expose this lie for what it is and report the actual opinion of the Government Accountability Office.

Please take the time to read the whole report on Uppity Wisconsin.


Author: Jason Haas

Jason is an elected member of the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors, occasionally moonlights as an amateur gardener, and is a proud father of two, or three, depending on how you do the math.